Health Benefits of Protein
There are many health benefits of protein, consuming it has a wide scope of advantages ranging from critically important to somewhat beneficial. The important thing to note however is that the body cannot store protein like it can store fat (other than as muscle that no one wants to lose); so getting an adequate amount of protein spread throughout the day is very important for the list of benefits below:
Protein plays a huge role in repairing the body, because every cell and tissue consists of proteins strung together; when tissue is damaged protein is needed to repair it. According to the Cleveland Clinic, most people should consume two to three servings of foods containing high protein per day to help heal damaged tissue. So whether you have a minor scrap or a large cut, upping protein intake will help the body heal!
Some foods will speed up the metabolism more than other foods will because they have a higher thermic effect. The thermic effect is better described as the extra energy needed to digest, absorb and dispose of certain types of food. The thermic effect of foods containing fat is about 3%; whereas the thermic effect of fibrous vegetables is about 20% and the thermic effect of foods high in protein is around 30%.
This means that the body will end up expending more energy in digesting a high protein diet than a diet composed of fats and carbohydrates, even though the caloric intake is the same!
Another reason protein leads to fat loss is because clinical studies have shown that diets high in protein decrease hunger and increase the feeling of being full compared to high fat or high carbohydrate diets. The study showed that people on high protein diets ate 10% less calories a day.
Having a good immune system comes down to getting the right amount of essential nutrients, which includes protein. The immune system is made up of proteins and it relies heavily on new protein synthesis to function. This is why it is important to get adequate protein in a diet.
Antibodies which are specialized cells that recognize and destroy bad organisms in the body such as bacteria, and viruses also rely on protein. Consuming protein helps preserve and create these necessary antibodies.
Extended Life & More Energy
Studies have shown that regular protein intake leads to mitochondria working at a higher level. Mitochondria are responsible in creating energy in the body (more commonly recognized as ATP). When the body uses energy from mitochondria it does not have to rely as heavily on energy producing cells which leads to these cells being able to last longer (extended life).
When mitochondria works at a higher level, it becomes more efficient at combining oxygen and fuel (blood sugar or fatty acids) to make energy; when the body becomes more efficient at burning blood sugar this will lead to improved insulin response which can also lead to longevity and better health.