Do you think you are eating healthy? Even if you think so, sometimes we don’t get the necessary proteins, so that the body functions normally. This applies especially to vegetarians and vegans, but not just them. There are other circumstances, such as malnutrition, which could cause protein deficiency in the body, as well as some metabolic diseases.

If you don’t consume enough protein in your body, it can affect many different parts of the body, from your hair to your nails. Here are the 9 most common signs that you don’t get enough protein in your diet.

  • Moodiness

A lack of protein in your diet leads to mood swings. Proteins will satiate you and stabilize the sugar levels thus preventing sudden changes in energy. This is important because if your blood sugar is not stable enough, you are more likely to experience mood swings, depending on the blood sugar levels.

Also, dopamine and norepinephrine that are created in the brain and make you happy are made from protein. Consuming foods rich in protein like fish, eggs, legumes help your brain produce adequate amounts of these neurotransmitters that improve the mood.

  • Frequent injuries

Protein is an important precursor to the absorption of calcium and calcium is responsible for the strength of our bones. So, it’s not a surprise that insufficient protein intake can lead to muscle and bone injury. We are more likely to develop bone weakness, fractures and even osteoporosis.

  • Brain fog

Brain fog or blurred thinking, may be associated with changes in blood sugar levels and lack of protein. Protein is very important for a number of aspects of the healthy neurological functioning. In fact, brain fog, low concentration and lack of motivation and learning difficulties can indicate that this is due to poor protein intake in the body.
A deficiency of protein may lead to a weaker balance of neurotransmitters, including epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are synthesized in the brain of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. In fact, the lack of amino acids may be the cause of the variation of mood swings, including depression and anxiety.

  • High cholesterol

Protein deficiency is usually supplemented with carb-rich or fatty foods. Because blood-sugar levels are discombobulated from the low levels of protein, we are more likely to crave for sugary snacks. The final result is hormonal imbalance and inflammation; and both of them contribute to increased levels of bad cholesterol.

  • Gastrointestinal issues

Healthy digestion and metabolism require a lot of amino acids. If you don’t have enough amino acids, the gut throws a fit by producing less enzymes and reducing the number of contractions required for excretion and digestion.

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

A proper and balanced diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle. Any nutritional defect, including protein deficiency, can lead to irregular cycles. Also, a low-protein diet and high sugar and carbohydrate content can lead to increased inflammation, fatigue, and weight gain.

All of these factors lead to imbalance in hormones such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), estrogen and progesterone.Any imbalance in female hormones leads to an irregular menstrual cycle.

  • Rough workouts

Adequate intake of protein is required to gain muscle mass – but it’s also necessary for the function of your muscles. Moreover, even if you regularly workout, the results will have adverse effects. This is often because you don’t have the required energy or your muscles can’t recover properly because of the protein deficiency.

  • Trouble sleeping

Your brain controls the hormones that are needed for a good night’s sleep. When your body doesn’t have the protein that is necessary for the normal functioning of the brain, it can lead to hormonal imbalances that will ultimately have an impact on your sleep. In addition, when your body and muscles hurt because of poor protein intake, it makes it even harder to fall asleep.

A weak sleep is also associated with unstable levels of blood sugar, which may occur when there is insufficient protein intake. In fact, doctors recommend consuming foods rich in protein before going to bed to help in the production of tryptophan and serotonin, and to stabilize blood sugar levels.

  • Weight gain

It’s true that a lot of good sources of protein have higher fat and more calories than other fat or carb-based foods. But the difference is that protein promotes satiety a lot better than the foods that consist of carbs or fat. Also, protein stabilizes the levels of sugar in the blood better than fats or carbs. This makes it less likely to snack. So the final result of adequate protein levels is a healthier weight.

Good sources of protein

While meat, fish, eggs and dairy are good sources of protein, there are also a lot of good vegetarian and vegan options as well. Almonds, chia, flax, hemp, lentils, adzuki beans, unprocessed oats, farro, amaranth, oats, and quinoa are all excellent sources of protein.Regarding vegetables Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, spinach and mushrooms are good choices.