4 things Women need to know about protein
Attention all women, I have news for you: Consuming protein will help balance your hormones, strengthen your muscles, skin, hair and nails. Whether you consume a diet rich in protein or take supplements, our bodies need it. I recently caught up with Blair Norfolk, wellness advocate and founder of Activated Nutrients to find out what we need to know about protein. Here’s what he had to say.
1. Our bodies need protein
Protein is one of the key building blocks of life. There is a common misconception that high protein diets and protein supplementation are only suitable for men and/or people who train heavily – that’s just not true. Protein plays an important role in nearly all the major processes of the body. They provide structure to the cells that make up muscles as well as skin, cartilage, hair and nails. Proteins also regulate some of the biochemical reactions in the body, so they play a role in hormonal balance. Hormones in the female body fluctuate on a cyclical basis but those fluctuations can be more dramatic and disruptive if there’s a hormonal imbalance in play.
2. Women can take protein powders
There are many protein powders that are now specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of women. We like to think of these as lifestyle protein powders because they’re meant to be taken daily and provide ongoing nutritional nourishment rather than just helping muscles repair after a workout. For women who would like to get a bit more specific about supplementation, these are a few of the situations when a woman may want to consider taking a protein supplement: during life stages marked by hormonal changes, when recovering from illness or injury, before and after any exercise, when looking to start the day with a gentle and efficient energy source, when trying to curb appetite and when striving to lose weight or manage weight.
3. Plant based protein powders are best
There are a few main areas to look at when selecting a protein powder. First, Blair recommends a plant-based protein powder. Research in nutritional science has made it possible for us to formulate plant-based protein powders that have a complete amino acid profile, meaning it provides all of the amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. Plant protein is very gentle and easy for your body to absorb, meaning you’ll get the most out of it. You can also look for additional ingredients like digestive enzymes and probiotics that will optimise the protein powder’s absorbability even more. Depending on your priorities, you may also want to seek out a Certified Organic product so you can be sure the ingredients are sourced responsibly, sustainably and are of the highest quality. Lastly, we think taste is important, too – there’s no reason why your protein powder can’t taste good. We developed our Certified Organic Daily Protein to tick all those boxes.
4. Try and enrich our diets with natural protein
Blair says that we should always start with our diet. Forming good habits in the kitchen is hands-down the best place to start. By nature, supplementation is meant to support a diet – not replace a diet. Women of all ages will benefit from eating a wholefood diet rich in plant proteins from beans and legumes and, if you eat meat, animal protein that’s certified grass-fed organic. But it’s also key to keep in mind that many wholefoods don’t pack the nutritional punch they once did. Why? Degradation of the food chain, large scale farming techniques and genetic modification of wholefoods (GMO) are a few of the main reasons. We strongly recommend a healthy wholefood diet but with the above in mind, we also recommend introducing simple and sustainable supplementation to your diet. Stick to plant-based and, if possible, organic protein powder and just start the day with it! Nutritional research points to benefits that range from weight loss, a shift to lean body mass, satisfied appetite (nothing excessive but essentially feeling fuller for longer), improvements in immune system function and increased energy levels.
Foods high in protein
In today’s busy world, we don’t always have time to maintain a healthy, wholefood diet that meets all of our body’s nutritional needs each day. A well-balanced protein supplement can help bridge that nutritional gap, nourish your body from the inside and meet some of its most basic needs. It can be a quick snack on the go or, if you get a delicious one, it can even feel like a guilt-free treat. We believe that protein supplementation can be a catalyst for a positive lifestyle change that puts you on the path to a long, healthy life.
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