• Dr. Kathleen Jones

Are You Eating Enough Protein?

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of life, helping to maintain strong bones, muscles, hair and nails. It is also an essential part of a healthy immune system. While serious protein deficiency is rarely seen in the U.S., there are mild to moderate forms of deficiency that can be trickier to identify. Making sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet will help keep you looking and feeling your very best.


The most common sign of protein deficiency is a general sense of fatigue or weakness. You may experience increased appetite as your body tries to balance itself out. Protein deficiency can cause muscle loss, thinning hair or dull hair color/luster, dry skin, brittle nails, and in more advanced cases an increased risk of infection, illness, and bone fractures. People with digestive conditions like Crohn’s or celiac disease, people age 70 and over, and vegans/vegetarians are all at a higher risk of developing protein deficiency.


Muscles are your body’s protein reservoir, so it’s important to eat a protein-rich diet. Eggs, fish, lean meat, beans, and lentils are some of the best sources of protein. And don't forget protein shakes! If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you will have to be more creative with your protein intake, but it is completely doable with some extra planning. As long as you are eating a variety of plant proteins, your body will still be able to get the nutrients it needs. Whole grains, lentils, legumes, beans, seitan, and tofu are all rich in plant proteins.


In addition to following a healthy diet, taking a B12 supplement is a great way to give your body an extra protein-boost. If you’re experiencing any symptoms you think may be related to protein deficiency or you need help finding a supplement that’s best for you, we would be happy to set up a wellness visit for you over the phone or online at https://www.eohinfo.com/schedule-appointment.

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Sources

Arnarson, Atli. 2017. 8 Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency. Healthline.
8 Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency (healthline.com)

Heger, Erin. 2021. Are You Eating Enough Protein? Insider.
Protein Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments (insider.com)

Petre, Alina. 2022. The 18 Best Protein Sources for Vegans & Vegetarians.
The 18 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians (healthline.com)

Varellas, Clare. 2019. 7 Signs You Might Not Be Eating Enough Protein.
Protein Deficiency: Signs of Not Eating Enough Protein | The Healthy


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