Protein is considered to be the building block of life and your body needs protein to stay healthy and to continue functioning the way it should. Everything from your bones to your muscle, to your hair, is made up of protein. Protein is also needed to carry oxygen to various organs of the body. It also helps in fighting off infections and strengthening your immune system.
What happens when you don't consume sufficient protein:
According to the National Sample Survey, more than 80% of Indians are protein deficient. This has nothing to do with them being vegetarians, as Indian foods are usually high in Carbohydrates. A low protein diet can lead to various health issues such as a drop in immunity, lowered oxygen levels in the body due to anemia, brittle bones, lowered blood count, and when your body is starved of vital proteins, it gets into a catabolic state, where your body burns muscle to meet its protein requirement. This can lead to severe weakness and an overall drop in the quality of life that one lives.
What happens when you consume sufficient protein:
When you consume a protein-rich diet, the first thing that you will notice is that you are able to manage your hunger pangs more effectively. As protein helps to keep you satiated, you should be able to keep unhealthy snacks at bay. You will also notice an improvement in your energy levels, an improvement in your hair and nail growth and you won't feel tired and out of breath that often. Your
focus levels will improve and you will experience an overall improvement in your quality of life.
How much protein do you need:
This number can vary from person to person, as an athlete who works out multiple times a day is bound to need more protein when compared to an average working individual. We will take a look at the latter and the safe number here would be to consume 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight to maintain good health. If you are a fitness enthusiast, then you would need anywhere between 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight. We are often led to believe that a protein-rich diet is only meant for individuals who work out, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter remains that our very existence depends on the foods we eat and consuming foods that are high in protein will only help in improving your health and overall quality of life.