7 signs of a lack of protein in the body. In an ideal diet, protein is 10% of daily calories and should be ingested throughout the day: a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt gives about 20 g of protein, a portion of chicken without skin for lunch will provide us with about 25 g of protein, a cup of dark beans for dinner – 15 grams of protein. The body breaks down protein in various ways and uses it again for its needs.
Lets see 7 signs of a lack of protein in the body,
One of the most common symptoms of protein deficiency is the appearance of edema. They occur in the abdomen, legs, feet, hands. A possible explanation for this fact: the blood contains a protein component – albumin, which does not allow the liquid part of the blood to seep into the tissue. However, it is worth remembering that swelling can occur for many reasons, so you should consult with your doctor so as not to miss a more serious pathology.
2. Mood swings
For information transfer cells use chemicals – neurotransmitters. Many of them are composed of amino acids – protein constituents. Therefore, a lack of protein in the diet can lead to inadequate production of neurotransmitters, and thus affect the brain. For example, with low levels of dopamine and serotonin, a person experiences depression or excessive aggressiveness.
3. Problems with hair, nails and skin
Hair, nails, skin consist of proteins, for example, elastin, collagen, keratin. When the body can not fully synthesize them, the hair becomes brittle and thin, the skin is dry and flaky, deep dents appear on the nails. Of course, the problem may not only be in your diet, but also it should be taken into account.
4. Weakness and fatigue
Studies show that inadequate protein intake during the whole week affects the muscles, and therefore, posture and movement, which is especially evident at the age of more than 55 years. Over time, a constant lack of protein leads to loss of muscle mass, which, in turn, reduces a person’s strength, his ability to maintain balance, and slows down metabolism. It is also possible to develop anemia – a condition where cells do not receive enough oxygen. From this person can feel constant fatigue.
This feature seems obvious. Protein gives energy. This is one of three sources of calories along with fats and carbohydrates. If you constantly want to eat, despite regular meals, this may indicate the body’s need for proteins. Studies have shown that eating protein-containing food gives you a feeling of fullness for the whole day.
6. Slow wound healing
People with a lack of protein in the body may notice that any cuts and scratches heal longer. The recovery process after sprains and other types of injuries takes longer. The reason for this is the lack of synthesis of collagen by the body. It is part of not only the skin, but also connective tissue. Protein is also needed for the formation of blood clots.
7. Frequent illness and protracted recovery
Amino acids in the blood help the immune system produce antibodies that activate white blood cells to fight viruses, bacteria and toxins. To absorb and break down other nutrients to maintain health, protein is also needed. There is evidence that protein changes the level of beneficial microflora in the intestines, which helps to resist various diseases.
Who is most often faced with a problem?
Most people consume more protein than they need. People who do not get enough protein usually eat poorly in general. Older people and patients with cancer often consume less protein than they need. A severe eating disorder associated with a lack of protein in the body is called kwashiorkor. It is most commonly found in developing countries, especially in children or in the aftermath of natural disasters.
What about athletes?
If you exercise regularly and have a balanced diet, then most likely you are doing fine. However, serious athletes with a busy schedule of training really need more protein – on average 2 times more than the average person. But do not overdo it: excess protein also entails certain problems.