If you want your body to function seamlessly, then you should ensure loading up on enough protein. Protein is responsible for giving energy, helping our body recover, and keeping our tummies satiated. Basically, this nutrient is composed of long-chain amino acids, which are said to be the building blocks of muscle. While protein may be an important nutrient for your body, there is a chance that you may be protein-deficient. Protein deficiency is when your intake is unable to meet your body's requirements. If you are deficient, your body may show some signs and symptoms that mustn't go unattended, considering it may cause various health problems and worsen it further. We list out those signs and symptoms that may be indicating that your body is protein-deficient.
Signs and symptoms of protein deficiency
1. Skin, hair and nail problems
Protein deficiency may leave its mark on the skin, hair and nails, all of which are largely made of protein. There are chances you may see redness on the skin, brittle nails, thin hair, faded hair colour, all of which are considered symptoms of protein deficiency.
2. Loss of muscle mass
Your muscles are made up of mostly protein and if your body is protein-deficient, you tend to start losing muscles. In fact, muscle loss is one of the first signs of inadequate protein intake.
(Also Read: 6 Signs You Are Eating Too Much Protein)
3. Increased risk of bone fractures
Your bones too are also at risk. Protein helps maintain the strength and density of bones. Not consuming enough protein content might weaken your bones and increase the risk of fractures.
4. Bigger appetite and increased calorie intake
Sufficient protein intake may keep you satiated for a longer period, thereby preventing cravings and hunger pangs. However, lesser protein intake does exactly the opposite; it leaves you hungrier, which results in increased calorie-intake.
5. Risk of infections
Protein deficiency takes a toll on your immunity system. Impaired immune system may disable your body to fight infections.
6. Fatty liver
Another common symptom of protein deficiency is fatty liver, or fat accumulation in liver cells.
7. May inhibit proper body growth in children
Protein not only helps in building bone mass and muscles, but it is essential for overall body growth as well. It is important for children to load up on enough healthy proteins to ensure proper body growth.
Protein can be found in various foods that may include seafood, soy, eggs, beans, milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, oats, chicken, cottage cheese, broccoli, tuna, quinoa, lentils, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, fish (all types), shrimp, peanuts and Brussel sprouts among others.
So go on and ensure loading up on enough protein for the day to avoid any deficiency that leads to health complications. Also, consult a doctor in case you see these symptoms to avoid problems in the longer run.