Skip to content

The Power of Protein: How It Benefits Women's Health and Wellness as we age

Protein is an incredibly important macronutrient for a woman's health and it plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and wellness. It is necessary for maintaining and repairing tissues,...

Protein is an incredibly important macronutrient for a woman's health and it plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and wellness. It is necessary for maintaining and repairing tissues, muscles, organs, and bones. Consuming an adequate amount of protein can help improve overall health and wellness by reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. And did we mention it can help with weight loss? Read on to get a better understanding of how protein can benefit you and why you are likely not getting enough through your diet alone. 


Why is protein intake important for your general health?

When someone mentions “protein” your initial thought might be Threptin protein biscuits, or flashy advertisements promoting protein shakes and the benefits when weightlifting. But the importance of protein is so much more than that: it is a crucial building block for our bodies. It is used to make new cells and repair damaged ones, but it is also an essential component of many hormones that control and support various bodily functions. For example, FSH and insulin are protein or peptide hormones that regulate ovary function and blood sugar levels, respectively. Additionally, our bones also rely on protein to maintain a process called bone remodeling, where old tissue is replaced with new tissue. Which is especially important for women as they age and the risk of developing osteoporosis increases rapidly.



Wait, you said protein can help with weight loss?

Yes, protein is an important macronutrient when it comes to weight loss. It can help promote feelings of fullness and satiety, reducing overall calorie intake and promoting weight loss. Additionally, consuming protein can help boost metabolism and increase energy expenditure, which can lead to a greater calorie burn throughout the day. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing protein intake can help promote weight loss and improve body composition in overweight and obese women.

And it is also important for muscle and bone health

Protein plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle and bone health. Our muscles and bones are made up of protein, and consuming an adequate amount of protein is necessary to maintain their strength and integrity. Studies have shown that consuming protein before and after exercise can help improve muscle growth and repair, leading to an increase in overall muscle mass and strength. Similarly, consuming an adequate amount of protein is important for maintaining bone health. A study conducted by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that consuming a high-protein diet can help improve bone density in postmenopausal women.

Why you should increase your protein intake when your turn 40

There are a few reasons why you should (slightly) increase your protein intake once you hit 40, and especially once your estrogen levels start declining in perimenopause. Firstly, as we age, our bodies may become less efficient at utilizing protein. This effectively means that you may now need to consume slightly more protein for it to yield the same benefits as you had in your 20s. 


That same aging process also tends to reduce the quantity and quality of muscle mass, leading to a loss of strength and muscle tone. This, coupled with a declining metabolism, can result in weight gain and an increased fat to muscle ratio. However, a diet rich in protein, combined with regular exercise and strength training, can help regenerate muscle mass, increase metabolism, and prevent unwanted muscle loss and weakness.


Importance of protein for women in 50+ and/or in postmenopause

Protein consumption is particularly important for women in postmenopause. During menopause, women experience a decrease in estrogen levels, which can lead to a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat. Consuming an adequate amount of protein can help combat these changes by promoting muscle growth and repair and promoting weight loss. Additionally, protein is important for bone health in postmenopausal women. As estrogen levels decrease, women are at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. Consuming an adequate amount of protein can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 


Why Indian women are more likely to not get enough protein through their regular diet

Indian women are more likely to not get enough protein through their regular diet, particularly those who are vegetarian. This is because traditional Indian diets are often plant-based and may lack sufficient sources of protein. Additionally, cultural and religious beliefs may restrict the consumption of certain animal products, further limiting protein intake.

A study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that the average protein intake among Indian women was significantly lower than the recommended daily intake. Additionally, the study found that vegetarian women had a lower protein intake compared to non-vegetarian women. We listed the ten best tips on how you can improve protein consumption through your normal (vegetarian) diet and by taking supplements in this article


Key takeaway

In conclusion, protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health, muscle and bone health, and weight loss for women. Consuming an adequate amount of protein daily is necessary to ensure optimal health and wellness. Women in postmenopause and those following vegetarian diets may be at a greater risk for not getting enough protein, and should aim to consume protein-rich foods as part of their regular diet.

FAQ

Frequently asked question by Women Like You

Sources used

Sources we have used to base the content of this article on.

Medical journals

Rodriguez NR, Di Marco NM, Langley S. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):709-31. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31890eb86. PMID: 19225360.

Hannan MT, Tucker KL, Dawson-Hughes B, Cup KA, Felson DT, Kiel DP. Effect of Dietary Protein on Bone Loss in Elderly Men and Women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2000;15(12):2504-2512. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2000.15.12.2504.

Leidy HJ, Clifton PM, Astrup A, Wycherley TP, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Woods SC, Mattes RD. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Apr;101(4):1320S-1329S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.084038. Epub 2015 Feb 11. PMID: 25675360.

Tiwari K, Raghavendra Rao M, Radhakrishna KV, et al. Protein energy malnutrition in India: the plight of our under five children. Indian J Community Health. 2014;26(4):390-394.

Devi S, Varkey A, Sheshadri MS, Kamath A. Diet and Nutritional Status of Rural Adolescent Girls in South India. Indian Journal of Community Medicine : Official Publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine. 2019;44(Suppl 1):S22-S27. doi:10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_94_19.

Bhargava A, Chatterjee S. Macronutrient intakes and inadequacies among rural school-going adolescents in India. Public Health Nutr. 2019 Mar;22(4):722-733. doi: 10.1017/S1368980018003207. Epub 2018 Nov 21. PMID: 30459063.

Cart

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options