Protein is one of the three macronutrients your body needs every day to function at optimum levels. Best known for helping you build muscle, protein is actually a true multitasker that contributes to numerous other processes in our bodies. Here is just a selection: protein helps you feel full after a meal and contributes to weight management. Plus, it is also one of the factors that control blood sugar levels through slower energy release. Protein also increases your body’s ability to absorb calcium from your diet, which supports bone health. As if that wasn’t enough, protein supports cell functions necessary for immune health, hormone synthesis, and other chemical reactions in the body.
In short, getting enough protein every day is critical to staying or becoming fit and healthy and feeling your best every day. Here is a list of some of our favorite protein-rich foods.
Eggs have had some bad publicity, but the truth is they are an excellent source of healthy protein and other nutrients, including vitamin B12 and vitamin A. Egg whites are almost pure protein, but don’t dismiss the yolks. They are packed with nutrients, including critical antioxidants. Eggs are also simply delicious and hugely versatile as an ingredient.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is typically a strained, thick-set yogurt that is delicious eaten straight out of its container or as a part of sweet and savory dishes. Apart from being high in protein, it’s also a great source of vitamins and essential minerals like calcium and zinc. We love Greek yogurt in sauces, salad dressings, or as part of a healthy breakfast.
Lentils are an excellent protein choice for vegetarians and vegans. They’re among the leading plant-based protein sources. What’s more, lentils are an excellent source of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, and other key nutrients. Consider adding lentils to stews, salads, or soups.
4. Chicken and Turkey Breast
Were you starting to wonder where the meat was on this list? Here you go! Chicken breast or turkey breast are excellent dietary choices if you’re looking to increase the amount of protein you eat. Both are also great sources of vitamins and minerals. Chicken and turkey are similar in many ways, but turkey breast can be leaner and lower in calories if you’re watching your intake. Both are delicious as the main act of your meal or when added to salads or soups.
5. Grass-Fed Beef
Another one for meat lovers! Eaten in moderation, grass-fed beef can be a part of a healthy diet. Not only is it high in protein, but it’s also one of the best sources of bioavailable iron and B vitamins.
6. Wild Caught Fish
Another excellent source of protein and B vitamins, fatty fish also contains omega-3 healthy fats. It’s tasty and it contributes to heart health and blood sugar management. High-quality fish delivers minerals like iodine and selenium to your body, too.
Which one should you choose? It’s best to eat a varied balanced diet combining different sources of protein every day. Try to include at least one source of protein with every meal for optimum nutrition.