Useful Health Tips

10 Healthy Sources of Protein and Why you need it

10 Healthy Sources of Protein and Why you need it
August 04
15:13 2018

Gaining Muscle the Natural Way

If you pay any attention to nutrition – either keeping your body in shape, getting it there or thinking about getting it there – you have heard about protein. This important macro-nutrient is used in almost every aspect of your body’s functioning, but are you getting enough of it in your daily diet?

The answer depends on what you want to use protein to do. If you are simply trying to keep your body functioning how it needs to be, you can stick to the recommendation of 46 grams daily for women and 56 grams for men.

Gaining Muscle

However, if you are trying to build muscle, it is recommended that you get in 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight each day to help you lose fat. This might sound easy to do, but the hard part is getting your protein from the right food sources. Try to avoid the supplements.

Why do You Need Protein?

Protein is important to every cell in your body. It is what your hair and nails are made of, your damaged tissues are rebuilt with the aid of protein, and all of your enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals are created with the use of protein. It’s the foundational building block of all of your bones, muscle, skin, blood, and cartilage.

In short, it’s absolutely necessary to your every movement.

But what happens if you don’t get enough protein?

Unlike many other nutrients in your body, you do not store protein, so you need to have fresh sources of it daily. When you lack enough protein to do everything that needs to be done, your body can’t send it to every area.

That’s when you start noticing the little things. Your hair may start falling out because one of the first things your body does when it doesn’t have enough protein is to put your hair follicles into a “resting phase.”

Protein keeps your immune system functioning optimally, too, so if you are getting sick more often than normal, you may have a lack of protein in your diet. Your body may be unable to heal any wounds you receive as well as it used to.

You may also notice muscle loss and weakness. When you go without enough protein for longer periods of time, your body begins to break down areas where it has previously stored the nutrient, like your muscles. It takes the stored proteins and uses it for other, more urgent needs.

So it’s apparent that you need to have enough protein just to maintain your body’s needs every day, and then even more to build muscle.  But you need to be sure that you are getting the right kinds of protein.

What is Good vs. Bad Protein?

In general, protein will do what it is supposed to do in your body. It’s the effects of what happens with the rest of the food that makes the difference between good and bad types of protein.

A protein that comes from certain animal sources, like red meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products, have saturated fat in them. This type of fat can raise your LDL, or bad, cholesterol, so it is best to avoid getting too much of your protein from fatty meats and whole-milk products.

Good protein gives your body what it needs without harming it at the same time. This type of protein is often obtained from plant sources like whole grains, beans, and nuts.Healthy sources of protein helps in building muscle mass,hormones and it is also good for skin. In addition to the protein these sources of nutrition provide, they also are excellent ways to get mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, the healthy fats your body needs.

10 Healthy Sources of Protein to Build Muscle

Check some healthy sources of protein below:

  1. Organic chicken breast

At approximately 30 grams of protein a meal, the right lean chicken fills you up and gives you more than enough protein for one meal. The fact that it is organic means there is no junk going into your body because the chickens were not given antibiotics or other unhealthy byproducts.

  1. Salmon

Considered to be one of the powerhouse foods for healthy proteins, salmon weighs in at a hefty 40 grams per .5 fillet.  Five ounces of this fish only has approximately 240 calories but gives your body as much as 70% of what it would need for a 2,000 calorie diet.

While salmon and other seafood sustainability was once in question due to being over-fished, companies like GlobalSalmonInitiative have banded together across the world to ensure that everyone has access to this healthy food source.

  1. Greek yogurt

This healthy snack and cooking companion has twice as much protein as other types of yogurt, giving you 23 grams of protein in an 8-ounce serving. It also is full of calcium and pro-biotic bacteria, so your bones stay strong and your gut health is clean.

  1. Anchovies

If you are looking for canned protein options, anchovies are the clear winner. Their small size helps them avoid added toxins, so the 24 grams of protein you pack in with a 3-ounce serving is completely healthy. Because they are very salty, many people turn up their noses at anchovies, but a short soak in water can help remove the saltiness and make them more palatable.

  1. Navy beans

A cheap protein source, navy beans are the way to go. With 20 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving, these beans are an easy source of nutrients and are also a great way to get your fiber intake. Plant sources of legumes like navy beans are good for your heart’s health, as well.

  1. Nuts

Two ounces of mixed nuts will net you 6 easy grams of protein. Peanuts, almonds, and cashews have healthy unsaturated fats that your body needs. Watch for the added salt, honey-roasted versions, and more. Nuts are healthy in their original versions, but adding the extra flavor can turn them unhealthy.

  1. Edamame

An excellent source of plant protein, edamame is a soybean full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. ½ cup of edamame will give you 8 grams of protein. You can buy this soybean shelled or unshelled, usually in the frozen foods section.

  1. Quinoa

The importance of whole grains is becoming widely known as people try to find ways to replace their bad carbs,  but many don’t know how to get these important grains in their diet. Quinoa is a South American whole grain full of protein, with 8 grams in a 1-cup serving. It can be served alone or added to your meal.

  1. Soba noodles

Noodles are bad, right? Not when you turn to soba noodles. They are a buckwheat Japanese-style pasta, giving you 12 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving. This puts them at the top of the list of wheat-based noodles and gives you the go-ahead to use them in your meals.

  1. Wheat germ

Wheat germ is simply a wheat grain made up of the endosperm, bran, and germ. You can use it as an added source of protein in your meals and shakes because the germ is the main source of nutrients in a plant. Adding a little extra of this to your day gets you another 6 grams of protein per ounce.

Get Your Protein the Healthy Way

While it is easy to get enough protein in your diet, if you want to stay healthy and build muscle, you need to make sure you are getting it in the right way. Choose good protein over bad protein, and add these delicious food sources to your daily diet.

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