Are You Getting Enough Protein?

by Lisa Breitenwischer

September 11, 2023

Are You Getting Enough Protein?

Many people are guilty of not eating enough protein, particularly vegans.
Protein is a macronutrient powerhouse, made up of amino acids. Your body needs 20 different kinds of amino acids to function correctly. Amino acids help grow and repair body tissue, break down food, make hormones and brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). They provide energy and maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, build muscle, boost your immune system and sustain a normal digestive system.

The body makes hundreds of amino acids, but it can’t make eight of the amino acids needed. These are called essential amino acids. You must get them from food. Missing just one amino acid can prevent the body from doing it’s function.

So how much protein do you need? Most US adults require around 50 grams of protein daily. However, this total depends of your age, sex, health status, and activity levels.

Common symptoms of too little protein include: sugar and sweet cravings, increased appetite and fatigue, muscle loss, weight gain, brittle hair and nails.  A low protein diet can also decrease hormone production and stimulate stress response, increasing body fat and fatty liver.

Clean Protein Sources:
Grass-fed meats (beef, lamb, bison)
Wild-caught fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines)
Pasture-raised chicken or turkey
Organic eggs
Grass-fed dairy
Organic Lentils and beans
Note: Animal protein contains all 8 amino acids needed.

I recommend reading labels to learn how much protein is in a serving of the protein source. Be sure to mix it up and include plant based proteins when possible. Eating legumes (beans and peas), nuts, pumpkin seeds, whole grains like quinoa or amaranth, and other plant-based protein sources like tempeh, hemp, and spirulina is a win for your health. You don’t need to eat protein at every meal-just as long as you get enough every day.

Finally, keep a food journal and take note on the amount of protein you eat and how you feel after eating it. It’s the best way for you to learn what makes your body feel it’s best.

Keep thriving,


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