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Top 6 health benefits of proteins

Top 6 health benefits of proteins
Proteins: Its protein content helps in maintaining muscle strength.

Did you know your body has more than 1 million different types of proteins? Click for more such interesting facts

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Published : December 31, 2014 6:45 PM IST

Ask anyone 'what is the function of proteins in the body?' and the answer you'll most likely get - they are needed to build muscles. But what you should know is that while proteins are macronutrients that are essential for building muscle strength, their role in the body is not limited only that function. Proteins are virtually present in each of the trillion cells in your body and each type of the 1,00000 different proteins has a different function to perform. Here are top benefits you can derive from eating a protein rich diet.

Builds strong immune system: All antibodies (immunoglobulins) produced by the body in response to foreign antigens entering your body are nothing but proteins folded in different patterns. Without them your body's defence mechanism cannot function at all. They keep you away from infections, illnesses and are responsible for helping the body recover from diseases.

Helps maintain healthy weight: Although required for building muscle mass, a diet rich in protein ensures healthy weight gain. According to a study carried out by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, those who consumed high protein diet could manage their weight better compared to those with poor protein diet. That's because, protein-rich foods increases satiety and keeps you full for a longer time. It also helps build lean mass, which is extremely important for healthy weight loss. Here are some healthy protein sources to beat hunger pangs.

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Needed for wound healing: All anticoagulants that are rushed to the site of injuries and cuts you suffer are nothing but protein molecules. These type of proteins mainly help with tissue repair and re-growth. If your body lacks essential amino acids that make up these proteins, healing of wounds and injuries will take much longer, increasing the chances of infection.

Required for energy: Proteins like other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) are required for supplying the body with energy. As per WHO statistics, proteins contribute to about 10-15 per cent of your daily calorie intake. Proteins present in the food you eat are broken down to amino acids that are ultimately used to build different types of proteins as they are required by the cells. But about 10 per cent of this protein is used to derive energy for various functions of the body.

Helps maintain healthy hair and skin: Hair is made up of bundles of helical strands of protein called keratin. If your protein intake is not sufficient you'll suffer from all sorts of hair problems like hair loss, brittle hair, stunted hair growth and even split ends. Like your hair your skin tissue is also largely made up of fibrous protein called collagen. Collagen is required to hold the skin tissue together and provide strength.

Keeps the heart healthy: While the exact role of a protein-rich diet in maintaining heart health is not well understood, a study conducted by John Hopkin Medicine suggested that protein-rich diet has benefit the heart enormously. The study found that participants who shifted from a high carbohydrate diet to a protein rich diet had a 21 per cent reduced risk of heart disease. Their lipid profile was improved and had also lowered blood pressure. Here are 7 signs you need to eat a protein-rich diet

Here are some rich sources of proteins you can include in your diet

Image source: Getty images

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