Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Some of the benefits of having a high protein diet include:

  • Greater muscle mass and lean tissue.
  • Less hunger and lower calorie intake.
  • Easier fat loss on a calorie restricted diet.
  • Less belly fat
  • Greater muscle development.
  • Better bone density.
  • Better brain function.
  • Stronger tendons and faster recovery from injury.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day (or 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight). (1) The Institute of Medicine also sets a wide range for acceptable protein intake—anywhere from 10 to 35 percent of calories each day.