Protein is an essential macronutrient and helps us build up our body to ensure that all vital processes occur. Protein Powders is an important source of amino acids such as glutamine and L-tyrosine, which repair gut cells and create hormones.
People eating the Standard American Diet, or vegan and vegetarian diets, may not get enough protein and can be at risk for protein deficiency. Some symptoms include fatigue, trouble losing weight, brain fog, blood sugar imbalances, trouble building muscle, muscle wasting, intestinal permeability, and hair loss. Sound familiar?
What Is Protein?
Depending on which article you read today, there is a lot of conflicting information about how much protein we should consume. The truth is, different people will need different amounts, depending on their lifestyle, life stage, and health conditions. However, we can’t deny that protein is essential to human life and a crucial part of any diet.
Proteins are large molecules that our cells require to grow and mend themselves. Protein makes up about 15 percent of our body mass and is consumed predominantly through animal sources, though there are many plant sources of protein. Chemically, protein is composed of amino acids, organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur.
Amino acids function as a cell’s “building blocks.”
People can produce some amino acids but must get others from food. The nine amino acids that we humans cannot produce on our own are called essential amino acids. These consist of:
- Histidine: needed for growth and tissue repair and is important for the maintenance of myelin sheaths (fatty tissue) that protect nerve cells
- Isoleucine: promotes glucose consumption and uptake
- Leucine: contributes to the regulation of blood sugar levels; promotes growth and repair of muscle and bone tissue, growth hormone production, and wound healing
- Lysine: used in the biosynthesis of proteins and fighting viral infections
- Methionine: a unique sulfur-containing amino acid that can be used to build proteins and produce many molecules in the body, including the antioxidant glutathione and the molecule SAMe, which improves mood
- Phenylalanine: a precursor to tyrosine, an amino acid used to make thyroid hormones; is also used by the body to produce proteins
- Threonine: supports central nervous, cardiovascular, liver, and immune system functioning.
- Tryptophan: needed for normal growth in infants and nitrogen balance in adults; creates niacin, which is essential in creating the happy neurotransmitter serotonin.
- Valine: promotes muscle growth and tissue repair
Other amino acids that are produced in the body to some extent, but need to be supplemented from outside protein sources, include:
- Tyrosine: The thyroid gland combines tyrosine and iodine to make thyroid hormones.
- Glutamine: This amino acid helps repair intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and boosts immune function.
- Carnitine: This important nutrient is critical for our body’s ability to optimally burn the fat required for energy and relieve brain fog, muscle wasting, and fatigue.
These, and many other important amino acids, are readily available to us through our protein.
The Importance of Protein for Chronic Disease
Adequate protein intake is crucial for those with autoimmune or chronic diseases for several reasons. First, many essential and non-essential amino acids are required for thyroid function, gut repair, and immune function. Without these amino acids, our bodies can’t perform their basic functions of keeping us alive, much less repair the damage from chronic or autoimmune disease.
Second, not getting enough protein can lead to blood sugar imbalances — a common root cause and symptom of chronic diseases. Combining carbohydrates with protein can slow down the glycemic impact of the carbohydrates you consume. This can help you avoid the blood sugar highs and lows that can fuel dysfunction within the body.
Animal protein also contains nutrients that are critical for healthy thyroid function. These include selenium, zinc, iron, and B-12.
The Right Amount of Protein
So, how much protein should you eat? It depends.
- You should be consuming about 0.45-0.55 grams of protein per day for each pound that you weigh for general health purposes. (The official calculation is done by kilograms of body weight: 1.0-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram.) This translates to roughly 50 grams of protein per day for a person who weighs 100 pounds.
- Higher protein intake (0.55-0.68 grams per pound of body weight per day) is recommended for most older adults with acute or chronic diseases. In this case, a person who weighs 100 pounds should aim for 54-68 grams of protein per day.
- Generally, the more active you are, the more protein you need. Bodybuilders need even more protein — as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight — so a 100 pound person would want to aim for 100 grams of protein each day!
- Older people with severe kidney disease (who are not on dialysis) are an exception to this rule. These individuals may need to limit their protein intake, as their kidneys may not properly process the protein.
Benefits of Protein Smoothies
Having a protein-packed smoothie in the morning can help kick off our daily nutrition and keep our blood sugar balanced and help the thyroid gland (if low protein is a contributing factor). A protein powder mixed with blended foods can provide the body with predigested nutrition, allowing for better absorption of nutrients, even when digestion isn’t perfect.
