Protein is one of the essential nutrients required by our body. It gives us energy, helps in strengthening and repairing muscles, and acts as the fuel for the cells & tissues. Being one of the vital macronutrients, it is required in good quantity by our body to function properly. The long chain amino acids in the proteins are the building blocks of the muscles, and thus, the deficiency of protein can badly impact our health.
If we are suffering from the protein deficiency, our body uses different ways to tell us that we aren’t eating enough protein, and it’s time to work on the protein deficiency to avoid any serious consequences.
Here are the top signals used by our body to convey the protein deficiency:
Joint and Muscle Pain
Pain in the muscles or joints is one of the biggest signs of the protein deficiency. If you have become flabby in the areas where you used to be muscular is one of the biggest signs. It means your muscles or joint fluid is getting broken down into calories to provide energy to your body, and thus, you need to eat a lot of protein-rich food.
Constant fog like feeling in the brain is one of the signs that either your blood sugar is fluctuating or you are suffering from protein deficiency. So, if you are experiencing the brain fog, you must get yourself diagnosed.
Another vital sign of protein deficiency is the fluid accumulation or edema, especially in the ankles or feet. Protein plays a significant role in preventing the fluids from getting accumulated in the tissues, but, the lack of protein results in the swelling or inflammation of tissues in the ankles or feet.
If you have been experiencing body swelling, and pain in the swelled areas, it’s the right time to meet your physician and find out the exact cause of the inflammation.
Hair and Nail Issues
Protein is an important constituent of hair, and if you have been experiencing hair issues like thinning of hair, hair fall, and lifeless hair, then it might be an early indication of protein deficiency.
Similarly, brittle nails or ridges in nail might also be the signs conveying the deficiency of protein in the body.
Difficulty in Concentrating
Difficulty in focusing and concentrating or trouble in learning indicate that the neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine responsible for focusing, are low. These neurotransmitters are produced with the help of amino acids, and thus, these indirectly points out towards the protein deficiency.
If you have been experiencing such brain troubles, then, you can consider increasing your protein intake to check the difference.
Sleeping problems like insomnia or difficulty in falling or staying asleep might be due to the protein deficiency. Most of the times, the sleep troubles are a result of increased cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and decreased serotonin.
Both these problems can be conquered by increasing the protein intake.
Also, sometimes, we tend to wake up because we feel hungry. Proteins help us to stay full for longer time. Thus, consider increasing your protein intake in the dinner to conquer the problem.
To overcome the protein deficiency, you need to increase your protein intake and the best dietary sources of protein include fish, seafood, white meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, soy, beans, lean beef and whey protein.