Discover 8 Ways Protein Benefits Your Body and Your Health

Protein is necessary for building and maintaining muscle growth, improving weight management, enhancing immune function, reducing your risk of chronic disease, and so much more.

Protein is literally the building block of our bodies!

But the question remains: How much do you need to eat each day, and how does it impact your health?

Here, we’ll explore the answers to those questions and provide quick tips on adding more to your diet.

Healthy food high in protein. Meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and beans.

What is protein?

Proteins serve as the major structural component of muscles, tendons, organs, and skin, in addition to many essential bodily functions.[1] They are made up of chains of amino acids that are linked together to create different types of proteins with unique functions.

Our bodies produce some amino acids, but you must obtain other essential amino acids via your diet.[2]


Protein foods, fruits, juice and vegetables on a rustic wooden background.

How much protein do I need to eat every day?

The amount you need to eat every day depends on various factors such as age, sex, weight, activity level, and health goals. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for proteins is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for adults.[3] This translates into 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound sedentary adult female or 65 grams for a 180-pound sedentary adult male.

But there is a catch. The RDA for proteins hasn’t changed in over 70 years! Plus, the RDA only sets the minimum recommended amount of protein you need to eat.[4]

So, if you are more physically active or trying to build muscle mass or lose weight, you may need more proteins. For example, athletes or people engaging in heavy strength training may need as much as 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. And pregnant and lactating women require more proteins to support the growth and development of the fetus or baby.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to the question of how much proteins you should eat each day. However, recent research does suggest that aiming for between 1.3 and 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight may be better for your overall health.[5] That is 10 – 35 percent of your daily calories from protein.

It’s also important to remember that consuming too much proteins may not provide any additional health benefits and may even have adverse health effects.

I recommend talking with your healthcare provider to determine the right amount of proteins to eat daily.


Woman exercising at home

8 Ways Protein Benefits Your Body and Your Health

Proteins play various roles in the body and are important for your health for several reasons. Proteins help build and repair muscles, skin, and other tissues and produce enzymes and hormones necessary for metabolism and other physiological processes.[6] Proteins also helps regulate your body’s fluid balance, transport nutrients, and maintain the proper pH balance.

I’d go as far as to say that protein is critical to your health. Your health relies on a sufficient proteins intake daily to maintain and improve your overall health and well-being.

Here are eight ways protein benefits your body and health:

1. Promotes Lean Muscle Growth and Boosts Metabolism

Protein promotes muscle growth and maintenance and boosts metabolism.[7] When your body breaks down amino acids, they become muscle. Which, on average, burns more calories than fat because proteins require more energy to digest and metabolize than carbohydrates or fat.

2. Helps Balance Your Hormones

Consuming adequate amounts of protein is crucial for hormone balance in the body. Protein is necessary for producing hormones, regulating insulin levels, supporting thyroid function, balancing estrogen levels, and promoting the production of growth hormones.[8] [9]

3. Supports Immune Function

Proteins are essential for building and repairing cells in the immune system, helping to keep it strong and functioning properly.[10]

4. Builds and Repairs Tissue

Protein is the building block of tissues, including muscles, bones, skin, and hair.[11] Consuming enough protein is essential for building and repairing these tissues.

5. Regulates Blood Sugar

Proteins can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down glucose absorption into the bloodstream.[12] This can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

6. Helps With Weight Management

Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fat, meaning it helps you feel fuller for longer.[13] This can help with weight management by reducing overall calorie intake.

7. Enhances Brain Function

Protein is involved in producing neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which play important roles in mood, cognition, and behavior.[14]

8. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases

Consuming adequate amounts of proteins has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.[15]


Healthy food high in protein. Meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and beans

Factors That Impact Your Protein Needs

Individual protein needs vary widely and depend on several factors, including

  • Older adults may require more proteins to maintain muscle mass and function because our bodies become less efficient at utilizing protein as we age. A diet low in protein can also lead to Sarcopenia, a condition characterized by loss of muscle mass and function that typically occurs with age.
  • Men generally require more proteins than women due to differences in body composition and muscle mass.
  • Weight and body composition. People with higher muscle mass may require more proteins than those with less muscle mass.
  • Activity level. Athletes and people who engage in regular physical activity require more proteins to support muscle repair and growth.
  • Health status. People with medical conditions like kidney disease may need to limit their proteins intake to prevent further kidney damage. Studies indicate that for people with kidney disease who are not on dialysis, a diet limiting the amount of proteins, including plant-based proteins, can help slow the loss of kidney function.[16]
  • Vegetarian or vegan diets. People who follow vegetarian or vegan diets must be more mindful of their protein intake, as plant-based protein sources may be less complete or bioavailable than animal-based sources. This is especially important for those dealing with MCAS, mycotoxin illness, Lyme disease, or other chronic conditions. A vegan or primarily plant-based diet doesn’t typically provide the proteins required to heal these conditions.


natural rich in protein food on table

Sources of Protein

Various protein sources can be included in a healthy and balanced diet. By including various protein sources, you can ensure you get all the essential amino acids your body needs to function properly.

Some sources of protein include the following

  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Eggs and dairy products
  • Legumes including beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy products including soybeans, tofu, tempeh, and edamame
  • Grains and cereals including quinoa, oats, and whole wheat bread

It is commonly recommended to increase sources of clean animal proteins because they are highly bioavailable, nutrient-dense, and contain higher levels of essential amino acids than plant proteins. However, an increased animal protein intake can require a decreased carb intake to avoid consuming too many calories. Plus, many carb sources can be inflammatory for those with chronic illnesses.



Quick Tips for Adding More Protein to Your Diet

With all your new knowledge about how important protein is, here are some quick tips for adding more protein to your diet:

  • Include protein-rich foods in each meal.
  • Snack on high-protein foods
  • Use protein powders in smoothies or shakes
  • Add proteins to your breakfast
  • Swap out carbs for protein

Remember that, like all things, you find a balance that works for you. And talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to add more proteins to your diet.


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We want to provide you with as much helpful information as possible so that you can make well-informed decisions about your health and well-being.

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  1. “Protein – Which is Best? – PMC – NCBI.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  2. “Human Protein and Amino Acid Requirements – PubMed.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  3. “Nutrient Recommendations and Databases.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  4. “Optimizing Proteins Intake in Adults: Interpretation and Application of ….” 15 Mar. 2017, Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  5. “Dietary Proteins and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application ….” 22 May. 2019, Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  6. “Dietary proteins and skeletal health: a review of recent human research.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  7. “The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite ….” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  8. “The Microbiome–Estrogen Connection and Breast Cancer Risk – PMC.” 15 Dec. 2019, Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  9. “Role of Peptide Hormones in the Adaptation to Altered Dietary ….” 23 Aug. 2019, Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  10. “Effect of dietary proteins and amino acids on immune function – PubMed.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  11. “Protein hydrolysates and tissue repair – PubMed.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  12. “An increase in dietary protein improves the blood glucose response ….” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  13. “The role of proteins in weight loss and maintenance – PubMed.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  14. “Amino Acid and Protein Requirements: Cognitive Performance ….” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  15. “Protein, Carbohydrates, And Chronic Diseases – Eat for Life – NCBI.” Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.
  16. “CKD Diet: How much protein is the right amount?.” Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.