What is Protein?
Protein is used for building blocks in the body for various functions. Higher protein intake is found helpful for losing weight. Protein is essential for vital functions in the body including repair, maintenance, hormone regulation, enzymes, transportation, and storage of molecules.
Complete protein comes from animal products as they contain all amino acids required by the body. Whereas vegetable protein lacks in some amino acids.
However, other plant sources of good protein such as beans, legumes, soy, nuts, grains, and seeds can be added to fullfil your body’s needs.
The quality of protein has its importance in deciding how useful it will be for your body and its functions. Moreover, protein portions should be spread throughout the day to let your body absorb the nutrition well and reap maximum benefits.
Best Sources of Protein
Eggs – Eggs are a rich source of nutrition containing vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Egg whites are mainly protein and total protein value in a large egg is 6 grams.
Oatmeal – Oats are loaded with fiber, thiamin, magnesium, and manganese. You can get a boost of 13 grams of protein from just half a cup of raw oats.
Almonds – The tree nut is loaded with nutrients such as fiber, manganese, vitamin E, and magnesium. An ounce of Almonds contain 6 grams protein. Cashews and pistachios are also good sources of protein.
Chicken Breast – Chicken breast is rich in protein and is the healthiest part of chicken. A single chicken breast without skin can provide you with 53 grams of protein. It is delicious and easy to prepare.
Cottage Cheese – Fully loaded with calcium as it is the best source of low fat dairy. Other healthy nutrients include phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium. 27 grams is the protein content in a cup of cottage cheese.
Greek Yogurt – Thick and creamy yogurt with high nutritional value. There are 17 grans of protein in a container of 170 grams of Greek yogurt.
Milk – Milk serves as an excellent source of healthy nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. You will get 8 grams of protein from a single cup of milk.
Broccoli – This dark green vegetable is loaded with healthy nutrients and contains highest amount of protein compared to other vegetables. A cup of broccoli contains 3 grams of protein.
Lean Beef – Red meat is an ideal source of iron, vitamin B12, and many other healthy nutrients. A serving of 3 ounce beef can provide your body with 22 grams of protein.
Tuna – Fatty fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and protein as well. There are 39 grams of protein in just a cup of tuba fish.
Quinoa – Quinoa is ranked in the world’s healthiest foods. It contains healthy nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There are 8 grams of protein in a cup of quinoa.
Whey Protein Supplements – Protein supplements are for people who find it convenient to fullfil their protein needs this way rather from foods. Whey protein is obtained from dairy foods which helps in weight loss.
Lentils – Plant based protein is good for vegetarians as it provides with the highest protein content. There are 18 grams of protein in a cup of lentils.
Ezekiel Bread – A slice of Ezekeil bread contains 4 grams of protein and many other nutrients. It is made from whole grains which provides high fiber content for the body.
Pumpkin Seeds – These are edible seeds containing 5 grams of protein in an ounce. Also loaded with other nutrients, pumpkin seeds are good for your health. Other nutritious seeds include flax seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Fish – Fish is a rich source of healthy nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. There are 19 grams of protein in 3 ounce of fish.
Turkey Breast – Turkey breast is very similar to chicken breast in properties. There are 24 grams of protein in 3 ounces.
Shrimp – Shrimp is a healthy seafood containing 18 grams of protein in 3 ounces.
Brussel Sprouts – Half a cup of brussel sprouts contain 2 grams of protein. It is a good plant based source of protein like broccoli.
Peanuts – An ounce of peanuts contain 7 grams of protein. They also help with weight loss.
Easy Ways to Increase Protein Intake
Delicious meals made with high protein foods is the best way to increase your protein intake. Make a food diary to calculate your calorie goals and keep record of them. A phone application can help you find nutritional values of foods high in protein content.
Also, you should calculate your protein needs by multiplying your body weight in kilograms into 1.2 or 1.6. Each meal should consist of at least 25 to 30 grams protein.
High quality protein foods are the best choices to make. You should try to include animal and plant sources of protein to have a balanced diet plan.
High Protein Snacks
High protein snacks are a good way to curb your hunger. They are healthy, nutritious, and portable for convenience. Including such snacks can energize you in between meals without adding unnecessary calories to your daily diet.
Daily Recommended Protein Intake
The daily intake of protein depends on an indicidual’s weight. It is recommended to include 0.8 grams per kg of your body weight in the daily diet. This may count up to 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams of protein for men on average.
However, there are other factors to decide the ideal protein intake for an individual including age, muscle mass, level of physical activity, and health condition.
Effects of Protein Diet on the Body
A high protein diet can make you lose weight if the protein portion is 20-30% total calories. Protein reduces your appetite which helps in weight control. Moreover, protein maintains healthy metabolic rate to regulate the body’s functions well.
Protein also serves as building blocks and therefore heals wounds quickly. The power of protein helps in increasing muscle mass and strengthening bones.
Are there any Adverse Effects of High Protein Intake?
Although high protein diet plans are safe for healthy people, it is still believed to damage kidney function. However, proteins do not cause kidney malfunction in people with healthy kidneys.
Even obese people having blood sugar problems did not suffer from kidney problems after taking proteins in their diet.
People who already have moderate or advanced level kidney disease should look for limited protein portion in their meals. This prevents kidney stones and preserves kidney function.
Proteon is an excellent source of energy for the body. The food sources of protein can be easily prepared into delicious meals to avail the health benefits. Protein rich diet plans are easy to follow and help in weight loss.