A lack of protein hurts our health. With these physical signs, you should check if you are suffering from a deficiency!

Protein deficiency occurs more often than one might think. Protein, also known as protein, is essential for our health and fulfills various crucial functions in the body. For example, it acts as a source of energy and vital amino acids that we can only absorb through protein. Also, controlled supply of protein helps the body to renew cells and tissues.

How high is my protein requirement?

According to the German Nutrition Society, both men and women should eat between 0.8 and 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, so as not to slip into a shortage. This means that a woman weighing 60 kg could consume up to 120 grams of protein per day.

What signs reveal that I have a protein deficiency?

Since protein is mainly present in dairy products and meat, especially vegetarians and vegans should make sure that their protein intake is sufficient. But there are also some physical symptoms of protein deficiency.

  1. You are always hungry: As early as 2013, an Australian study showed that constant hunger is a common symptom of protein deficiency. "We have found that regardless of BMI, an increased appetite occurs until the body has absorbed enough protein," said former study director Dr. Alison Gosby.
  2. You have hair loss: Hair is made of the protein keratin, which is not classified by the body as vital. If the body gets too few proteins, it stops the production of keratin - which can lead to temporary hair loss. However, protein deficiency tends to be one of the less common causes of hair loss.
  3. You lose muscle mass: The muscles are primarily made of proteins. To regenerate and grow, muscles need the amino acids from the proteins. When you have a lack of protein, the body first gets the reserves out of the muscles - which causes them to lose mass — the result: muscle weakness and shrinkage.
  4. Your arms and legs swell up: so-called edema refers to excess fluid that accumulates and swells in body tissue. Often affected are arms and legs. To prevent edema, the body needs proteins because this ensures that salt and water remain in the blood vessels, instead of entering the tissue.
  5. You get sick all the time: another infection? Several studies show that the immune system has to perform at its best if it does not get enough protein. Because a protein deficiency can reduce the number of so-called T-cells, which are responsible for the fight against viruses and bacteria. Not only does this cause us to get more infections, but they are often more severe than usual.

In which foods is protein?
Of course, proteins are most prevalent in meat (for example, chicken), eggs, and dairy products such as cheese. Vegans get the bulk of their required protein from legumes and lentils. Make sure you have one of these protein supplements on your plate at every meal - then you do not have to worry about protein deficiency.

Author's Bio: 

I am a nutritionist and working as a dietitian for the last 15 years.