WHY IS PROTEIN IMPORTANT TO US
When you think about “Protein”, you instantly think about protein shakes and snacks as well as individuals who are constantly striving to bulk up their build. Even if you’re not someone who’s interested in building up your muscles, it is still important for your body to have sufficient protein as they play an essential role in maintaining muscle mass and strength to carry out day-to-day tasks.
What Is Protein?
Protein is found throughout your body - in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and literally every other body part or tissue. The enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood are also made up of protein.
Louis Yap, Senior Dietitian of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital has said “Protein helps our body cells perform everyday activities and ensure that muscles, organs, and bones function normally. Additionally, proteins also help in creating hormones and enzymes as well as maintain a healthy immune system.”
How Much Protein Does Your Body Needs?
Factors such as your gender, age, weight affect the amount of protein required daily. At different stages of life, the protein intake for each individual also varies and it depends on his or her health status. According to HealthHub, the recommended daily protein intake is approximately 0.8g/kg body weight for average Singaporean adults aged 18-49.
Older adults aged 50 and above might be more prone to the risk of falls and bone fractures due to the loss of muscle mass and strength. To maintain their muscle mass and slow the rate of bone loss, they will require a higher daily recommended protein intake at 1.2g/kg body weight.
Healthline had also shared that regardless of muscle mass and physique goals, those who are physically active will require more protein than those who are sedentary. An athlete will have a protein requirement of 1.2-1.4 grams per kg of his or her body weight.
What Are Foods That Are High In Protein
Apart from the commonly known animal-based proteins such as chicken, beef, pork, mutton, and fish, plant-based proteins such as soy products, nuts, beans/legumes are good sources of protein too as they are packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B and zinc which boost your body’s immune system.
Additionally, dairy and soy products such as milk and tofu are also high in calcium, which supports bone health and helps minimise the adverse effects of falls for seniors and older adults.
Adding proteins into your diet isn’t as challenging as you think and all it requires is to make small tweaks to your daily meals. Here are some examples of how you can do so!
- Start your day right with a selected protein of your choice from Innermost. If you are health and beauty conscious, the products from the Innermost Well-being range are for you as they are formulated to boost your health, and support muscle growth and repair. Get your glow up!
- During lunch, opt for brown rice instead of white rice as brown rice is packed with fibre and contains iron, protein, and antioxidants. By including complex carbohydrates such as brown rice in your meal, it will no doubt help to prevent food coma as your body will take longer to digest the food.
- Give yourself a short break during tea time and enjoy a cup of soya bean beverage or a bowl of beancurd. For dinner, a bowl of piping hot sliced fish soup will be ideal to end the day.
For seniors or older adults with oral issues or chewing difficulties, consider consuming tofu, eggs, and fish which are easier to chew. It is also recommended to seek the advice of a dental specialist or dietitian who would be better primed to suggest the best ways to include protein in your daily meals.
As protein causes a build-up of by-products in those with kidney disease and affects the kidney’s ability to remove waste, those with pre-existing kidney diseases; be sure to consult a doctor before increasing your protein intake.
Benefits of Consuming Protein
Now that you have a better understanding of protein, be sure to include them in your diet moderately to enjoy the benefits!
1. Reduces Your Cravings For Late-Night Snacks
Before hitting the sack, there are times when your hunger pangs kick in and you can’t help but crave some late-night snacks. If this has been an issue for you lately, consuming more protein might help!
Healthline shared that protein reduces your level of the hunger hormone known as ghrelin and it boosts the levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full. If you hope to lose weight, try keeping to a high protein diet as proteins help to boost your metabolism, leading to an automatic reduction in your calorie intake as you burn more calories throughout the day.
2. Good For Your Bones
Healthline shared that 50% of your bone is made of protein and diets containing a greater percentage of calories from protein may help preserve bone mass during weight loss. Higher consumption of protein is also known to help in improving your bone health and lowering the risk of osteoporosis and fractures as you age.
3. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure may lead to health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney diseases. A study by Boston University Medical Centre concludes that adults who consume a high-protein diet may be at a lower risk for developing high blood pressure, concludes a study that found participants consuming the highest amount of protein -- an average of 100 g protein/day -- had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level.
4. Helps Your Body Recover From Post-Workout Soreness
We have all had our fair share of muscle soreness, which can last up to 48 hours as well as more post-workout and it can be a pain - literally.
According to ActiveSG, having recovery drinks that contain protein can help to decrease muscle soreness as compared to normal carbohydrate-based sports drinks as protein is necessary for muscle growth and repair. Additionally, consuming protein after a workout can shorten the healing process of your muscles, and help to build more muscle over time.
Innermost protein powder is packed with good nutrition to help you embrace your health and fitness goals. We understand that it might be hard to find a protein product for vegan and vegetarian but we have good news for you. Innermost proteins are either vegan or vegetarian certified! Click here for more information.
In conclusion, tons of studies and research have suggested the benefits of protein. But of course, you should keep in mind to consume protein moderately. If you’re suffering from existing kidney disease, remember to heed your doctor’s advice and limit your protein intake.
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2. Health Hub. 2020. Why Protein Is More Important Than You May Think, And 5 Common Protein Myths. [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/2074/why_protein_is_important
3. The Nutrition Source. n.d. Protein. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/#what-is-protein
4. Health Hub. 2020. Older Adults Need More Protein. [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/2076/seniors-need-more-protein
5. Healthxchange.sg. n.d. 5 Essential Vitamins: Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A and More - HealthXchange. [online] Available at: https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/supplements/five-essential-vitamins-iron-zinc-vitamin-a
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9. ActiveSG. 2016. Should you work out with sore muscles?. [online] Available at: https://www.myactivesg.com/read/2016/10/should-you-work-out-with-sore-muscles
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11. ScienceDaily. 2014. High protein diets lead to lower blood pressure, study finds. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140911125920.htm
12. Healthline. 2020. Protein Intake — How Much Protein Should You Eat per Day?. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day#increased-protein-needs