Protein is one of the essential nutrients that play a key role in your body functioning.
That’s why if your diet lacks protein, you’ll soon start suffering from severe disorders.
Unfortunately, more than 1 billion people around the world, most of whom come from South Asia and Central Africa, are protein deficient.
It’s not easy to identify protein deficiency in its early stages. However, below we’ve put together some important symptoms which can indicate if you’re becoming protein deficient.
1. Lack of sleep
If you’re suffering from lack of sleep or sleep deprivation, you are likely to be protein deficient. Protein is one of the constituents of tryptophan – an amino acid which causes drowsiness. That’s why eating protein-rich food at night helps us get a sound sleep.
2. Brain fogging
Protein is essential for your brain to function properly. If you have a poor memory, you lack motivation, or you find it hard to learn something new, you might be protein deficient.
According to a recent study, protein is extremely important for neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine which help your body to focus.
3. Food cravings
If you have cravings for snacks and food, it might be due to a diet which is rich in carbohydrate but poor in protein. So, if you continue eating high-calorie, low-protein food, you’ll soon start suffering from protein deficiency.
4. Joint pain and muscle weakness
Your muscles are, in fact, protein reservoirs. Protein is needed both for the growth and maintenance of muscles. So, if you feel muscle weakness or pain in your joints, it indicates that you’re becoming protein deficient.
5. Fatty liver
It is a common symptom of protein deficiency and is frequently observed in obese people as well as those who consume a lot of alcohol.
If ignored for a long time, it can lead to severe diseases like liver scarring, liver inflammation, and even liver failure.
6. Weak bones
Protein deficiency also affects bones just like it affects your muscles. Protein is essential for calcium absorption and bone metabolism. That’s why lack of protein weakens your bones and makes them more prone to fractures.
7. Nail and skin problems
Protein is needed for skin cell generation and for replacing your dead cells. If your skin appears dry, cracked, and flaky, it shows you are deficient of protein.
Also, weak and brittle nails, containing brownish spots and white bands also indicate protein deficiency.
8. Hair loss
Almost 90% of your hair is made up of a protein called keratin. So, if you have thin hair that is fade in color or your hair falls a lot, it means you are not taking enough proteins in your diet.
Also, make sure to consume protein in a balanced amount because eating too much protein is also harmful to your health.
The USDA recommends 19 g to 34 g of protein per day for kids, 46 g per day for women, and 56 g per day for men.
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