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You’re prone to stress fractures

Your bones need more than just a healthy dose of calcium—they also need enough protein, too.That was the conclusion from a 2018 research review from some of the world’s leading osteoporosis foundations, which found that eating a protein-rich diet can help protect your bones.

When we aren’t getting enough protein to fuel our organs and brain, our bodies borrow from other areas, including the storages in our skeletal muscle tissue.Without the support of strong skeletal muscle tissue, our bones are more susceptible to injures like fractures and breaks.

Your hair and nails look brittle

Because protein is an essential part of your hair and nails, your nails can feel softer and your hair can become more brittle over time.The hair can lose some of its luster, and may not be quite as thick as it used to be.It may also start to split.

You’re losing weight—from your muscles

The number on the scale may be ticking downward, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Typically, if people aren’t getting enough protein, their bodies will break down muscle to get more of it. And if they’re losing muscle, they’re also holding on to fat stores, so their body composition could be changing in an adverse way.

You feel weak

You probably won’t feel fatigued right away, but over time, people who aren’t eating enough protein may feel more tired or sluggish than usual. Sure, less muscle mass can play a part in this, but  protein is a component of hemoglobin, which is present in our red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body. And too-low levels of oxygen could cause weakness or shortness of breath.

You’re always catching a cold

Protein is one of the building blocks of antibodies, which are produced by the body’s immune system to help fight off foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. If you don’t have enough protein, you could have a compromised immune system and perhaps be ill more often than other people.

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