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Importance Of Protein In A Woman’s Diet

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

All of us strive to include more foods rich in protein in our diet. However, a huge section of the population doesn’t know how much they should be getting and how to go about getting the requisite amount! Technically, your body needs 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram weight. So, if you weigh 50 kilograms, you need 0.8 multiplied by 50, which is 40 grams of protein.

Foods rich in protein facilitate good weight loss by revving up your metabolic rate and cutting back the hunger pangs. Protein helps build lean muscle and makes you stronger. There are plenty of wholesome and delicious ways to sneak in protein into your daily meals, making for a healthy diet for women. Next time you go grocery-shopping, don't get besieged! Gather these protein-packed foods and you’re golden!

Women and protein

All women require protein, no matter what phase of life you’re in. To enhance your overall health and to look and feel wonderful, you need to make protein your best friend!

• The chief benefit of protein is that it helps build lean muscle, making you look toned, contoured and fit. Without protein, you can’t build and maintain lean muscle mass.

• Protein fires up your metabolic rate and helps you burn all the unwanted fat.

• Adequate protein means increased strength to do all the things that you love to do – working out at the gym, roughhousing with your kids, rocking your Pilates class, or hiking! What’s more, you’ll need your muscles to stay strong and healthy as you age.

• Protein is exceedingly vital for gorgeous hair, radiant skin, and healthy nails.

• Given that protein takes longer to digest than the other macronutrients, you feel fuller for longer periods of time and this ensures that you don’t end up hungry soon after a meal.

• Statistics show that women are more prone to fractures. Bone health is beyond doubt a huge worry that most women face. Now, when most people think of bone health, they think of calcium; however, what you need to understand is that protein constitutes half of your bone volume! So, you need to amp up on good quality protein for strong bones, and let there be a wholesome healthy diet for women.

• The menopausal and post-menopausal years are rather hard for most women to maintain muscle tone. And, when you lose muscle, you lose mobility, thus becoming inactive, and eventually piling on unwanted weight. If you aren’t in that phase of your life yet, it’s still imperative for you to understand the health woes that you could face in the future. Developing good habits now will go a long way. So, a wholesome healthy diet for women, which integrates ample amounts of protein, is very pivotal to good health.

3 Excellent protein sources

Chilli Benefits

We’ve rounded up 3 super foods which give you a fantastic protein payout.

• Lentils: 1 cup of cooked dal gives you a whopping 18 grams protein. The protein along with the high fibre content make dals satiating, heart-happy and fat loss friendly. Clinical trials reveal that those who consumed 1 bowl of dal daily lost considerable weight and saw an improved cholesterol profile. Lentils are foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals - that benefit your muscles and brain as well. Have a bowl of dal with every meal, simmer them into a soup or take your kebabs to the next level by adding lentils to them.

• Eggs: 1 egg provides 7 grams of protein. The egg is practically the easiest and most versatile way to step up your protein game. Providing you with large amounts of the muscle-builder, eggs are packed with amino acids and antioxidants. Begin your day with a boiled egg, a scramble or an omelette!

• Peas: 1 cup of boiled peas provides 8.5 grams of protein, along with 90% of the vitamin C that’s required per day. Go right ahead, have matar paratha, matar paneer, add peas to your pastas and salads; and boost your muscle-building power!

3 Protein-loaded snacks for in-between meals!

Chawli Nutrition

Incorporating high protein snacks to your everyday diet is an effortless way to meet your daily proportion of protein. Protein eaten in-between meals, helps diminish hunger, keeps you fuller for longer, puts a stop to overeating at lunches and dinners, and helps sustain weight loss.

• Dahi: Yogurt is one food that has a significantly high protein count. The protein overload helps pack on muscles as well as torch calories. Having oodles of protein and negligible additives, it is the perfect choice for a snack. 1 bowl of dahi provides 10 grams of protein. Always opt for plain yogurt and add in fresh fruit or honey for sweetness.

