What are best sources of healthy high protein foods to eat?
What foods are high in healthy protein? What are best sources of healthy high protein foods to eat?
Tips for Getting High-Quality Protein in Your Diet
Protein is one type of essential nutrients that provide energy and support to cognitive function and mood. This essential nutrient can be found in the foods that you eat on a daily basis, while protein is often a misunderstood nutrient in our daily diets. When people think of protein, usually they think of steak searing on a grill, an energy bar to expel fatigue and stress, or a protein shake promising remarkable muscle growth. It is true that the foods mentioned are packed with protein, but with regards to making the best choices of protein to keep mind and body healthy, quality is just as essential as quantity.
What is Protein?
Like fats and carbohydrates, protein is also a very important nutrient that plays an essential role in building, maintaining and repairing cells, tissues, and body organs. After taking protein, it is broken down into the twenty amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of your body for energy and development. The amino acid tryptophan affects mood using producing serotonin, which can diminish signs of depression and apprehension, and help get overall cognitive function better.
A lot of sources of protein including poultry, meat, eggs, fish as well as dairy, supply all the amino acids needed by your body, while protein comes from plants like beans, vegetables, grains, and nuts are often lack of one or more of the essential amino acids. On the other hand, that does not mean you need to consume animal products to meet the required amount of amino acids. Through eating a variety of plant-based protein on a daily basis, you can assure that your body gets the needed amount of amino acids.
The Health Benefits of Protein
Protein is an essential micronutrient that the body needs to function properly. This nutrient helps the body function many vital roles and provides multiple health benefits. Here are some of the fantastic benefits of taking protein:
- It Serves Body’s Building Blocks: This essential nutrient is important for building new cells like blood cells, muscles, bones, and organs. What is more, it also helps in keeping these cells healthy. Protein is vital for repairing body cells when they become weak and damaged. In general, this nutrient is important in all phases of your life. For young ones, protein helps in developing their bodies and helps for full and proper development as well. For a mature individual, protein helps in keeping a healthy body and repair injuries they might suffer.
- Protein Helps Generate Antibodies, Enzymes, and Hormones: Protein helps the body generate many essential chemicals that are important for proper body function. Antibodies help keep your immune system strong and also play a vital role in fighting body infection. Enzymes, on the other hand, are very important for healthy digestion and other chemical reactions in your body. Hormones send messages to the body cells. Lack of protein in your body, these chemicals can’t be secreted, so you have to ensure you are getting the adequate amount of this essential macronutrient.
- Protein Helps Heal Cuts and Bruises: Once you bleed, your body will produce fibrin. It covers the wound and helps to form a clot. If the wound has clotted, the body generates a protein called collagen. This type of protein is the connective tissue of the body and helps generate new skin and scar tissue to repair and cure the wound. If you are lack of protein, it will be hard for your body to produce collagen and fibrin. Thus the wound will take time to heal.
- Protein Help Lose Weight: Protein plays a very important role in weight loss. Your body uses a high amount of calories when breaking down this protein. Therefore, if you consume a 500 calorie meal of pure protein, your body will shed more calories digesting this meal that it would digest a 500 cal meal of pure carbohydrates. Research also shows that this essential nutrient can suppress your appetite. According to the research, the amino acid leucine present in protein is the responsible for lowering your appetite.
In general, protein is not only a body’s building block but it also helps in regulating your appetite, help heal cuts and important for proper body function. If you’re not currently consuming protein on a daily basis, I extremely recommend making this nutrient the main feature of your daily diet.
To sum up, protein can help:
- Keep immune system work properly, keeps heart health, keep the respiratory system working properly, as well as speed up muscle recovery after a workout.
- Protein is essential for kids development and growth and for keeping health in senior years.
- Help lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
- Help think clearly and might improve recall
- Improve mood and boost resistance to anxiety, stress as well as depression
- It might also help in keeping a healthy weight through suppressing appetite, making you feel full for a longer time, and fueling your body with the energy needed to accomplish your daily task.
Aside from being crucial to feeling energetic and healthy, protein is also very important in improving your appearance like:
- Maintain healthy hair, nails, and skin
- Maintain lean body mass while you are dieting
- Build muscle
If you want to control the power of protein and access the benefits mentioned above, you have to include protein-rich food into your diet. Keep in mind, men need 56 grams a day, and women only need 46 grams. Therefore it is not a big requirement but required to change your life forever. Add protein to your daily diet, and the outcomes will be remarkable in the end.
While a lot of people implementing a western diet get enough amount of protein on a daily basis, some of you aren’t getting the best and high-quality protein you need.
High-quality vs. low-quality protein
Differentiating between organic, grass-fed meat and commercially raised meat helps you determine low and high-quality sources of protein.
- Though some processed or lunch meats, like for instance, can be a good source of this nutrient, some are packed with salt that can lead to high blood and other types of medical issues.
- Processed meats are also associated with an increased risk of certain cancer; this is because of the substances added in the preparation of the meat.
So the key to making sure you take high-quality protein is to include diverse kinds in your daily diet, instead of only depending on the processed or red meat.
How much high-quality protein do you need?
Grown-ups must consume at least 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of their body weight on a daily basis. So, if your weight is 180 pound, then it is advisable to consume at least 65g of quality protein a day. Higher consumption of protein might help to lower the risk of osteoporosis, obesity, stroke as well as type II diabetes.
