Do you experience frequent episodes of craving protein?
Proteins are macronutrients that are very important for the human body. Proteins are one of the major classes of food, the other ones being carbohydrates and fats.
They are made of building blocks called amino acids. 20 major amino acids make up a protein.
These amino acids are attached like in a chain. They can be arranged in different sequences, and it is this sequence gives the protein its specific function.
Most of these amino acids can be produced naturally by the body, but there are 9 which our bodies cannot produce.
They are called essential amino acids, and they can only be got from the foods we consume.
Proteins are essential in our body. They help the body to grow well and also key in the maintenance and repair of tissues.
They help in facilitating biochemical reactions that are vital for metabolism.
Proteins functions in some hormones as chemical messengers between cells, tissues and organs.
Some proteins provide the structure of tissues and cells and help form the framework of some structures in the body.
They also control the level of acids and bases in the blood and other fluids.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU CRAVE PROTEIN?
Before we look at what it means by craving protein, let us first understand what craving is. A craving is a deep desire to eat a particular food or snack; usually, one that gives you pleasure.
A craving is different from hunger because hunger is a strong desire to eat just about anything. Hunger comes when you get a bit too mean to your stomach such that you deprive it of food.
So craving protein literally means having a strong desire to eat food or snack that has protein. This brings us to another point: What are the sources of protein?
Proteins are found in a variety of foods and even supplements. Animals and plants are excellent sources of protein. However, most plants produce a protein that does not contain all the essential amino acids.
So it is recommended that when you go for a diet, choose an assortment of proteins with all essential amino acids, e.g. Rice and beans.
White meat like chicken, turkey breasts and fish are good sources of protein. Some sources are eggs, yoghurt, milk, cheese, lean meat etc.
There are also various plants rich in proteins like grains, lentils, nuts, beans, legumes, etc.
It is a rule of thumb that when you get half of your proteins from an animal source, you get the rest from a plant source, not necessarily considering its protein completion.
Protein from plant sources has less saturated fat compared to that from an animal source. Medical practitioners have given us enough reasons why we should take food that is low on cholesterol.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE CRAVING PROTEIN?
If you want to know that you are craving protein, you have to be conscious of your environment and the emotional changes.
First, take note of all the foods that contain protein that you are fond of eating.
Here are some of the ways you know if you’re craving protein.
-The desires to eat protein can be brought by negative emotional feelings. These can also be thoughts of previous disappointments, stress or anger.
-You can know you are craving if the feeling causes you to take more than your usual protein ratio.
-The craving increases if you decide to avoid particular foods. It makes you think of the food every time.
-You constantly want to eat and sweet things. Protein controls the sugar level in the blood, and so when you deprive the body of it, signals can be sent through cravings.
-When you always feel tired, it could mean your body needs protein to provide energy.
-Some conditions or situations can make you crave protein, like when a woman is on her menstrual period.
WHAT AMOUNT OF PROTEIN IS ENOUGH?
Unlike carbohydrates and fats, proteins are quickly used up in the body. This means that protein should be taken from time to time.
The amount of protein the body requires has remained a subject of debate, allude to several factors.
The amount of energy needed by your body can be dictated by your age, gender, health condition, occupation, energy levels etc. This can make it hard to define the specific protein quantity that a person ought to take in a day.
The amount of protein that you need in your body will depend on factors attached to your lifestyle. Calculate how much protein you need in a day using this Interactive Dietary Reference Calculator from the USDA
10 SURPRISING REASONS YOU’RE CRAVING PROTEIN
Here are some of the reasons why you could be craving protein.
When you know that age is catching up with you and you’ve had these cravings for protein, then there you go.
The older you get, the more energy you need. Older adults do not process protein efficiently as young people do. So they need more protein to achieve a nitrogen balance.
If you recently started working out and noticed a desire for sweet things, it could be an indication that your body needs more protein.
Workouts can change the speed at which protein is broken down in the body. Protein cravings can be a signal for protein deficiency.
There are some cravings that an imbalanced diet can cause. Protein deficiency may lead to swelling of your feet, mood changes and may also cause problems with your hair, nails and skin.
Many people get confused, trying to understand their craving for proteins. Sometimes real nutrient deficiency can pose as a craving.
PLANT PROTEIN DEPENDENCE
Could you only be eating plant protein? If you are a vegetarian or you find yourself in a place or a situation where you eat plant protein only, then don’t be surprised. If you have been on a diet that only has plants as its main protein source, your cravings could be right. Your body needs more protein or an alternative source of proteins, e.g. Supplements, animal protein.
You could be recovering from surgery, burn or an injury. Doctors will normally recommend a diet rich in proteins to patients who are coming from injuries and surgeries.
It makes them heal faster. As they are healing, their body will require more protein.
You could be stressed out. Negative emotions can cause cravings for protein.
When your energy levels start decreasing, it can mean that your iron is also low. Iron is a major nutrient found in meat. So no need to crack your head so much. That could be the reason for your craving.
Pregnancy may lead to protein cravings.
When you are always hungry, it could mean you are eating less protein.
Unlike hunger, cravings can always make you eat more than enough, resulting in a drastic weight gain. Here’s how you can deal with these cravings.
-Feelings of stress may fuel emotional eating, so be conscious of your feelings.
-You can chew gum to distract yourself from craving desires.
-Avoid hunger.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]