Protein is a life-giving nutrient that you just cannot live without. In the body, it helps build the muscles, skin, organs, hormones, and all the important components of the body. Protein plays a very important role in the growth are repair of cells in the body.
Since it takes longer to digest proteins than carbohydrates, eating them makes you feel fuller for longer thus helping in your weight loss efforts. Several studies have proven proteins to be effective in aiding weight loss and reduction in belly fat, even as is improves muscle mass and strength.
A protein-rich diet has also been proven by research results to be effective when it comes to lowering blood pressure, fighting diabetes, among other health benefits.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein stands at 46 and 56 grams for women and men respectively. It is, however, becoming apparent that human beings need to take more proteins in a day for better health and optimal function.
It turns out that you might not be taking as much protein as you should mainly due to the choice of sources you have included in your diet. So what are the best sources of protein?
Protein can be sourced from two main sources, either plants or animals. In this write-up, we discuss the sources of protein that guarantee optimal nutrition, as well as good health. Read on for more detailed information on sources of protein that are guaranteed to work for you and your loved ones.
Best Sources of Protein
Eggs are, by their nature, one of the best sources of protein. According to a 2009 study, eggs were found to contain chemicals that helped promote muscle recovery after exercise. The amino acid leucine is known to regulate the synthesis of protein in the muscles thus leading to their growth.
Besides that, they are also sources of good nutrition such as minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and anti-oxidants. In whole eggs, over 35 percent is protein. It is because of this that you are advised to consume more protein on a daily basis.
Eggs can be eaten as an omelet or in boiled form. They also make a key ingredient in all types of recipes. Scrambled eggs and shakes made from dried egg powder are the other ways of eating this rich protein source.
2. Nuts, Seeds, and Grains
For individuals who are ever on the move, nuts and seeds are an easy way of including proteins in your diet. One of the best sources of protein is the almond nut. In addition to the protein, almonds are full of fiber, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E. 13 percent of the calories in almonds are protein. Other nuts that contain lots of proteins include pistachios at 13 percent and cashew nuts at 11 percent. Peanuts also have a very high protein content.
The good thing with nuts is that they can be taken in the form of butter. Peanut butter is the most common. If you include this in your diet, you don’t need to take whole nuts. Only check that the nuts do not have a high sugar or salt content.
Also, try seeds such as hemp, soybeans, chickpeas, oats, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, which are some of the best sources of protein. Make sure you eat them whole for maximum benefits.
3. Dairy Products
Apart from being one of the best sources of protein, dairy products are full of bone-strengthening calcium. The thing with dairy is that it exists in different forms, all of which are good protein sources. The following are some of the dairy products that you must, of necessity, try:
Greek yogurt. With this product, you will get a double portion of protein, compared to other yogurts. Strengthen your bones with the high calcium content and maintain good gut health with the help of the probiotic bacteria. It contains 23 grams of protein in an 8-ounce serving.
Cottage cheese. If you are looking for a healthy snack any time of the day, this is it. It has a high content of casein which digests slowly to feed your muscles on the go. It contains 14 grams of protein for every ½ cup serving.
Swiss cheese. You will get more proteins from Swiss cheese than any other product on the supermarket shelves. Use it on a daily basis to make your burgers and sandwiches. It contains 8 grams of protein in every 1-ounce serving.
2 percent milk. 2 percent milk has a high protein content together with lots of vitamin D and omega-3 oils. You can easily make a nutritious shake by mixing 2 percent milk with choice protein powder. It contains 8 grams of protein for every 1-cup serving.
Casein or whey protein powder. Whey protein powder is easy to prepare, especially when it comes to mixing it with water in a bottle. As a fast-digesting protein, whey powder is best used as an on-the-go breakfast. Casein, on the other hand, digests slowly and can leave you feeling full hours after taking it. Expect up to 24 grams of protein in every scoop of the powder.
Smoothies. To fortify whey or casein powders, you can use them to prepare a fruit smoothie. Apart from the high protein content, you will be able to get lots of vitamins. Expect up to 16 grams from every 1-cup serving.
4. Beans, Peas, and Other Legumes
Beans exist in all forms. As such, there are black, white, heirloom, and pinto. All of these contain high amounts of protein. You can cook the beans yourself or buy the canned variety. Some varieties such as the kidney beans contain up to 26 grams of protein in a 2-cup serving. One of the best recipes you should try is black bean cakes with Queso Fresco.
Just like beans and other legumes, green peas belong to the legume family. It is one of the best sources of protein. If eating peas on their own is an issue, why don’t you try blending them into a creative recipe? Green peas contain some 7.9 grams of protein in every 1-cup serving.
5. Fish and Sea Food
Fish and seafood typically have a very high protein content. The good thing about these protein sources is that it contains little fat if any. The following are some of the products you may want to consider:
Tilapia. If what you want is fish with a mild taste, tilapia is the best. It contains up to 21 grams in every 3-ounce serving.
Yellow fin tuna. Apart from having a high protein content, tuna also has selenium and vitamin B. You will get 25 grams of protein in every 3 ounces of tuna.
Halibut. This low-fat fish has a very impressive protein content. Expect 23 grams of protein in every 3-ounce serving. It can help you achieve your muscle-building goals.
Octopus. This is one of the best sources of protein when it comes to seafood. Octopus contains up to 25 grams of protein in every 3-ounce serving.
Sardines. In addition to containing lots of proteins, sardines are also a good source of vitamin D and omega-3 fats. It contains up to 21 grams of protein in every 3-ounce serving.
6. Red Meat
Red meat has a very high protein content on average. The following are the various sources of red meat:
Grass-fed beef. In the grass-fed form, beef contains fewer calories and is low-fat. Apart from the high protein content, it is also a good source of iron and omega-3 oils. It contains 26 grams of protein in a 4-ounce serving.
Bison. Bison’s calorie count is more than half of what grass-fed beef provides. It is low in fat and contains vitamin B 12. You will get 23 grams of protein in every 4-ounce serving.
Ostrich. This meat tastes almost the same as beef and has less fat than turkey or chicken. It contains vitamin B 12, choline, and up to 29 grams of protein in a 4-ounce serving.
Pork. One of the best sources of protein is pork tenderloin. It doesn’t contain that much fat as has previously been assumed. In fact, a chicken breast could have more fat than a 3-ounce pork serving. You will get 24 grams of protein in a 4-ounce serving of protein.
Apart from eggs, poultry meat is also one of the best sources of protein. The following are some of the major types of poultry meat you might want to try out:
Turkey. Apart from being a great source of protein, turkey contains omega-3 oils. It also has a very low-fat content. You will get 24 grams of protein from a 3-ounce serving of turkey breast.
Chicken. Chicken breast is not of the best sources of protein. With the skin, it will also supply you with some fats. When skinless and boneless, a 3-ounce chicken breast will supply you with up to 24 grams of proteins.
Granted, protein serves a very important role in the body. The source of protein you choose largely depends on your personal preferences as well as lifestyle choices. Therefore, individuals on a vegan or vegetarian diet will go for a more plant-based diet. The rest may want to include meat in their diet. The choice is yours.