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6 Surprising Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

Swelling

One of the most common signs that you’re not getting enough protein is swelling (also called edema), especially in your abdomen, legs, feet, and hands. A possible explanation: The proteins that circulate in your blood – albumin, in particular – help keep fluid from building up in your tissues. But many things can cause edema, so be sure to check with your doctor in case it’s more serious.

Mood Changes

Your brain uses chemicals called neurotransmitters to relay information between cells. Many of these neurotransmitters are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. So a lack of protein in your diet could mean your body can’t make enough of those neurotransmitters, and that would change how your brain works. With low levels of dopamine and serotonin, for example, you may feel depressed or overly aggressive.

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