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Women and protein - are you consuming enough?

First off – why do we even need protein? We need to eat protein to maintain the structure of our cells, hair, bones and connective tissue, for muscle strength and mass, and for energy. Women generally have a tendency to be protein deficient – which isn’t a good thing. Here you will find what protein does for us, signs you are not getting enough, where to consume protein, and let’s break down those myths that hold back women from consuming enough protein!

What does protein do for us:

Protein helps INCREASE MUSCLE MASS AND INCREASE STRENGTH: Protein is an essential component of muscle building and maintaining the muscle we already have. It is important to consume in your diet ESPECIALLY if your goals are to build muscle mass and staying strong!

Protein helps with WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Protein keeps you fuller and satisfied for a longer period of time (especially over carbs) because proteins take longer to digest!

Protein helps support BONE, HAIR and NAIL strength: Protein provides the basic material needed to build and maintain connective tissue that is in your bone, hair and nails. As we age (especially women) bone, hair and nail strength decrease – so it is important to eat enough protein and stay ahead of the game!

Protein helps KEEP THE IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONG: Antibodies which are key components in your immune system come from protein.

Signs you are not eating enough protein:



-brittle / damaged hair – flaky/dry skin

-getting sick often

-swollen hands and feet (edema)

How to consume protein:

-eat a variety of protein from different types of foods

-lean meats like: chicken, steak, turkey

-tuna, salmon, shrimp

-greek yogurt, cottage cheese

-soy nuts

-legumes (beans, lentils, peas)

-You can consume protein through supplements but know they are not complete sources of protein. You should always try to get them through food first (that’s why they are called supplements, you are supplementing the body!) examples of supplements include powders and bars.

Busting those MYTHs many women have with protein

Protein will bulk me up: Protein is necessary to build muscle – but it is hard for women to BULK up.

Protein will make me fat: True, but only if you have a higher caloric intake and not moving accordingly. **Remember protein helps keep you feeling full and satisfied longer which will help you to not overeat.

Protein is only useful if I have a goal of building muscle: Protein is essential for the human body – it goes far beyond just a need to muscle (remember it builds connective tissue, hair, bone, nails…)

Protein supplements are just as good as protein rich foods: Protein coming from it’s natural state is always preferred because it is a complete protein. If you cannot reach your recommended amount through food sources – then you should use supplements. Be wary – some protein supplements do more harm then good (always read the ingredient list!

Meg DeSalvo Fit

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