Most of us know that a high protein diet has major benefits when it comes to muscle growth, recovery, metabolic health and weight management. Without enough diverse protein food sources in your diet, you risk becoming deficient in certain amino acids which can result in poor recovery, difficulty building muscle and trouble maintaining or losing weight.
If that’s not enough to get you to increase your protein intake, there are a whole range of other important health benefits from consuming a high protein diet that you might not be aware of!
Here are just a few:
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major cause of strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease. Based on recent study findings, increased protein intake may be recommended to patients with hypertension to help reduce blood pressure levels due to the high content of amino acids. Research studies also report that a high-protein diet helps to lower serum insulin levels, preventing sodium retention and angiotensin activation which might reduce cardiovascular risk by lowering blood pressure. Researchers found strong evidence that those who consumed the highest amounts of amino acids had lower measures of blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
Other studies have also found that increasing your protein intake leads to reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and increases in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
There are many nutrients involved in building your bones and regulating their health. Of these, calcium and protein are essential to maintaining the cycle of bone resorption (breakdown) and bone formation. Protein makes up about one third of bone mass, and a diet that is deficient in either calcium or protein is associated with a loss of this mass, which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures.
The amino acids from proteins are used to build bones, and by increasing your intake of protein in your diet, you can help to up-regulate the hormones that control bone metabolism and rebuilding. Dietary protein may also positively impact bone health by increasing muscle mass, and by increasing calcium absorption.
Protein is a vital macronutrient when it comes to regulating your mood and brain function. Consuming an adequate amount of protein in your diet provides your body with the building blocks it requires to make enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters, which have a substantial impact on our state of mind and energy levels.
Glutamine is an amino acid which supplies energy to cells as well as suppressing the central nervous system resulting in improved concentration and stress coping mechanisms, as well as feelings of calmness and improved ability to fall asleep. The amino acid carnitine improves mood and cognition as well as memory function.
Dietary protein intake can also help to promote stable blood sugar levels which can help to prevent irritability, anxiety and mood changes.
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