When it comes to maintaining a healthy balanced diet, we know that protein is an essential macronutrient to include with all as many of our snacks and meals as possible, especially if you’re working out regularly. Every single cell in the human body contains protein and it plays so many roles within the functioning of our bodies. Here’s a reminder about the importance of protein.
- It repairs your muscles
When we exercise, our body breaks down the cells in our muscles, which is why having a snack or meal high in protein on hand to eat within a 30-minute window of your workout is ideal. Inadequate protein consumption, particularly in active people can affect so many functions including slowing down your metabolism, weakening your immune system, fatigue, mood changes and problems with your hair, skin and nails.
- It helps you feel fuller for longer
If you find yourself constantly needing to snack throughout the day, you’re probably not getting enough lean protein in your main meals. Protein takes longer to digest than its fellow macronutrients carbohydrates and fats and for that reason, the energy found in high protein foods is released over a slower period of time.
- It helps balance hormones
The two main hormones that protein is responsible for helping regulate our appetite are leptin and ghrelin, which are also commonly referred to as ‘the hunger hormones’. Sufficient protein intake prolongs the release of ghrelin, which is the hormone that signals hunger while conversely, increases the release of leptin signals that we are full and can then stop eating. If these hormones aren’t regulated properly, no amount of food will leave you feeling satiated.