The Right Kind of Protein
The wrong kind of protein can be detrimental as well. Back in the day, I used to put whey protein and yogurt in my smoothies, not realizing that I was sensitive to dairy! Dairy proteins, casein, and whey are highly reactive for up to 80 percent of people with chronic diseases. My “healthy breakfast” was causing the autoimmune attack on my thyroid gland and was also causing my carpal tunnel, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome. Within three days of getting off dairy, my acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome disappeared! My carpal tunnel resolved a few months later, and over time, my thyroid antibody levels decreased.
Most protein powders on the market contain soy and dairy, two very reactive proteins for people with chronic disease. While egg white proteins are also an option and can be less reactive, unfortunately, those with chronic disease who start using them often find themselves with new-onset egg reactions because egg whites are difficult to digest for people with intestinal permeability.
- Vegan, gluten, dairy, and soy-free, but it has a strong taste that doesn’t blend well with some foods and can be an issue for estrogenic concerns.
- Vegan, gluten, dairy, and soy-free, and has a mild taste. However, it is not compatible with the Autoimmune Paleo diet.
- Pea protein can be made from genetically modified peas, so I recommend choosing only organic pea protein.
- Paleo and Autoimmune Paleo-friendly.
- Gluten-free, soy-free, and free of casein and whey (two very reactive proteins found in dairy products).
- It is a complete protein, meaning it contains the essential amino acids we need to survive.
- Hydrolyzed beef protein offers a special advantage, as it is less likely to cause additional food reactions due to the hydrolysis process, which breaks the protein into tiny pieces. However, many of the beef proteins currently on the market have added flavors and fillers, like stevia, which some people may react to.
Designs for Health Protein Powders Options
Many of you have expressed interest in an autoimmune-friendly protein powder and would adhere to the Autoimmune Paleo diet guidelines. And, as you likely know, this type of product has proven to be very difficult to find…
So back in 2017, the team at DFH created the FIRST autoimmune-friendly protein powder on the market! We have sold thousands of this product and have been able to help so many, which makes me incredibly happy!
I’d ask you to trust me on this, but hey, I’d rather you decide for yourself.
All of the supplement ingredients have been carefully chosen to address people’s needs and sensitivities with autoimmune or chronic diseases. They are pharmaceutical-grade, tested by third-party companies to ensure that they have what the label says they have (and nothing more), and formulated to be free of potentially harmful fillers.
PurePaleo Protein contains hydrolyzed beef protein free of any fillers and is compliant with even the strictest autoimmune or chronic disease protocol. It’s delicious, too! Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste like beef; rather, it has a slight milky taste — I personally love it. 😉
PurePaleo Protein is an ideal protein for those who:
- Want a true Paleo protein source
- Want a beef protein that’s antibiotic and hormone-free
- Are sensitive to dairy, soy, or eggs
- We are working on building protocols (Adrenal Recovery and Gut Balance)
- Are you on an Autoimmune Paleo diet?
- Have many intolerances to foods and fillers
- Have trouble with digestion
So now you can have your smoothies and your health too — even if you’re following the Autoimmune Paleo diet!
Note: This product is not recommended for people who need to be on low protein diets, such as people with phenylketonuria, homocystinuria, or advanced kidney disease.
Finally, I have PurePea Protein, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, as well as vegetarian/vegan friendly.
As you can see, I wanted to develop several options for you to find one that would be a great fit, regardless of the protocol that you are on!
I hope you check them out!
Protein is essential for human function, and getting the right kind of protein that is safe for autoimmune and chronic disease, is important for your health and recovery! I can’t emphasize enough how adding quality protein to my morning routine changed my energy and overall health. I want the same for you!
I recommend the Designs for Health line of protein powders to help you meet your daily protein requirements without compromising your health.
P.P.S. What are people saying?
- Jeri S. shared with me, “Thank you for the PurePea Protein Powder. I love the taste, and it makes me feel great. No digestive issues like some protein powders I have tried. Thank you. I look forward to purchasing it again.”
- Dorrie S. shared about the PurePaleo Protein, “I have had a progressively advancing autoimmune disorder for 20 plus years and tried all protein powders out there. This is the only one I did not react to and feel great taking. I have the confidence I’m getting what my body needs.” *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your physician for any health problems and before making any medical or lifestyle changes.