demystifying protein [day six] – the many effects of this macronutrient

Protein has a number of really terrific effects on the body, especially when it comes to satiety, weight management, and cravings. It increases thermogenesis (the internal production of heat, more commonly known as metabolism) – often for hours after a meal is over. Compared to carbohydrates, protein requires less insulin to regulate blood sugar after eating (insulin is known for its promotion of fat storage).  Protein increases production of glucagon, which promotes the release of fat. Up your protein to help your body use its fat stores for energy.

While there is much research to suggest that all proteins are created equally, empirical research (ie. eating food!) tells us that different proteins change us energetically. Think of how you feel after you eat a steak. Then think about how you feel after eating a pile of green leafy vegetables. Both are high in protein, but the energetics of these foods in nature are entirely opposite.

Cows have a temperament not unlike that of some people we may know: they’re slow and plodding, sweet and calm. Greens, on the other hand, are the respiratory system of our planet (check out tiny system of veins transporting good stuff throughout the plant next time you’re holding some kale): they are constantly in action and have a freshness and vitality that meat does not.

Consider how the quality and source of your protein impacts your energy – get those same cell-building benefits without the lethargy. More energy to do great things? Yes please.

Day Six - Protein Suggestion
In addition to vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and anti-inflammatories, green leafy vegetables contain between 4 and 8 grams of protein per cup – and you can eat volumes and volumes of this good stuff for very few calories! Try some dark green goodness today (kale, spinach, chard, collards, romaine, cabbage, bok choi, spirulina, chlorella) for a protein-upper… kale and spinach are 45% protein; blue-green algaes are 65%! Bonus, they’ll help you better-assimilate the other nutrients you ingest!

The final day of 'demystifying protein' happens tomorrow! Check back for the final post on protein supplements. Thanks for reading!

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