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Do You Have Enough Protein In Your Diet?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 25 February 2022, Updated on - 02 July 2022

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The human body requires several macro and micronutrients to ensure complete wellbeing. Protein is one such macronutrient, which is required for the development of muscles, skin, enzymes, hormones, and almost every tissue in the body. Every year 27th February is observed as National Protein Day, which aims at creating awareness about the nutritional benefits of this macronutrient and consequences of protein deficiency. Let us understand how one can measure their protein requirement.

Why Do We Need Protein?

Protein is an important nutrient required by the body to grow, function, and repair damaged cells. Protein is required for: 

  • Gaining muscles
  • Losing extra body fat
  • Growth and development of children
  • Development of babies in their mother’s womb
  • Faster wound healing
  • Prevention of osteoporosis, a bone disease
  • Regulation of hormones
  • Improved digestion
  • Accelerated recovery of exercise injury

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The requirement of protein depends on the weight, gender, physical activity, and health condition of a person. Normally, the recommended daily dose of protein is 0.8 grams per kilograms (Kgs) of body weight. However, protein requirements usually increase during pregnancy or while building muscle mass. To calculate the daily protein requirement:

Daily protein requirement (in grams) = Weight (in Kgs) 0.8

This means if a person weighs 60 Kgs, they would require 48 grams of protein daily to fulfill the requirement. 

How to Know If You Have Protein Deficiency?

Protein deficiency occurs when the diet fails to meet the daily protein requirement of the body. A person suffering from protein deficiency may experience:

  • Weakening of body muscles
  • Brittle nails and thinning of hair
  • Swelling in the feet and ankles due to fluid build-up in the body
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Anemia (characterized by pale skin, weakness, and feeling extremely cold)
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Stunted growth in children
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia)
  • Fat accumulation in the liver (fatty liver)
  • Weak bones prone to fractures (especially in women post-menopause)

Recommended reading: 10 foods that are unhealthy for your bones

What Are the Sources of Protein?

Protein is available in a wide variety of plant and animal-based foods. Some protein-rich foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Chicken and lean meat
  • Dairy products including cheese (cottage cheese), milk, and yogurt
  • Fish such as cod, prawns, and salmon
  • Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas
  • Soybean and soy products
  • Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Nut butter such as almond and peanut butter 
  • Grains such as quinoa, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, and millet

Conclusion

Protein is an essential nutrient required for building muscle mass, accelerated wound healing, and growth of children and unborn babies. While every food contains some amount of protein, animal-based foods are the best source of protein. People experiencing signs of protein deficiency must consult a doctor for further investigation.

Still confused if you have protein deficiency? Consult a doctor. 

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