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Nutrition Essentials: Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient. Protein is made up of amino acids, the building blocks of every cell in your body. Protein helps to build muscle, hormones and neurotransmitters. It is the most satiating of all the macronutrients. Studies show that protein satisfies hunger cues and reduces cravings more efficiently and for longer periods compared to carbohydrates and fats.

For many, weight loss is the focus of health goals. Increasing protein as the foundation of your daily nutrition helps to reduce the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and increase several satiety hormones. With weight loss in mind, this promotes a healthy dynamic for success while in a calorie deficit.

Following weight loss, building muscles towards that “toned” or “athletic” look is another common goal. In order to build or synthesize muscles, protein is essential along with resistance training. It is impossible to build or repair muscle tissue without protein.

Beyond weight loss and muscle gain, protein has a number of immune boosting roles including activation of natural killer cells (microbial infections and tumors), reduction of oxidative stress (chronic disease and inflammation) and release of cytokines to activate the immune response between cells.

The benefits of a high protein diet are extensive and well worth prioritization regardless of your nutrition goals. Start building a foundation for simple, sustainable wellness by incorporating lean sources of complete protein into every meal including eggs, dairy, meat, fish, and soy.

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