By Paul A. Achoa, Eagle Health & Fitness Expert

The supermarket is full of all sorts of medications that claim to provide the best way to relax, lose weight and cure insomnia; however, new research suggests that you might find better results at the butcher block. For years, dieters have used protein to reduce hunger and encourage their bodies to burn fat. Now, it seems that protein-packed food also offers the carnivorous insomniac an effective way to enter a deep, sound sleep.

More Energy, Better Sleep and a Trimmer Figure?

A recent study by researchers from the University of Cambridge indicates that protein plays an important role in promoting wakefulness and warding off fatigue. For years, dieticians believed high-carbohydrate foods provided more energy; however, now it appears that protein consumption may be the best way to avoid the dreaded 3 o’clock slump.

By effectively regulating particular cells (orexin) that work to regulate energy output, protein appears to prevent fatigue, while foods rich in glucose appear to do the opposite. Researchers also found that protein helps calm nerves and promotes better sleeping patterns and weight loss.

According to the project’s lead researcher, Dr. Denis Burdakov, body weight, health and sleep patterns are deeply intertwined, and orexin cells play a big role in regulating how our brain tells our bodies to utilize energy. According to the researchers, foods with simple carbohydrates interfere with the cells’ ability to do their job, while protein prevents interference.

Relax, Lose Weight, But Use Caution

Although protein is proving to do wonderful things for the human body, you shouldn’t overindulge. Excessive amounts of protein can accelerate kidney damage in those who are at risk, and a deep, sound sleep isn’t worth a trip to the hospital. Still, when consumed responsibly, protein appears to be one of the best ways to lose weight and acts as a potent remedy for sleepless nights. Just be sure to eat non-fatty meats, such as fish, poultry and lean chicken, or you may trade your sleep and weight problems for arterial plaque.