Protein is an essential food to include in your diet. Protein is required by the body to build bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin. Protein is also necessary for cell and tissue repair, hormone production and regulation, oxygen supply to the blood and other vital areas, and digestion.
Additionally, Protein-rich foods can help you maintain healthy body weight by keeping you fuller for longer. It prevents you from wanting to eat more and filling yourself up with unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain.
Protein or amino acids can help you recover faster, boost your immunity, and grow and maintain lean body mass. The weight of your body that is free of fat is called lean body mass. This article will discuss the importance of consuming complete protein, but first, let’s discuss what complete protein is:
What is Complete Protein?
Protein is the macronutrient in your body that is responsible for the formation and repair of muscle tissue. It is required for digestion, metabolic function, and the production of infection-fighting antibodies. Protein is found in your brain, heart, liver, and muscles. In short, it is essential for a healthy body and mind.
A protein is complete when it contains all 22 amino acids. Amino acids are the fundamental components of protein. Our bodies produce 13 amino acids naturally, but the remaining nine must be obtained from outside sources.
The richest source of complete proteins comes from animal proteins, but vegetarians and vegans also have choices. Whether you love meat or are a vegan, there is no right or wrong way to eat complete proteins as long as you get enough.
Non-meat complete proteins
- Dairy (like milk, yogurt, and cheese)
Plant-based complete proteins
- Chia seed
Additionally, there is multiple new food development in the market which are known for providing complete protein. Sellers directly link innovative food and energy to each other; however, one must read all the ingredients and cross-check before consuming anything new.
The Importance of Complete Protein
- Increased muscle mass and strength
Eating foods containing essential amino acids after working out causes your body to start building muscle, known as muscle protein synthesis. According to numerous studies, protein consumption has been linked to increased muscle mass and strength.
Be sure to consume enough protein if you exercise regularly, lift weights, or are trying to build muscle. Maintaining a high protein intake can also help stop muscle loss while losing weight.
- Good for Your Bones
The idea that protein, especially animal protein, is terrible for your bones is a persistent myth. This is based on the theory that protein increases the body’s acid load, which causes calcium to evaporate from your bones to balance the acid. However, most extensive research suggests that protein—including animal protein—has significant advantages for bone health.
More protein-rich diets help people maintain their bone mass better as they age and reduce their risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Women, who have a higher-than-average risk of osteoporosis after menopause, should pay particular attention to this. An excellent way to help stop that is to eat lots of protein and stay active.
- Cuts Back on Cravings Late-Night Snacking
Normal hunger is distinct from a food craving. Not only does your body require food and energy, but your brain also craves rewards.
However, cravings can be tough to suppress. Possibly preventing them from happening in the first place would be the best way to deal with them. Increasing your protein intake is one of the best prevention strategies. In one study of obese men, adding 25% more protein to the diet decreased cravings by 60% and the urge to snack at night by 50%.
- Increases Fat Burning and Metabolism
Eating can temporarily increase your metabolism. This is because your body requires calories to digest and utilize food’s nutrients. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). In this regard, however, not all foods are the same. A complete protein has a higher thermic effect than fat or carbohydrates — 20-35% vs. 5-15%.
Complete protein consumption has significantly increased metabolism and the number of calories burned. This can result in an additional 80-100 calories burned per day.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease. Interestingly, increased protein consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure. In a review of 40 controlled trials, researchers found that eating more protein reduced systolic blood pressure, which is the top number on reading, by an average of 1.76 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number, by an average of 1.15 mm Hg.
- Maintains Weight Loss
Individuals who increase their protein intake tend to lose weight almost immediately because a high-protein diet boosts metabolism and results in an automatic reduction in calorie intake and cravings. In one study, overweight women who ate 30% of their calories from protein lost eleven pounds (5 kg) in 12 weeks despite not intentionally restricting their diet.
The maintenance of weight has been shown to benefit from a slight increase in protein intake. In one study, raising protein from 15% to 18% of calories decreased weight regain by 50%. Consider increasing your protein intake permanently if you want to keep the extra weight off.
Most Americans consume more than enough protein and don’t need to consider whether it’s complete or incomplete, especially if they consume animal protein in some form. However, one should eat various plant foods, such as grains, beans, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. If you only eat grains and no beans or nuts, you may be deficient in certain amino acids, such as lysine. And if you only eat beans and nuts and no grains, you may be low in others, such as methionine.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan who doesn’t eat certain types of plant foods—or if you have low energy or difficulty building muscle—seeing a registered dietitian who can ensure you’re getting all the amino acids you need is advised.