Why is protein important?

+77 votes
asked May 8, 2015 in Health & Wellness by Gaye Lynn (940 points)
What does protein really do for the body? I’ve heard so much about the Atkins diet lately. Even my sister is on some high protein diet where she can only eat veggies and some fruits for carbs. What is so important about protein?

1 Answer

+25 votes
answered May 17, 2015 by Jeanne (830 points)

Why is protein important? For answering this question, you need to know that protein is considered a macronutrient. Fat and carbohydrates are also macronutrients. Unlike most vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), your body requires large quantities of fat, carbs, and protein. This is most important for proteins because your body has no way of storing protein. You have to feed your body protein constantly, because your cells are constantly renewing themselves. There are more reasons protein is important for your body. Here are just a few of the major reasons:

  • If you are injured, including over-worked muscles, protein is used by the body to repair the tissues that are damaged.
  • Your body cannot function without protein because protein actually helps your body produce much needed chemicals, hormones, and enzymes. Without these three things, you really cannot live.
  • Protein is made of amino acids. Amino acids are what the body needs to build organs, muscles, bones and cartilage, and even your blood.

As for the high protein diet you mentioned, there are definitely even more benefits of a high protein diet:

  • Proteins make you feel very full, and the fullness lasts much longer than with fats and carbohydrates. Feeling full will keep you from snacking so much in between meals. Many people who want to lose weight have more success on a high protein diet for this reason. Less snacking = less calories!
  • As said above, protein is the building block of every cell including nails, hair and organs. Your skin is your largest organ (some people do not realize skin is an organ). With that said, a high protein diet will help your skin look and feel beautiful, as well as grow and strengthen hair and nails. Not only does protein make you feel better on the inside, it makes you look better on the outside.
  • Just like protein is the building block of nails, hair and skin, so is the building block of muscle. Many bodybuilders take in large portions of proteins for this reason. Protein not only helps repair muscle tissue but also helps increase muscle mass.

Interested in finding out how much protein you need in a day? Check out the following website for even more information why you should enjoy a higher protein diet.


commented May 23, 2015 by Ivy (830 points)
Why is protein important? Is there any other reference for this topic?
Welcome to Instant Answer, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.