Recent research has shown that protein raises your sense of feeling full, according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is just one reason supporting the idea that protein is a powerful food group.
We have spoken to our leading Nutritionists to find out the top three reasons why we should up our protein!
1. Shed those extra pounds
The one goal that many of us strive towards is that leaner, healthier more athletic physique, and protein is often the favoured ingredient in many dietary regimes centred on this personal objective.
“The reason it has such success and is continuously recommended by nutritionists, health trainers and other health care professionals is due to its effects on appetite control. High protein diets have been shown to reduce the amount of excess calories we eat from snacking and from sugary foods, since it also helps balance our blood sugar,” explains Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at NutriCentre, the natural health retailer.
“Protein slows down the rate your stomach processes food and slows the passage of the carbohydrates with it. As soon as you add a protein (be it animal or vegetable) to a carbohydrate, you change it into a slower releasing carbohydrate, which is a very good thing,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of The Natural Health Bible for Women.
2. Flash those pearly whites
To help get your smile reaching from ear to ear, make sure you’re eating enough protein.
“Proteins are broken down in the body to make amino acids and these are then used to make neurotransmitters, which are responsible for keeping our mind and mood balanced. Try adding the likes of nuts, seeds, meat, fish, bean and lentils, whey protein and eggs to your diet,” explains Shona.
3. Exercise essential
Following any type of exercise that stresses our muscles, we should try and include protein as a recovery agent.
“You should try and eat protein after any exercise, from your weekly spin class, to your regimented resistant training programme. This is crucial so that we can repair our bodies in the fastest way and we can develop our muscles to become stronger, more efficient and more responsive during our training sessions.
“The need for protein following exercise is far more important than before exercise. Before we exercise the requirement for protein is not there since we are not stressing our bodies and it does not need to be consciously consumed in the belief it will help you become stronger during your session, or help you recover. Following exercise this is where we need to ingest protein since this is where we have damaged our muscle fibres through our hard training efforts and the cells in the muscle itself are far more responsive to taking on board protein to start the repair and adaptation process,” explains Shona.