Protein is rightly referred to as the 'building block of life'. It is one of the three essential macronutrients (the other two being fat and carbohydrates) that make up most of our body. You need protein to build muscles, manage weight, boost skin health, and prevent hair fall, among other benefits. But unlike carbs and fat, our body has no reserve to store protein; hence, experts suggest including it in your daily diet for your daily fix. According to nutritionist and macrobiotic health coach Shilpa Arora, "If you do not consume enough protein on a day-to-day basis, it can lead to several health problems including poor mental focus, muscle weakness, weight gain, lethargy, and fatigue. But overdoing it or not digesting it properly may also be harmful." In this article, we have found some food options that will help you digest the protein you are consuming.
How Much Protein Should You Consume Daily:
Nutritionist Deepti Jain explains, "The adult RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for protein is 0.8 to one gram per kg of weight, also depending on the kind of physical activities you have in your routine. A 65kg adult would need somewhere between 52-65 grams of protein per day." However, depending on your age, body weight, physical fitness, activity levels, and health conditions, the RDA might vary. Hence, it is always suggested to consult an expert to understand the dosage as per your body.
Also Read: Eating Protein Or Drinking Protein: What's Better?
What Happens When Your Body Consumes Extra Protein Or Fails To Digest It?
As with most things in life, if you eat too much protein, there may be a price to pay. Let's take you through some of the major health concerns associated with excess protein intake.
- Gut problems:
It is important to consume protein on a daily basis. But what we often ignore is the fact that the protein should be digested properly to enjoy the benefits. Failing to do so might lead to various gut troubles including indigestion, constipation, bloating, and more.
- Weight gain:
You need protein to lose weight, but overdoing it may have the exact opposite reaction. Excess protein consumed is usually stored as fat, which, as per a study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, can lead to weight gain over time.
Your body flushes out excess nitrogen through sweat and urine, which can often leave you dehydrated. A study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that athletes who increased protein in their diet had lower hydration levels.
- Kidney problems:
A report by the Harvard Medical School states that people who eat very high-protein diets have a higher risk of kidney stones. It is because excess protein leads to a higher amount of saturated fat that obstructs the process of natural detoxification.
How To Digest Protein Better?
According to nutritionist Simrun Chopra, if you are on a high-protein diet, it is important to include proteolytic enzymes in your diet. These enzymes help you:
- Break down proteins
- Digest better
- Promote immunity
- Aid cell division
- Manage blood clotting in the body
- Reduce inflammation.
Simrun Chopra further explains, "Under proteolytic enzymes, there are three compounds namely pepsin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin. The best part is, you can find them easily in your daily foods."
Also Read: Warning: Dont Workout Without This 2-Ingredient Protein Drink
What Are The Major Food Ingredients Containing Proteolytic Enzymes:
While explaining proteolytic enzymes through a post on social media, Simrun Chopra mentioned two of the most powerful sources of the nutrient, which are affordable and easily accessible.
Ingredient 1: Papaya - It has papain that helps with multiple issues like wound healing, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related issues like bloating, constipation, and painful bowel movements.
Ingredient 2: Pineapple - It has bromelain that helps reduce joint pains, swelling, and joint stiffness and helps people with sinus issues.
"Other food items that contain proteolytic enzymes are kiwi, fermented vegetables, ginger, asparagus, and yogurt," she adds.
Now that you know how to make the most of the protein you are consuming daily, we suggest implementing these tips into your daily diet and enjoying good health. And always remember, moderation is the key!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.