One of the most simple and overlooked variables in maintaining health and wellness is adequate levels of protein. Due to many weight loss health fads, economic reasons or a culture geared to a fast food mentality, protein often gets a back seat to foods containing fats and cheap carbohydrates. Still, protein is one of the fundamental building blocks of metabolism and essentially the ISP of the body.
Protein is important for your health and wellness
Protein is the fuel the body needs for growth and repair. It’s deficiency often can be a reason behind recurrent infections and wounds which don’t heal properly. It plays a role in numerous important processes in the body such as proper kidney and liver function.
Even your calcium is held in the blood by plasma protein. So ladies if it’s osteoporosis you’re worry about, bone health is more than just about Vitamin D and calcium. Both take a back seat if sufficient protein is lacking. It is also important for the adrenals and blood sugar handling. Often a 12oz steak can be quickly digested and turned into blood glucose for the brain when a person is under stress.
Your brain tends to be a glucose hog and if it runs out of glucose during the day it quickly starts screaming at the liver to rev up gluconeogenesis. This is the process where the body converts stored foods into sugar and glucose.
Protein deficiencies are common
Protein deficiencies are often commonly seen with female athletics particularly runners. They quickly burn through their protein reserves and start breaking down their body’s fat stores. Since lipids is also the substrate the body builds hormones from these woman frequently lose their menstrual cycle temporarily while their in training.
Intense cardiovascular workouts for extended periods of time can also lead to imbalances in the hormones. So the solution is to dramatically increase the protein intake. I frequently tell my female patients who work out on a regular basis that they need to eat meat twice a day. This is particular true with women who are in the early stages of pregnancy. Here, protein becomes even more essential.
There are increased nutritional demands on the mother due to the fetus and once you get past the first trimester it’s almost impossible to catch up if you’re behind the curve. It’s important then to pre-load going into the pregnancy.
Proactive dieting can help
Good dieting and food consumption starts with proper planning and learning to live within your budget. Health and wellness may seem elusive at times but like anything else you need to have a game plan. It’s helpful to spend part of your weekend planning and cooking your meals for the coming week. Hard boiled eggs are easy to make and can quickly come in handy when your late for an appointment.
I once had a roommate in college who would peel hard boiled eggs in the car and throw the shells out the window. Granted, it wasn’t the best way to have breakfast but it kept him out of the fast food joints along the way to work. Sardines are also a good inexpensive bachelor snack if you can tolerate them. Keep a couple of cans in the car and they can serve as the backup plan if stuck somewhere with nothing civilized to eat.
Diet, digestion and detoxification are all important in maintaining health. Some prefer to take that path as vegetarians. No matter how you do it, it’s very important to get your sources of protein. Over the years I’ve seen too many vegetarians end up being pastatarians. This is due to a lack of understanding about the importance of protein and what healthy options are out there.
For further information on how holistic medicine can affect your health and wellness contact our office today or sign up for one of our complementary heath consultations.