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7 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein in Your Meals

Protein plays an essential role in your health as it’s necessary for different bodily functions, like repairing and building tissues and allowing metabolic processes. Therefore, it’s important to get a sufficient amount of this nutrient and know about the things that could indicate a protein deficiency.

5-Minute Crafts will show you 7 signs that may indicate you’re experiencing a lack of protein.

❗Important: This article has been created for informative purposes only and does not replace professional advice. As the following symptoms may be caused by other medical conditions, we advise that you consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

1. Swelling

Swelling, also known as edema, can be one of the main signs that you’re not consuming enough protein. A possible explanation is that proteins prevent fluid from accumulating in the tissues. Therefore, if you’re not getting this nutrient in adequate amounts, you may experience swelling in your hands, feet, legs, and abdomen.

❗Edema can be caused by many other things, so make sure to consult your doctor if you’re going through this condition.

2. Mood changes

Your brain needs chemicals known as neurotransmitters to pass information from one cell to another. Many of these chemicals are composed of amino acids, which are the basic elements of protein.

Therefore, a protein deficiency in your meals may prevent your body from producing enough of these neurotransmitters, changing the way your brain functions. For instance, if you have low levels of serotonin and dopamine, you may feel overly aggressive or depressed.

3. Skin, hair, and nail issues

Some of the main signs that indicate you may not be getting enough protein are thinning hair or hair loss, peeling nails or ridges in your nails, and peeling skin, as hair, nails, and skin are composed of proteins like keratin, collagen, and elastin.

4. Fatigue and weakness

A protein deficiency can lead to muscle loss, which may affect your balance, make you feel weak, and slow your metabolism. At the same time, a lack of protein can also result in anemia, a medical condition that prevents your cells from getting enough oxygen and, as a consequence, makes you feel tired.

5. Hunger and food cravings

If you often need a snack or have constant cravings, you may be low in protein. Since protein is a filling nutrient, it keeps you satiated for longer. Therefore, if you lack this satiating nutrient, you may feel hungry and yearn for sweet treats during the day.

6. Increased healing time

Proteins in sufficient amounts are necessary for your immune system to rebuild and heal new cells, skin, and tissue. So, a lack of protein could lead to an increased recovery time if you ever have an injury or a sprain.

7. Frequent illness

Getting sick often or staying sick can indicate that your immune system is not in the best condition, which could be linked to a lack of protein as immune cells are composed of this nutrient.

Moreover, a study revealed that 12 older women who consumed low amounts of protein for around 2 weeks showed a decreased immune response.

Bonus: How to calculate the amount of protein you need every day.

An easy way to determine your daily minimum protein intake is to multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.36. For example, if a person weighs 150 pounds, their approximate protein intake is 54 grams.

At the same time, experts advise that, as a minimum intake, an adult should get 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight per day.

❗Keep in mind that this number may vary if you’re pregnant, an athlete, recovering from a medical condition, or trying to lose weight. At the same time, certain illnesses could require you to decrease your protein consumption, while others could require just the opposite. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult your doctor for proper guidelines regarding this matter.

Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com, Depositphotos.com
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