A diet is said to be incomplete if it doesn’t include enough protein. Protein being the building block of life, it is one of the most important macronutrients that play a significant role in all the body functions. Today, we shall discuss what’s a balanced diet, the role and benefits of protein, best protein powder to consume, etc.
First thing first, what is a balanced diet?
A diet that comprises all the essential nutrients to help your body function properly is called a balanced diet. To get the required nutrition, you should add food items like fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, etc. These foods will help get required healthy calories. The daily RDA given by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India highlights how much of each nutrient should be consumed every day.
What is Protein & Role of Protein in Diet
Proteins are peptides made of a long amino acid chain divided into two groups: the essential amino acids and the non-essential amino acids. Since essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body, it is vital for you to consume them via food. Non-essential amino acids, on the other hand, can be synthesized by the body and hence, need not be consumed via your diet. The quality of protein is dependent on the amount of essential amino acids present.
Proteins are vital components of all the body tissues and play an important role in various body functions like metabolism, energy production, immunity, etc. Following a high protein diet helps you to maintain your muscle mass and strength. It is also important for your hair, nail and skin health. For athletes and bodybuilders, protein is an extremely essential nutrient for enhancing muscle recovery process.
There are multiple vegetarian sources to consume protein like grains, pulses, paneer, etc. and non-vegetarian sources like meat, fish, eggs, etc. However, many individuals across the world are not able to intake adequate protein from their diet and here’s where the role of protein supplement comes into picture.
Benefits of Protein Supplements
1. Muscle Growth
Fitness enthusiasts and athletes consume protein shakes with an aim to bulk up after their training session. Many research conducted on effects of protein supplement on muscle growth have concluded that protein powders help considerably improve your muscle size and strength. All genders are equally benefited by protein supplementation.
2. Weight Management
Consuming protein supplements help you feel better. They curb your hunger pangs to make you feel full for longer. This helps to manage weight as you will be able to avoid unnecessary snacking and your portion size will become smaller. In addition, protein supplementation may also help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of cardiovascular diseases, etc.
3. Exercise Recovery
In addition to contributing to muscle growth, protein shakes can also aid to repair damaged tissues and muscles. This makes protein powders a go-to post workout drink for athletes and gym trainers. Apart from aiding recovery, it also aids to improve exercise performance and muscle protein synthesis.
4. Added Nutrition
The daily RDA for an average adult Indian is 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kg of their body weight. In a study conducted in 2019, more than half of the population was found to be protein deficient. Protein supplements offer an easy solution to bridge the deficiency gap. Required protein intake may be even higher for athletes, powerlifters, people with chronic diseases and older adults.
5. Boosts Metabolism
When you eat something, your metabolism boosts. This is because your body uses calories to digest the nutrients present in foods. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Since protein has higher TEF than fats and carbs, it highly boosts the metabolism and increases the calories burnt each day. It can range from 80-100 calories burned daily.
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