We all know, or at least we all should know, how important it is to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of regular physical activity. However, there is a difference between knowing what we should be doing, and actually doing what we should be doing, as evidenced by poor state of health that many people all over the world are currently finding themselves in. People often find themselves giving into temptation, and succumbing to unhealthy foods and drinks, as well as other unhealthy lifestyle and dietary choices as well. In order to enjoy optimal levels of health and well-being, we need to consume a balanced diet rich in healthy foods and supplements. One macronutrient that is extremely healthy and beneficial for us, is protein, and for that reason we’ll be taking a look at just four of the many, many reasons why protein is good for you.
Protein promotes weight loss
Worldwide obesity levels peaked at their highest ever numbers not too long ago, and those numbers are continuing to rise with each passing week. We’re a nation, a race in fact, of overeaters and that is showing on our waistlines. Obesity is costing governments billions upon billions in healthcare every single year, and something needs to be done. What many people don’t realise, is that protein rich foods and supplements actually promote weight loss. Protein is a thermogenic compound, which means that once ingested, the body struggles to digest and break it down. To do so, the body has to get more energy which it gets from stored body fat and calories. This basically means that we burn calories just by digesting protein. Overtime, this gradually increases the metabolism. Protein also increases lean muscle mass, which also burns calories.
Protein builds lean muscle
When it comes to building muscle, protein is absolutely essential. When we lift weights, we destroy muscle tissue. It is when we rest that we build muscle, via protein synthesis. In order to build muscle, we need protein and the amino acids it contains which is then fed to the cells within our muscles, allowing them to begin rebuilding and repairing themselves, building themselves even bigger and stronger than they were previously.
Protein helps protect our cells
Another benefit of protein is the fact that it helps to protect our cells, keeping them healthy and in great working order. The reason for this is that protein helps increase levels of a potent antioxidant known as glutathione. Glutathione helps to protect our cells against oxidisation caused by free radicals and has been found to be especially effective at protecting cells within the prostate, making it very effective at protecting against prostate cancer.
Protein promotes brain health
Protein is a brain food and has been proven to help provide the necessary building blocks required to create chemical messengers which are involved in the production of energy, in memory, in cognition in general, in mental focus, and in the production of natural hormones within the body.