When most people think of protein, they think of muscles. But did you know that we need protein for everything from cell repair to neurotransmitter production?
Including proteins in your diet can have a number of benefits, including
1. Sharper Memory
Use of dietary protein, especially animal sources, may have an effect on cognitive function and even Alzheimer’s disease. In a double-blind study, researchers at Tufts University in Boston found that increasing protein intake improved cognitive function and lowered the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. The results were especially pronounced in people with low levels of the brain chemical acetylcholine. Improved memory has also been linked to increased intake of animal sources of protein, such as beef and fish.
2. Strengthener Bones
The body breaks down muscle proteins to make amino acids and then uses these amino acids to repair bone tissue when there is a break. The result is that when you increase your protein intake, your bones benefit from the same anabolic effects of weight lifting. However, for maximum bone growth, you need to also include essential fatty acids and minerals like calcium and magnesium in your diet.
3. Cancer Protection
Protein consumption has been shown to help protect against cancer by adjusting cell metabolism and by altering tumor cell metabolism. The proteins found in whole grains and beans have been linked with a reduction in colon cancer for example.
4. Faster Muscle Recovery
Studies have shown that increased protein intake can improve your body’s ability to recover from both endurance as well as resistance exercise. This is due to increasing lean body mass and maintaining muscle mass over time.1
5. Slower Aging
Your body uses protein, especially dietary protein, to produce the key brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin that improve mood. Increasing your protein intake can help manage depression, PMS, and even chronic fatigue.
6. Stronger Immune System
Protein is the building block for all of your cells and increased intakes can lead to better overall health. This can help you fight off colds and other illnesses during cold & flu season.