7 Benefits of a High-Protein Diet
Protein is a macronutrient alongside carbs and fats. The key to a good diet is to get a balance of all three of these, along with fibre, and all the micronutrients you can get your hands on (those being vitamins, minerals, fatty acids etc.).
But while this is true, there are some benefits that are specifically true of protein. And these points are important to consider, considering that a lot of people underrate the importance of protein in their diets and actually even try to avoid it!
In this post, we’ll look at 7 compelling reasons to eat more protein.
1. It Builds Muscle
This is the big one that most of us are familiar with: protein builds muscle. While the jury is out to a degree on precisely how much you need, the leading theory is that we require 1 gram of protein for every 1lb of bodyweight when trying to build muscle.
If that sounds an awful lot, then keep in mind that you also get some protein from fruits like bananas and oranges.
You may not be an athlete, but you need a good amount of protein if you’re going to maintain normal/strong muscles and be able to perform your best. This becomes even truer as you become older and muscles can begin to atrophy. It’s also important if you are ill or injured.
This is true because protein is made from amino acids, which in turn are the building blocks of muscle. In other words, your body is literally recycling this stuff to build your own bulk!
Protein shake will do the job, but so too will any other source of protein. Animal protein is a little more “bioavailable,” but there are plenty of extremely strong vegans out there.
2. It is Thermogenic
Protein has thermogenic properties. This means that it is harder to digest than other types of food, which in turn means that it will require calories simply to eat! When doing your calorie calculation, that means that you can dock off a whole bunch of points just because the protein is doing the work for you
3. It Ramps Up Metabolism
Protein doesn’t just help to increase your metabolism while you eat and digest it either! It also actually increases your metabolism throughout the day subsequently. This is something that Tim Ferriss points out in his book The Four Hour Body.
And it’s why he recommends that you aim to consume 30 grams of protein in the first 30 minutes of waking up. This will help to get your metabolism ramped up, so you start burning even more calories.
Oh, and protein is also relatively low calorie. Whereas fat contains 9 calories for every gram, protein only contains 4. That means that a lean protein meal of fish will be less likely to lead to weight gain than an equivalent amount of avocado.
4. It Boosts Brain Function
Protein helps to build muscle yes, but it also builds brain function!
In part, that’s because your amino acids are used to rebuild the brain tissue that makes up your grey and white matter. But that’s not all! Amino acids also happen to be important precursors to neurotransmitters and hormones. That means that your body will take amino acids from foods, things like tryptophan, and then convert them into chemicals that help with brain signally, such as serotonin.
A lack of the right proteins can then therefore result in a lack of important brain chemicals, which can negatively impact your mood, energy levels, focus, memory, or more!
In fact, some have even suggested that humans began eating meat in order to support our more advanced brain function.
5. It is a Great Source of Micronutrients
Most protein sources don’t just contain protein! If you’re getting your protein from meat and animal sources, then you’ll also be getting a whole lot of other good stuff that is hard to find elsewhere.
For example, beef and other red meat contain a lot of nutrients like CoEnzyme Q10 and PQQ. These are important antioxidants that can protect the cells from damage and help to prevent cancer. They also support mitochondrial function, boosting your energy! Red meat also contains creatine.
Eggs, on the other hand, are fantastic sources of amino acids, as well as choline, inositol, and LOTS more. Fish is a brilliant source of omega 3 and 6.
Don’t forget to take Omega 7 which has been shown to provide many health benefits. Looks for a natural health supplement like Ultra Omega Burn.
6. It is Satiating
Whereas some diet foods work by providing you with nothing but dry complex carbs, eating more protein has some real bite to it. Protein is extremely satiating because it takes a long time to digest, it’s heavy, and it contains a lot of what the body needs.
For these reasons, you can eat a large amount of lean fish or chicken and then feel full for hours after. Start your day with a plate of eggs and you’re significantly less likely to snack.
And of course: less snacking = more weight loss!
7. It Helps With Healing
Finally, eating more protein can also help with tissue repair and healing. Just as your muscle is made from amino acids, so too are your bones (to an extent), your skin, and your brain – as we’ve already discussed.
If you’ve cut yourself and you find that it is taking an age to heal, then that might mean that you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet!