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7 signs that you need to eat protein-rich foods

Are you having enough protein in your diet? Not if you have these signs of protein deficiency

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Updated : August 6, 2014 1:27 PM IST

Signs of Protein deficiencyProteins are the building blocks of the body. They play a crucial role in growth and development and are required for almost all reactions and processes taking place inside your body. Deficiency of protein is rarely seen in people who eat regular meals and follow a healthy balanced diet. In fact, it is a condition that is secondary to inadequate food intake. While severe protein deficiency causes a malnourished condition called Kwashiorkor, here are some early signs that may indicate your protein intake is insufficient.

Excessive tiredness: If you experience a lack of energy in whatever you do daily, you could be suffering from mild protein deficiency. This is especially true in case you feel weaker after performing any strenuous physical activity or a workout. A workout involves wear and tear of the muscles. If sufficient dietary protein is not supplied to the body post-workout, the repair process gets hampered and leads to muscle wasting.

Weight loss: With lack of dietary protein, your body starts breaking down stored protein to fulfill its requirement. As a result, muscular weight starts reducing. Moreover, lack of enzymes that are required for digestion of food affects nutrient absorption, causing weight loss.

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Poor wound healing: Proteins are involved in building new tissues and healing wounds. If your body lacks essential amino acids that make proteins, this process may get delayed. So, a poor wound healing ability may indicate lack of sufficient protein.

Thin hair, hair fall: Hair is made up of fibre bundles of protein called keratin that are stacked together. If your diet lacks protein, naturally your hair growth will become stunted. You might experience hair fall. Your hair may also lose its natural shine and become brittle over a period of time.

Brittle nails: Your nail growth and quality also reflects whether you're protein deficient. Soft, brittle nails, poor nail growth are signs that you're not having enough protein-rich foods.

Weak immunity: The immune system is one of the systems that relies heavily on proteins for proper functioning. A lack of protein in your diet can weaken your immune defenses against various pathogens, increasing your risk of suffering from infectious diseases.

Impaired digestion: Digestive enzymes are nothing but proteins. So, if your body can't synthesise those digestive enzymes, your digestion will get affected badly. You may also experience some loss of appetite, as what you eat is not getting digested in the first place.

Image source: Getty images

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