Protein is essential for the good functioning of the human body. It plays an active role in building muscles, but also helps refresh lost blood, and stimulates the production of various enzymes and other essential substances in the body.
When you suffer an injury, a diet rich in protein is often recommended. When you eat too little protein, it will show on your skin, nails and hair. You will also fall ill more easily, because your immune system is affected by the lack of protein.
Protein can be obtained in two ways: from animal meat and from plants. It can be found in fish, any type of poultry, beef and pork, as well as other meats. If you are looking for protein found in plants, grains and beans are on the top of the list.
Important reasons for having protein in your diet
It helps you shed off extra pounds
When you eat protein, you will feel full much faster and you will not feel tempted to eat more than necessary. It must also be noted that protein is much easier to digest, which means that it is transformed into energy quite fast, and it is made available for you to use. People who are exercising need plenty of protein in their diet for this reason.
It helps build muscle mass
There are many ways in which protein helps you when you are working out. Your cartilages will become stronger, which means that they will help you support the muscles while exercising. When you have plenty of protein in your diet, you will have great looking skin and reliable bone density as well. However, you need to keep in mind that protein must be consumed in moderation to avoid it being stores in fat deposits.
It promotes good brain development
The human brain needs certain amino-acids to function, and these can easily be obtained from protein.
It helps your metabolism
As you age, your metabolism rate will begin to decrease. This means that it will become easier to gain weight. Lean protein is your best choice to stimulate your metabolism but without causing any storage of fat.
It helps the body replenish loss of blood
Blood loss can occur in many different situations. In case of accident, or wounds, a diet rich in protein is much recommended, because it helps the body make new blood and replenish the lost one. It also contributes to your immune system.
When cooking meat
Never overcook or undercook meat
The protein found in meats becomes difficult to digest if you overcook the meat. Also, when the protein is exposed to high temperatures, it can become toxic for the body.
Undercooking is not recommended, either, because the meat can retain dangerous bacteria.
Take off the fat
Meat also comes with some layers of fat, and it is essential to take this fat away before you begin cooking. Leaner meats are better for your health, and you will only get to enjoy the benefits of protein without the nasty fat.
Make smaller portions
When you purchase fresh meat, cut it in smaller portions and place it in the freezer. This way, you will be able to take out only the necessary for cooking a meal. Meat cannot be frozen and defrosted more than one time, because it can let bacteria develop, causing food poisoning.
Protein from plants
- 1 cup spinach contains 5 grams of protein
- 2 cups of cooked kale contain 5 grams of protein
- 1 cup of boiled peas contains 9 grams of protein
- 1 avocado contains 10 grams of protein
- 1 cup of broccoli contains 5 grams of protein
- 1 cup of cooked sweet potato contains 5 grams of protein
- 2 ounces of walnuts contain 5 grams of protein
- 1 ounce of pistachios contains 5.8 grams of protein
- 2 tablespoons of almonds contain 4 grams of protein
- 1 ounce of cashews contains 4.4 grams of protein
- 3 tablespoons of tahini contain 8 grams of protein
- 1 cup of quinoa has 9 grams of protein
- 1 cup of oatmeal has 6 grams of protein
- Sprouted grain breads contain 7-10 grams of protein per slice
Lentils and Beans
- 1 cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein
- 1 cup of garbanzo beans or hummus has 14.5 grams of protein
- 1 cup of black beans, pinto or kidney beans has 13-15 grams of protein
- 1 cup of soybeans contains 28 grams of protein
- 1 cup of tempeh contains 30 grams of protein
Non Dairy Milk
- 1 cup of soy milk has alone 11 grams of protein
You should consume protein from plants as they:
– Do not contain fat responsible for heart conditions and high blood pressure.
– Contain a lot of fiber that is used for promoting a healthy digestion.
– Are affordable and easy to find.
You need to have a good diet if you want to get all the necessary nutrients to function well and be healthy. Carbs are great if you get most of them from fruits and veggies. Choose lean sources of protein for great tasty meals that will keep you healthy and happy.