Getting enough protein is essential for overall good health. While a balanced diet is likely to provide you with all the protein you need, you might want to include a little more from time to time. Read on to learn more about this important macronutrient, its benefits, and how to incorporate more protein into your diet.
Protein is a macronutrient, a nutrient that provides us with energy. Made up of ‘building blocks’ called amino acids, protein is essential for various bodily functions, such as growth, brain development and bone health. Factors such as age, weight, activity levels, and pregnancy influence the amount of protein our bodies need. In addition, protein is the macronutrient with the most satiating power, so it helps maintain a healthy body weight. You can easily get the protein you need by including high-protein foods in your diet - we have plenty of recipes to help you do just that!
Chicken Mole Verde
Slow Cooked Beef Curry with Cucumber Mint Couscous
Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin with Warm Rice Salad
Protein sources are divided into two groups: animal and plant. Protein can be found in a range of animal-derived foods, many of which are also important sources of vitamins and minerals. The following animal-based foods are rich in protein:
• Dairy, e.g. milk, cheese, yogurt
• Fish, e.g. tuna, salmon, cod, mackerel
• Seafood, e.g. shrimp, crab, mussels
• Meat, e.g. chicken breast, turkey breast, pork chop, beef steak, lamb chop
Shrimp Louie Salad
Maple Teriyaki Salmon with Rice and Broccoli
Cajun Shrimp Steamer with Garlic Butter
Spicy Shrimp and Quinoa Bowl
Ham and Spinach Egg Wrap
Protein Boosted Acai Smoothie
Turkish Eggs (Çılbır)
There are many different sources of plant-based proteins. Unlike animal proteins, these are often referred to as ‘incomplete’ proteins as they lack all the essential amino acids. For this reason, vegetarians and vegans can find it harder to meet the recommended protein requirements. However, enjoying a colorful, varied, plant-based diet should mean meeting these requirements is easy.
Here are some great plant-based sources of protein:
• Pulses, e.g. red lentils, chickpeas
• Beans, e.g. kidney beans, baked beans
• Nuts, e.g. almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts
• Grains, e.g. wheat flour, rice, brown bread
Soy-Free Tofu with Sriracha Sauce
Italian "Baked" Beans
Vegan "Beefy" Burger
Vegan Huevos Rancheros
• Feel Fuller
Studies show a high-protein diet can increase the levels of certain appetite-reducing hormones. In addition, protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates, which makes us feel fuller for longer.
• Improve Muscle and Strength
Including plenty of high-protein foods in your diet can help to maintain muscle mass and promote muscle growth.
• Lower Blood Pressure
High protein intake has been shown to lower high blood pressure, a known cause of a number of serious health issues.
• Boost Metabolism
When your body digests protein it burns 20-30% of the calories you consumed, a much higher amount compared to carbohydrates and fat.
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