- Nursing women need approximately 20g or high quality per day than they did before pregnancy to help milk production.
- Seniors or older adults must aim for one to 1.5 g of protein for every kilogram of their weigh.
- Try to split the intake of protein among meals, make sure it is proportion.
Source: Environmental Nutrition
Good Sources of High-Quality Protein
There are many good sources of high-quality protein such as:
Fish: A lot of seafood is abundant in high-quality protein. Fish like trout, salmon, sardines, sablefish, anchovies, as well as herring are rich in protein. What is more, they are also high in omega 3-fatty acids. According to health experts, you must eat fish at least two times a week.
Poultry: Poultry products are also a good source of quality protein. However, turkey and chicken skin are rich in saturated fats. So, it is advisable to remove the skin before eating chicken. In the United States, non-organic poultry contains antibiotics which are bad for health and cultivated on GMO feed growth with pesticide, so it is highly advisable to opt for natural and free-range poultry as much as possible.
Dairy Products: Dairy products like cheese, skim milk, as well as yogurt, give lots of high-quality protein. As much as possible, you have to keep away from flavored milk and low-fat yogurt as they contain sugar. You also have to keep away from processed cheese as that doesn’t contain non-dairy ingredients.
Beans: Peas and beans are rich in fiber and protein. You can add them to your soup, salad to enhance your protein consumption.
Seeds and Nuts: Aside from being a good source of essential nutrient, seeds and nuts are also abundant in good fats and fiber. You can add nuts and seeds to your salad.
Tofu and Other Soy Products: Non-GMO soy and tofu are superb alternatives to red meat, rich in protein and contain less amount of fat. Plant-based protein sources are less expensive than meat, so this will not just help you keep your body healthy, but also your wallet.
Good Sources of Protein
Nutrition values are just approximate; significant variations occur by brand, cooking method, cut of meat, etc.
3 ounces of canned Tune has 20 grams of protein
3 ounces of salmon has 19 grams of protein
3 ounces of turkey breast has 26 grams of protein
3 ounces of chicken breast contains 27 grams of protein
3 ounce of skirt steak contains 25 grams of protein
3 ounces of ground beef has 22 grams of protein
1/3 cup of kidney beans gas 4 grams of protein
1/3 cup of black beans has 5 grams of protein
1/2 of Non-fat milk has 4 grams of protein
1/2 cup of soy milk has 4 grams of protein
One large egg has 6 grams of protein
3 ounces of mozzarella and cheddar chess has 19 grams of protein
1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese has 12 grams of protein
2 tablespoon of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein
2 tablespoon of almonds as 8 grams of protein
1/4 cups of Walnut has 3 grams of protein
1/2 cup of tofu has 11 grams of protein
Tips to increase your protein intake
To incorporate high quality protein in your daily diet, try replacing processed carbohydrates with quality protein. It can lessen the risk for stroke and heart disease, and you will also feel full longer that can help keep a healthy weight.
- Minimized the number of processed carbs your eat- from foods like cakes, pizza, pastries, chips, and cookies- and substitute them with beans, fish, seeds, nuts, chicken, peas, soy and tofu and dairy products.
- Replace chips with seeds and nuts, snack on Greek yogurt instead of baked dessert, or substitute pizza with a grilled chicken breast.
If you hate seafood but want to meet your daily protein requirements, there are ways to make fish more edible.
- Always purchase fresh fish. Some say cod, tilapia, and salmon have the least fishy taste.
- You can disguise the taste using adding an appetizing sauce
- Marinate fish using Cajun or Creole seasoning
- Add white fish or shellfish, like tilapia or cod, to a curry.
- Mix grilled fish with fresh salsa or any preferred chutney
- Combine canned tuna or salmon with low-fat mayo and chopped onion for an appetizing sandwich filling.
To keep problems at bay when increase protein intake you must:
- Opt for unsalted nuts and seeds, to minimize your daily sodium ingestion.
- When buying for canned beans, get the low sodium versions.
- Adding more protein to your daily diet can boost urine output, therefore, drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.
- Increasing protein intake can also lead to calcium loss so ensure to get lots of calcium about 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day.
Protein Shakes, Bars, and Powders
Ingesting the right balance of whole foods a day will give you with the nutrients your body needs, this adverse the need for protein pills or supplements. But, you might benefit from supplementing your diet if you are:
- A teen that is growing and work out a lot
- A mature individual switching to a vegetarian diet, eliminating fish, chicken, meat as well as eggs and dairy products from the daily diet
- An older person with a small appetite who finds it hard to meet your protein needs in whole food.
- Beginning or increasing a regular exercise program, wanting to add muscle, recovering from injury, or you find it hard to lift weights
Using protein supplements
Protein supplements are available in various forms which include powders that can be mixed with milk or water, pre-mixed, bars, and ready-to-drink shakes. The most popular forms of protein used are casein, whey, and soy. Casein and Whey are types of protein that is milk-based, while soy is the best choice for vegetarians.
Safety concerns. Protein pills or supplements might not be safe for seniors suffering from renal disease or those who have just undergone digestive system surgery. Some ingredients might even interact with a prescription drug, so visit your doctor for some advice before using.
Drink lots of water to keep hydrated and ensure you are getting sufficient amount of calcium in your daily diet.
Watch out for additional ingredients. Lots of protein bars available are rich in carbohydrates and added sugar.
Photo sources: pixabay.com