71% of Indians suffer from poor muscle health: Here are 5 best protein-rich foods to eat to stay fit

A recent study has revealed that more than 70 percent of Indian adults have poor muscle health characterised by lower mass and body protein content. Consuming an adequate amount of protein not only helps you maintain and lose weight, but also promotes smooth functioning of enzymes and hormones as well as a proper cellular and muscular health.

New Delhi: Studies have shown that eating a high-protein diet offers a wealth of health benefits. Consuming an adequate amount of protein not only helps you maintain and lose weight, but also promotes smooth functioning of enzymes and hormones as well as a proper cellular and muscular health. Protein is essentially an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. A diet high in protein also lowers blood pressure, fights diabetes and more. However, a recent study has revealed that more than 70 percent of Indian adults have poor muscle health characterised by lower mass and body protein content, which experts say is a result of low intake of protein and sedentary lifestyle.

Recently, the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) has said that are 84 percent of vegetarian diets in the country are protein deficient, mainly due to lack of awareness among the public. A protein deficiency can negatively affect the body in many ways – it can cause swelling, fatty liver, skin degeneration, raise the severity of infections. Protein deficiency is also linked to impaired growth in children. Adequate protein intake and exercise are crucial for maintaining good muscle health. Poor muscle health can cause impaired muscle function, fatigue and weakened metabolic health. Read: Many Indians are deficient in protein – Foods like eggs and meat are richest sources of this nutrient!

“93 percent of Indians are unaware of their ideal protein requirement and Indian vegetarian diets are worst affected with 84 percent being deficient in protein, while 65 percent of Indian non-vegetarian diet too deficient in protein,” IDA said, citing a study by market research firm IMRB.

“On the backdrop of such alarming data, IDA has decided to run a campaign to educate consumers about the importance of protein, a nutrient which is integral to our general health and well-being that impact every life stage,” the IDA said in a statement.

Hence, a seven-day long Protein Week, which began on Tuesday, is being observed by the IDA and it is supported by Protein Foods Nutrition Development Association of India (PFNDAI). The IDA statement stressed on having a clear understanding about importance and requirement of protein in terms of quality as well as quantity in the daily diet, which is one gram per kg of body weight – as per the recommendation of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

According to IDA president (Mumbai) Naaznin Husein, the main goal of the Protein Week initiative is to spread awareness about the importance of protein.

How to increase your protein intake and improve muscle health

Getting enough protein is vital for maintaining good health. A high protein diet intake is particularly important to help with weight loss, increase muscle mass and improve health. However, it’s also vital to choose your protein wisely, because the type of protein you take plays a role in your overall health. For instance, eating large quantities of processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats, have been linked to an increased risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer. Hence, you must opt for healthier protein food sources. Here are five healthier ways to eat more protein

Poultry: Chicken is a good source of protein, just try eliminating most of the saturated fat by removing the skin.

Fish: Although chicken contains more protein than fish per serving, fish and seafood offer heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Whole grains: Whole grains contain various essential nutrients, including protein, fibre, iron, and a variety of phytochemicals that will improve your health. It is said that a slice of whole wheat bread can give you 3 grams of protein apart from the valuable fibre.

Nuts: High in several nutrients, nuts can boost the protein content of a meal or snack. They are high in magnesium, fibre and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Beans: Beans are a great choice, especially if you’re looking for a plant-based option. They contain more protein than any other vegetable protein. In addition, they’re packed with fibre that helps you feel full and satiated for longer hours.

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