Eating right is something we have to cultivate mindfully. Eating right not just aims at the portions, but also the kind of foods we have filled our meal plate with. The vitamins and minerals help keep us lively and kicking, whereas the protein and carbohydrates are required for the maintenance of our body cells on a day to day basis.If you are a woman who is into physical exercises in the form of Yoga, Dance Forms, Running, Walking, Zumba, Aerobics, Crossfit, Strength training or anything else where your body goes through physical activity, then it’s all the more reason why you must focus on what goes into your body.
As women we also tend to multitask everyday that demand more mental attention and physical work. This causes faster utilization of proteins in the body and leads to a deficit.
It is a common notion that men would require more proteins than women. But the amount of proteins needed varies with the proportion of physical activity as well.
Do you know?
- 73% of urban rich India is protein deficient
- Approximately 62% of pregnant women/lactating mothers face protein deficiency
- Only 52% of mothers of 8-15year olds associate protein with health
- Working women and housewives found to be 70-80% protein deficient
- 75% Men with families most protein deficient
Source: IMRB’s ‘Understanding Protein Myths & Gaps among Indians’ study
Here's Why Proteins Are Important for Women:
1. Balances Hormone Production
Proteins not only are required for building and repairing cells and tissues, but also as a fuel in internal production of enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. The process of hormone production helps in maintaining a stable menstrual cycle.Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, play a vital role in helping women with a balance of oxytocin and anthocyanins which keeps mood swings at bay.
2. Helps Fight Ageing
As we grow older, women tend to lose muscle mass due to which the structure becomes very weak and lean. With the right set of exercises and by eating enough protein according to your body requirement, can help women maintain and build muscles to keep you going strong well into the golden years.
3. Good For Bone Health
As women age, we fall into a high risk for bone degeneration with weaker muscles. One of the main causes is the lack of awareness for building strength and eating the right amount of proteins and calcium rich foods. There is enough research which states that the protein malnutrition can increase the risk of osteoporosis and or fragility fracture later in life.
Hence it is important that women fit in strength training along with cardiovascular exercises to help our body become strong and stay.
In addition, it is important to pay attention to the amount of protein we eat everyday. Proteins play an important role in bone development, thereby influencing peak bone mass and keeping our bones and muscles strong.
4. Proteins Keep You Fuller For Longer
Eating foods that are rich in fiber and protein makes you feel fuller, as the food takes a longer time to digest and releases energy more slowly.
This essentially means, you will tend to consume less of the carbohydrate rich foods like biscuits, cookies, breads, rice etc which add to the bulk of the calories in your diet. Such foods are rapidly digested and turned into blood sugar, and tend to be low in healthful nutrients.
On the other hand foods rich in protein like eggs, chicken, milk protein, soy protein etc controls appetite and promotes a greater feeling of fullness than carbs or fat.
So, How Do You Get Your Daily Dose Of Protein
If you are a vegetarian, you can up your intake of beans and dals in the form of sprouts, paneer and tofu. Non vegetarians can aim at lean eggs, meat, chicken, tuna, salmon and fish, to name a few. Ensure you have proteins along with the right balance of fruits, vegetables and a small portion of carbohydrates.
Milk is also a great source of protein which contains casein and whey. In cow's milk, approximately 82% of milk protein is casein and the remaining 18% whey protein.
I recently stumbled upon Zago Body Buddy that has the perfect combination of 20g Whey & Casein. Whey is fast absorbing and casein is a slow digesting protein. It’s available in flavours like Chocolate, Caramel Coffee, Chocolate Orange and Mango to keep the protein intake exciting as well. All this at a nominal rate of Rs.100. You can purchase these at amazon.in.
In the end, all it takes is to be mindful of what we eat. You can choose to make a variety of recipes that are low on sugar, carbs and fat but are high in micronutrients and protein.
Meanwhile, also rely on protein shakes and fat absorbing protein rich drinks when you do any strenuous task to keep your tissues fit and enhance confidence in your strength.