• Peanut butter on whole wheat toast: Peanuts are a protein dense food. Smear 2 spoons of the peanut butter onto two whole wheat slices and get out of that afternoon slump with delicious whole grains and about 10 grams of protein. Add a hint of cinnamon for a truly inspiring flavour!

• Almonds: Almonds are the perfect source of protein as well as healthy fats; a fistful gives you 6 grams of protein. Importantly, they proffer the choicest nutrients whilst keeping portions in check. They are the ideal mid-morning snack providing you with a burst of protein along with vitamin E, copper, and magnesium.

An important thing to remember is that you don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet to increase the amount of protein you consume. Protein rich food such as dals, beans and dahi are an integral part of our Indian cuisines, and can be considered as healthy diet for women. Next time you go grocery shopping, pick healthy, unpolished and organic variants of your favourite pulses from the Tata Sampann range to include more protein in your diet.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

 

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Diet, exercise and sunlight: Three factors women shouldn’t ignore for good bone health

Dr. Dharini Krishnan

Dr. Dharini Krishnan
11 January 2021

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Barring a significant injury or fracture, we rarely tend to think about bone health. Yet, for women, particularly those who are middle-aged or older, this is a vital concern because of the risk of osteoporosis.

In 2013, it was estimated that there were 50 million Indians who were osteoporotic or having low bone mass. Some studies have found that the prevalence of osteoporosis could be as high as 42.5% in women over the age of 50.

Osteoporosis and health complications

Eat Breakfast

Osteoporosis comes from the Latin for “porous bone”, and is a condition where bone tissue loses its density, and becomes weaker and more fragile. Such bones are easily susceptible to breaks, resulting in pain, disability and loss of functionality in everyday life.

Bones, which form the primary supporting framework of the body, grow from birth till our early twenties, which is the period of peak bone mass. Bone is an active tissue that undergoes regular replacement in conditions of health.

In osteoporosis, however, bone formation is outpaced by bone loss, leading to porosity or thinness of bone tissue and brittle bones. Such bones could easily be fractured even in the absence of significant trauma. Such fractures tend to reduce mobility and lead to increased hospitalization and dependence on others.

Why osteoporosis affects women more

Women are particular at risk for osteoporosis because they have lesser bone mass to start with. The geometry and structure of bone have also been increasingly recognized as important risk factors for fracture.

The risk of osteoporosis significantly rises during menopause because of the hormonal changes women undergo at the time. This is because estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone health, and the secretion of this hormone falls drastically during menopause.

The importance of protein and calcium in the diet

Skin Care

For some time now, awareness of the importance of calcium for bone health has been growing. Hence, women are advised to consume sufficient amounts of dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya products and nuts.

What many don’t realise is that sufficient levels of protein are just as important for strong bones. After all, protein makes up roughly 50% of bone volume and about one-third of its mass. Daily intake of protein is also necessary to provide the raw materials for bone formation. Unfortunately, research shows that the levels of dietary protein consumed by Indians are actually reducing.

For non-vegetarians chicken, fish and eggs are good sources of protein. For vegetarians, pulses are one of the primary sources of protein, along with dairy products. Daily intake of protein in at least two major meals of the day, particularly in healthy forms such as sambhar or dal is, therefore, vital.

The role of exercise and sunlight

Eat Breakfast

Bone health also requires good muscle health. This makes it necessary to undertake moderate exercise as often as possible. A 45-minute walk six days a week as well as resistance training using the body weight, such as surya namaskaras, can go a long way to building muscles. Importantly, the body also requires Vitamin D to mobilize calcium for bone health. Hence, exposure to peak sunlight between 11am and 3 pm at least twice a week is also vital for bone health.

Osteoporosis can be a serious health problem that disrupts life and limits mobility, particularly for women. However, a healthy diet, rich in calcium and protein, together with exercise, can go a long way in maintaining bone health.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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