Proteins are referred to as bodybuilding foods. Proteins are essential as they help in building and repair of muscles, replenishing lost blood, production of enzymes, and other necessary body chemicals.
A high intake of protein is recommended for quicker healing of wounds. Lack of protein can result in nails, skin, and hair in poor conditions; also, lack of protein can lead to a weak immune system putting one at a higher risk of communicable diseases.
Protein is categorized into animal and plant-based proteins.
- Animal Proteins include all fish, poultry, red meat, and pork.
- Plant-based proteins are vegetables, grains, and beans.
Why Include Protein in Each Meal?
Proteins give a fuller feeling, which discourages overeating, which is necessary for weight loss. Since proteins are digested steadily, they provide continuous energy, which provides the body with more endurance when working out for a firm and fit body. It is recommended to include a lean protein for breakfast for more energy throughout the day.
Proteins help in the building of strong muscles when working out. Healthy cartilage that occurs from the intake of proteins supports the muscles appropriately for a great physic. Protein is also necessary for the creation of gorgeous skin and healthy bones. Remember to eat proteins in moderation as the excess is stored as fat.
The brain requires amino acids for its daily functions. It is necessary to eat a variety of proteins so that the brain can gain the most benefits.
Promotes Healthy Metabolism
Metabolism slows down as one ages resulting in unwanted weight gain. Including a small portion of lean protein in all your meals promotes a healthy metabolism. The age and gender of a person will determine how much protein should be consumed for better health.
Replenishment of Lost Blood
Women of childbearing age lose a small amount of blood every month through their menses. Someone involved in an accident may lose a large amount of blood. For that reason, protein is required to replenish the lost blood. It also helps in boosting the immune and nervous system for a better quality of life.
Factors to Consider When Cooking Animal-Based Protein
- Do Not Overcook or Undercook Animal Proteins
- Overcooked animal proteins become tough and difficult to digest; furthermore, exposing them to high temperatures for a long time may cause a change in their character that may be toxic to the body.
- Undercooked animal proteins may contain bacteria that may cause illness. Learn how to cook animal protein properly for maximum benefit.
- Trim Off Fat Before Cooking
- Fat is usually stored under the skin of chicken and other animal proteins. As a result, it is necessary to cut it off before cooking to stay away from consuming unhealthy fat. The leaner the protein, the better it is for your health.
- Divide Into Easy to Cook Portions
- Most animal proteins need to be frozen before cooking so that they do not go bad. It is necessary to pack it into easy to cook portions to avoid defrosting the whole piece every time. Bacteria may develop on food when it is defrosted, and putting them back in the freezer can cause food poisoning.
Plant-Based Proteins Vegetables
- 1 cup spinach has 5 grams of protein
- 2 cups cooked kale has 5 grams of protein
- 1 cup boiled peas have 9 grams of protein
- 1 avocado offers 10 grams of protein
- 1 cup broccoli has 5 grams protein
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato has 5 grams protein
- 2 ounces of walnuts provides 5 grams of protein
- 1 ounce of pistachios provides 5.8 grams of protein
- 2 tablespoons of almonds provides 4 grams of protein
- 1 ounce cashews provides 4.4 grams of protein
- 3 tablespoons of tahini provides 8 grams of protein
- 1 cup Quinoa – 9 grams of protein
- Brown rice, oat bran, and wheat germ
- 1 cup oatmeal – 6 grams of protein
- Sprouted grain bread – 7-10 grams protein
Lentils and Beans
- 1 cup of lentils has 18 grams of protein
- 1 cup garbanzo beans/hummus have 14.5 grams protein
- 1 cup of black beans, pinto or white kidney beans have 13-15 grams protein
- 1 cup of soybeans has 28 grams of protein
- 1 cup of tempeh has 30 grams of protein
Non Dairy Milk
- 1 cup of soy milk offers a whopping 11 grams of protein
Plant-based proteins are good for you because
- They are low in fat that may clog your arteries.
- They are high in fiber, which is necessary for a healthy digestive system.
- Plant-based proteins are cheaper and are readily available.
A balanced diet is necessary to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it requires. Therefore make sure to include your healthy carbohydrates with lots of fruits and vegetables served together with the recommended amount of lean protein.