The past few decades have witnessed an almost global obsession with weight loss. More and more people are watching what they eat. Everybody wants to remain healthy and avoid any negative repercussions of poor eating habits. It is important to take advantage of advances in nutrition, health and fitness to live enjoyably and for longer.
While we tend to blame carbohydrates and fats for diet- related problems (and rightly so) we often forget another important nutrient that can change our health for the better. As they say, sometimes we agonise over the closed door so much so that we forget to see the one opening behind us.
If you go to any breakfast table today, you can bet your money there will be carbs. However, the same cannot be said of proteins. There is a tendency to glorify carbs, perhaps because they are energy giving and readily available. But that is where we go wrong.
Taking a larger portion of proteins in your meals is the best way to avoid illness and overcome obesity. When eaten properly, proteins will work wonders. At this juncture, it is important to delve into the significance of proteins for the body and how this nutrient can reverse the damage you have done to your body over the years.
Proteins Help To Control Hunger Pangs
Proteins fill your stomach faster and make you feel satiated most of the day so that you don’t need to eat often. Most of us do not become overweight or obese because of eating regular meals but due to overeating, especially between meals. When you eat proteins, you tend not to desire food between meals thus making you less likely to burden your body with food it does not need at that time. Try eating more legumes for breakfast and curtail you bread intake and you will begin to lose weight.
Proteins Curtail Late Night Eating And Cravings
Most people who have excess weight arrived at that point because of eating late at night. There are people who are not in control of their eating habits. Actually, food controls them. Most of the food you eat at night is not needed by the body because your body is not physically active as you sleep. It has been established that people who eat breakfast that is high in protein tend not to eat much at night or late into the night, thus averting the possibility of accumulating weight.
Protein Is Crucial For Building Muscle
The other simpler name for proteins is ‘body building’ food. That is exactly what it does. The body goes through wear and tear daily and damaged or dead cells, tissue and muscle must be replaced. For those interested in body building, the only way to accomplish it is to eat more protein than the usual serving. Even when you are losing weight, your body needs to replace the tissue and muscle you are losing. Consequently, ensure eggs, fish, beans, milk and other forms of protein are as abundant or even more than corn, wheat and rice in your meals.
Protein Is Important For Healthy Bones
Your bones support your skeletal structure. Have you ever met someone with weak bones that break anyhow? Do you know people with bowed legs? As you become older, you are likely to have weaker bones if you don’t eat enough proteins in your earlier years. Women undergoing menopause are also at risk of osteoporosis. You have a choice. Animal products like milk, eggs and meat contain such nutrients as calcium, without which your bones will become brittle and dangerous.
Eating Proteins Boosts Your Metabolism
One of the main reasons your weight increases exponentially is low metabolism. This refers to the rate at which the body breaks down and assimilates the food you eat into the blood streams for normal body functions. Studies have shown that when you eat a lot of protein, your metabolism increases and more calories are burned. Burning more calories than you consume is the surest way of lowering your body weight.
Proteins Help The Body To Recover From Injury
Getting injured is normal for human beings. This may be as a result or freak or serious accidents. Nobody wants to stay in a hospital bed. Hospital ceilings and walls or those of your bedroom are not the best place to spend days as you recover from injury. The best way to speed up your recovery is to eat a diet that is rich in proteins. This will ensure that the tissues and muscles that were damaged during the accident are replaced within the shortest time possible. While the doctor uses conventional medicine to accelerate healing, you should complement this with a protein-rich diet.
Protein Can Effectively Fight Hypertension
An often ignored cause of diseases, some of them fatal, is high blood pressure. Heart attacks and strokes are some of the effects of high blood pressure. The good news is that if you eat more proteins your blood pressure will reduce. Moreover, it is also important to note that even cholesterol can be lowered by eating proteins. Now you have another important reason for increasing the amount of protein in your diet, unless of course you want to spend your time and money treating hypertension and related illnesses.
Proteins Help To Keep Old Age At Bay
Well, I am not saying that you will live forever, but protein-rich diets will help you to remain healthier and fit as you grow older. By the way, who wants to grow old and immobile? If we could prevent ourselves from reaching this stage, many would invest all their resources in such an endeavour! What happens when you are growing older is that your muscles shrink gradually. Your bones also become brittle and fragile. That is why you need proteins to ensure the ageing process is decelerated. Moreover, protein will help you to continue lifting weights and engaging in resistance training in your old age and this will make you appear and feel younger.
Sources Of Proteins For Vegetarians
You can derive proteins from animal as well as plant sources. Animal proteins include poultry, fish (including various forms of seafood like crayfish, lobsters etc.) eggs and milk. Beans and peas are very rich in proteins too. Consider including kidney beans, soy beans, white beans, black-eyed beans and split peas among others in your diet. Processed soy products such as tempeh, tofu, veggie burgers and textured vegetable proteins are also very rich in this nutrient. Finally, you can enjoy your daily protein intake by eating seeds and nuts such as cashews, peanuts, pecans, sesame seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
As I Sum Up…
- Change your eating habits, particularly your breakfast, and ensure you pack it with more proteins than you are doing today.
- Proteins are generally healthy for all people irrespective of age, health condition and physical activity.
- People with healthy kidneys need not worry that proteins will harm them, but those with kidney disease should adhere to their doctor’s advice on what kind of protein to eat.
- If you are engaging in body building and weight lifting, remember to eat as much proteins as carbs because as you exert your body, your tissues are damaged and need replacement.
- There is an abundance of proteins sources, both from plants and animals and this means that even vegans and vegetarians can enjoy proteins.
- To lose weight in a healthy manner, eat more proteins in the morning since this will make your tummy feel fuller most of the day hence avoiding binge eating.
- Sometimes when you feel hungry, your body is asking for proteins and not carbs. Consequently, it is important to snack on proteins than on carbs.
- Vary your protein sources to ensure you get as many nutrients as possible. This is because milk, eggs, legumes and meat contain different levels of protein and other nutrients.
- Learn to cook proteins in a variety of delicious ways so that you enjoy eating more of this nutrient.
- Take time to chew proteins well to ensure they are digested properly.
Your Grace Guru