We all agree that if something good for us exceeds the amount called for, it becomes harmful. The same holds if it is too little than the healthy amount. Deficits of anything in life, be it nutrients, emotions, money, support, or anything else, causes pain and suffering. To talk about all of these deficiencies will demand a separate article each. Let us focus on nutrient deficiency for this one. To be more precise, we will be talking about protein deficiency. Deficiency of anything is when the intake is less than the requirement. Furthermore, when the requirements are not met, it is natural to be irritable. We frequently hear meat, eggs, and all types of animal-based products being recommended for dealing with protein deficiency. Does it annoy you to be unable to spot just enough plant-based sources of protein? If yes, allow us to help you get rid of it permanently.
It is risky, more than you might think!
Some people, frustrated when they cannot find enough suitable sources for protein, start believing that protein deficiency will not harm them as long as they do not fall into the hands of any deficiency disease, like kwashiorkor. You too, please do not make the mistake of thinking protein deficiency is harmless until it gets severe. For making it easier for you if you do believe the same, we list below very few of the ways protein deficiency can and does harm you.
Loss of muscle mass: When your body finds itself unable to fulfill its requirements from the outside, it turns to the inside, that is, the stores of your muscles for the same. It leads to a significant loss in your muscle mass, making you look notably fragile. Additionally, you may find yourself less able to do tasks that require strength than you could before.
Weak bones: Protein deficiency will result in weaker bones, which translates to higher chances of fractures. Older people, who suffered fractures, were found to be low on intake of protein.
Chronic fatigue: In today’s times whenever we face fatigue, we blame it on workload, busy lifestyle, and such. What we fail to notice is that chronic fatigue can also be caused by a deficiency of protein.
Liver diseases: Only alcohol does not harm your liver, protein deficiency does too. Less protein than needed causes fatty liver, which can ultimately lead to liver failure if it gets severe.
Infections: As a matter of fact, protein deficiency does not forget to take a toll on your immune system either. It leads to a higher risk of infections as well as increased severity of the same.
Hair, skin, and nails: If you see your hair fall increasing at a scary rate, it might be protein deficiency. Insufficient protein leaves your nails brittle and marks on your flawless skin. Hair, nails, and skin are largely made up of proteins and thus the harm.
Stunted growth in children: Of course, protein is considered to be the most important for the growing population. The lack of the same means stunted growth. Malnutrition is the biggest enemy of children during growth years. Their height may increase at a considerably lower rate and their bones might not develop fully.
What tells me I am lacking enough protein?
Now that you are aware of the harmful consequences of taking protein for granted, you might want to know the signs. To prevent damage, one should be able to spot the signs that precede the full-blown damage. For you to be able to tell if your body is facing a protein crisis, we mention the signs and symptoms of protein deficiency.
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Sleep issues
- High blood sugar levels
- Constant cravings (Increased appetite, higher calorie intake)
However, in cases of severe deficiency, one might develop kwashiorkor. It is generally named to be a children’s disease caused by malnutrition and an imbalanced diet. Lack of protein plays a major role in the development of this disease.
What to do? Plus, I follow a plant-based diet
We are glad to have brought you this vegetarian guide to show you the way out of protein deficiency. The popular idea that vegetarians and vegans can never get enough protein is nothing but a myth and the countless plant-based protein sources we are going to mention here bust the myth alright.
- Seeds like almond, flax, and chia
- Unprocessed grains
- Unsweetened soy milk (Soy milk is preferred over almond milk)
- Whole grains
- Brussel sprouts
- Hemp protein powder
- Wheat gluten
- Sweet Potato
- Dairy products like cheese, butter, milk, etc.
This is just a small list here but there is surely more to add to it. They are certain to keep your protein needs fulfilled but if you are facing a severe shortage of protein, you might want to consult primary healthcare professional. You might be recommended protein supplements based on your needs. Otherwise, do go ahead and add these items to your grocery list and make sure to bring them home to your convenience whenever you go grocery shopping next time. Keep your diet balanced and abundant with these ingredients and you will never have to look towards animal-based sources of protein and indeed, never again will you have to worry about protein deficiency either.
Take all the benefits protein has to provide!
Protein can certainly do wonders when given the opportunity. To your service, let us remind you that protein is important for stimulating enzymes, and also for hormones, builds muscle mass, bones, and skin, reduces the risk of diabetes, improves brain function, decreases the level of bad cholesterol in the body, facilitates quick recovery of injuries and for the icing on the cake, prevents depression and anxiety too. This list, just like the plant-based sources, is a small one and has much more to add. Hence, We are sure this attracts you enough to take care of your protein needs much better now. Since one billion people worldwide suffer from protein deficiency and it is not the end. So, keep yourself safe and vegan and healthy and strong!