There is an increasing public interest in precautionary measures to bolster resistance to flu-like symptoms. Since protein plays a critical role in optimizing one’s immune system, but often goes ignored or undermined in India where diets are heavily focused on carbohydrates, fats or foods that are low in protein. Dr Suresh Itapu, Director, NutriTech India, Supporter, ‘Right To Protein’ Initiative, asserts, “Immune system is our defence mechanism against infections. We need to give the protein its due credit for the role it plays in an individual’s overall health, especially building immunity, as both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources of protein are choices for healing and recovery. In fact, in India, where regular consumption of non-veg protein sources may not be viable for those bound by socio-cultural or financial constraints, plant proteins, as well as plant-based meat alternatives, are much more accessible and feasible. To boost immunity as well as overall health, regardless of the source, protein consumption needs prioritization as global health concerns have recently shown.”
We need to understand that lack of protein in the body can lead to various health concerns. Following are the signs and symptoms of protein deficiency in the body:
Oedema: Swollen and puffy skin denotes oedema, which is a sign of protein deficiency. This happens due to low albumin in the body. This leads to accumulation of fluids in the body, and further swelling and puffiness.
Fatty Liver: Fat accumulation in the liver leads to fatty liver, which is commonly seen in obese people. This primarily because of the lack of protein in the body and a slower metabolism.
Muscle Loss: Lack of protein means less muscle production or lack of muscle mass. Protein is a building block for the body to repair the wear and tear. It is seen that muscle mass is greater in those with less protein in the body.
Less Immunity: Protein in the body enhances immunity, leading to better resistance to disease and health concerns. Hence, the lack of protein in the body can lead to reduced immunity to various health concerns like flu, etc.
Here's how you can increase protein in your daily diet:
Also Read: Protein Myths Busted By Dr Swati Bathwal
Protein For A Healthy Lifestyle
“To start leading a healthier lifestyle, there is no better day than today,” says Dr Jagmeet Madan, Nutrition Expert, National President, IDA and Supporter of the Right To Protein public health initiative. “In the present times boosting your immunity by Right Nutrition along with Adequate Sleep, Aerobic Activity coupled with Breathing and Muscle flexibility exercises, will go a long way.
The Nutrients which BOOST Immunity are Adequate and Good Quality Protein which you get from vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources, Vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Minerals like Zinc, Selenium and Magnesium. A natural food-based approach of incorporating 25 % of your plate to protein 50 % to fresh vegetables and Fruits and 25% to whole grain cereals will help you achieve the balance. Do add a hand full of nuts and oilseeds to your daily diet to add to the protein and immune-boosting vitamins and minerals.
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