Your Essential Guide to Protein-Rich Foods and Their Many Benefits
We all need essential nutrients to help our body’s maintenance and help it grow and function at its utmost potential. And whilst we can’t deny that vegetables and fruits are important, foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, dairy, eggs, and seeds and nuts, are equally vital as well.
Whilst there has been much talk about protein, especially for those of us who are aiming to build up our muscles and our core strength and energy, what do we really know about it? Do we know exactly what benefits protein-rich foods bring? Well, it’s time to find out.
The function of protein
Protein has a variety of functions for our bodies, although it is best known for muscle development and growth, as well as a great source of energy. But aside from this, protein plays a fundamental role in the development of bones, cartilage, blood, and even skin. Additionally, protein acts as a building block for hormones, enzymes, and vitamins. Protein is included in one of the three main nutrients which give us the calories we need every day (the other ones are carbohydrates and fat).
What you should know about protein-rich foods
There are a variety of protein-rich foods out there; all we need to do is choose them wisely. Red and white meat, for instance, are a popular source of protein. But it also makes a difference what type of meat we eat. Leaner cuts of meat, for example, are better for us as they contain lower levels of cholesterol, and egg whites, as opposed to egg yolks, are better because they are actually cholesterol-free.
Food that is rich in protein includes the above-mentioned meat and eggs, but other sources of protein include dried beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, and food products such as soy or tofu. Aside from being rich in protein, these foods are known to be rich in the B vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, B6, and riboflavin, and they are also good sources of vitamin E, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
Tips for a protein-rich diet
If you are unsure of how to go about increasing your protein intake, what you can do is have one large egg for breakfast, which contains about 6 grams of protein. Better yet, eategg whites to help build muscles and lessen your cholesterol intake. Couple this with low-fat yoghurt, which has about 6 grams of protein. For lunch, you can have some fish fillet with beans, or perhaps a slice of chicken breast, which contains about 17 grams of protein. In the afternoon, if you feel hungry, you can snack on nuts, cheese, or a half cup of cottage cheese, which can give you about 14 grams of protein.
Overall, the idea is also to have a well-balanced diet. Remember to add other smart carbohydrates to your daily diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This way, you can easily maintain and enhance your body’s energy and develop your strength at the same time whilst being a healthy eater.
To get the full impact of a healthy and nutritious diet, make it a point to source your meats, eggs, and dairy only from reputable, sustainable suppliers.