Every cell in our body relies on protein for structure and support of cells, building and repairing tissues, bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein functions as antibodies, enzymes, messengers, and assists with transport and storage. Hair and nails are made of protein. Like fat and carbohydrates protein is a macronutrient. This means our body needs large amounts of protein because, unlike fat and carbohydrates, our bodies do not store protein. When we eat more than what we need the body just eliminates it.
In order to see gains in the gym, we have to make sure to eat a high protein rich meal after we work out. When we workout we tear the muscle and rebuild it stronger. If there’s no protein going in, our bodies will pull from our skeletal muscles and bones for needed nutrients.
High protein diets increase the burning of fat, increase satiety, decrease calorie intake and lead to weight loss. It’s easy to misinterpret a high protein diet means loading up on proteins or only eat protein. When stocking your fridge with high protein foods it is imperative you consider quality proteins over quantity. Deli meat, hot dogs, baloney, sausage, and bacon are not suitable sources of protein. These proteins make it more difficult to maintain weight loss and lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They’ve gained a reputation for being just as bad as smoking cigarettes.
Good Sources of Protein
Vegetables are great sources of protein, they’re the source meat gets their protein from, but we have to make educated decisions on which vegetables we choose and where we buy them from. Spinach and rice are the lowest protein vegetables.
What are good sources of protein? When you consume protein eat these high protein-containing foods. High protein content= easily burned by the body.
1.) Fish. Do not buy farmed. Farm fish are fed the waste of chickens and grain. 5 oz Salmon has 39 grams of protein.Tuna has as much as 25 grams of protein. Experts advise no more than 12 ounces of fish per week.
2.) Skinless chicken. A 3 oz boneless chicken breast has 27 grams of protein.
3.) Beans. They contain more protein than any other vegetable protein. You can get just as much protein from beans as you can meat. Try lima beans they have 15 grams of protein per cup. Get more pack for your punch with black beans they have 40 grams of protein per cup. You can make them into a veggie burger or add them to your favorite Mexican dish. White beans can’t compete with only 16 grams of protein. While one cup of garbanzo beans equals 1/3 your daily serving of protein.
4.) Nuts. Especially almonds. A cup of pumpkin seeds has 12 grams of protein while almonds contain 20 grams.
5.) Whole Grains. Ezekial bread is your best bet. This company makes bread correctly by allowing it to sproat first.
6.)Temph: A cup of temph has 32 grams of protein.
7.) Eggs– 6 grams of protein in one egg. Make an omelet and you’ll have 18 or more grams of protein.
8.) Cottage Cheese– 25 grams of protein in a cup serving. Keeps you full longer because it is chockful of casein.
9.) Grassfed Beef– 22.5 grams of protein per 3 oz serving. Avoid grain-fed beef.
10.) Coconut– This fruit is filled with an impressive amount of protein 15 grams to be exact! You benefit from theronine when you eat coconut. It prevents the buildup of fat in your liver and helps you recover faster from your workout.
11.) Chia Seeds– 7 grams of protein per two tablespoons. You can easily add chia seeds to anything. Replace eggs or butter wth chia seeds when you cook or simply add it to a drink. Chia seeds have no taste.
12.) Pork loin– Stay away from bacon, but feel free to eat the pork loin. 3 oz portion has 23 grams of protein.
13.) Lentils– Great in soup, salad, as a dip, spread, crunchy snack, dessert, or flour substitute. You’re probably amazed at all the ways you can easily use a cup of lentil that is equal to 20 grams of protein.
14.) Greek yogurt– Has between 18 and 25 ounces of protein. Buy the packs without the fruit on top. It’s better for your health you add your own fruit. The fruit used is artificial and filled with extra sugar. Greek yogurt is also a great substitute for sour cream on tacos. Get more protein by adding wheat germ or nuts to your yogurt.
15.) Edamame– 17 grams of protein per cup.
16.) Seitan– Vegetarian meat alternative made with wheat. It has the texture of chicken. Filled with 21 grams of protein per 1/3 cup.
17.) Peanut Butter Vs. Almond Butter– 32.5 oz of protein per 1/2 cup. Use it as a dip for your fruit. Careful of the sugar content in some brands. If you’re allergic to peanut butter almond butter is another option. Almond butter has 26 grams of fat per 1/2 cup.
You have to care about where you purchase these proteins from. What is their source? Do your best to stick to organic and local products. If you’re growing your own garden make sure your seeds are not GMO. Our bodies were not made to break down genetically modified foods.
Too Much of Anything is Not Good
Eating too much protein causes our bodies to eliminate our stored calcium and can lead to osteoporosis. The reason this happens is calcium is used for eliminating protein.
Feature image via Vixen Daily