Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency

Are you proud of being a vegetarian??? While following a vegetarian diet has its own sets of advantages, there is also a downside of not getting enough protein. Did you know, according to Indian Dietetic Association, 84% of vegetarians in India are protein deficient. The vegetarian diet lifestyle cannot be blamed for lack of protein since 65% of non-vegetarians in India are protein deficient too. It's just poor food choices and lack of awareness that has caused the Indian people to be protein deficient.

Protein plays a vital role in the normal functioning of your body if your body doesn't get enough of it, your body will suffer. So how do you know if your body is getting enough protein??? Here are some signs and symptoms of protein deficiency that your body shows.

You will have Food Cravings

If you always feel hungry and crave for foods and snacks it may be because of low protein, high carb and high sugar diet. Protein is responsible for keeping correct sugar levels in the body. If you do not consume enough of it, your body will carve for all kinds of sugary foods

You will be anxious and extremely moody

The amino acids in the protein are the building blocks of neurotransmitters, Neurotransmitters helps to control your mood, learning and concentration. If your body lacks in protein it will not be able to synthesize hormones like serotonin and dopamine casing a massive drop in positivity

You will have poor sleep

Having trouble sleeping?? It could be a sign of low protein in your diet. Protein is responsible to keep blood sugar levels stable in the body, Low protein and high carbohydrate require more insulin for blood sugar regulation which inhibits your sleep. A high protein meal near pre-bedtime to get a sound sleep.

You will have digestive issues

If you are not getting protein, enzyme production and muscle contraction in your gastro-intestinal tract will suffer. This will cause you to have issues like stomach pain, gas, diarrhoea and sometimes constipation.

You will gain unwanted weight 

As mentioned earlier, sugar cravings are one of the common signs of low protein diets. If you crave on a consistent basis it will lead you to gain unhealthy weight. High protein diets make you feel full and satiated by reducing ghrelin which is hunger hormone which will prevent you from overeating

You will have swollen hands and legs

Low protein diet will lower plasma protein content in the blood which will lead to a condition called oedema. Protein plays a vital role in maintaining water balance in the body. A low protein diet will cause you to have swollen hand, eyes and legs due to the collection of the fluid under the skin

You will have pale skin

Protein is needed by your body for repair and maintenance of the cells. A protein deficiency can affect your skin, as protein enables cell regeneration, produces new cells and replaces dead ones. If your protein deficient, you will notice your skin feeling dry, flaky and cracked

You will lose muscles

Your muscles are the largest reservoir of protein in your body. If your body does not get adequate protein from your diet, it starts cannibalizing its own tissue to meet its requirement

Protein helps to maintain every part of the body from digestive enzymes to your immune system and your skin and hairs, but how much protein do we need??  There is no perfect answer to this, as every individual is different and has different requirements. According to the World Health Organisation, an average adult male should consume around 56 grams of protein and female should consume around 46 grams of protein daily.

If you are looking for a science and evidence-based coach who can design a customised diet and workout plan for your fitness goal, Drop an email to

Be Mindful and eat your protein

Post a Comment