Your body requires protein to build, maintain, and repair cells, hormones, enzymes, and other compounds. It plays a significant role in weight loss, muscle strength, blood sugar control, and brain function as well.
Protein is best found in whole foods such as lean meats, fish, egg whites, and low-fat dairy products. Eating these high-protein meals will help you feel satiated, which in turn supports healthy body weight.
High-protein plant foods such as soy, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils provide a complete protein with all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and sustain strong muscles and other tissues. These whole foods provide essential building blocks of protein for your muscles and other tissues.
Continue reading if you want to know about the best sources of protein for optimum health.
What Is Protein?
Health Reporter says that proteins are the building blocks of life. They are a group of molecules that provide structure and support to your cells, aid in muscle building, fuel chemical reactions and hormone synthesis, and play an essential role in immune function. Your body cannot create proteins on its own; thus, you must consume them regularly through food consumption.
You can get protein from a variety of sources like meats, eggs, dairy products, and some plant sources such as quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and soy products. These are some of the best natural protein sources.
The Best Sources of Protein for Optimal Health
Protein is an essential nutrient for proper body functioning. It provides structure and support to cells, boosts immunity, and produces hormones and enzymes. Protein can be obtained from a variety of sources. Here are the best sources of protein for optimal health.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and a nutritious choice for those seeking to increase their daily nutrient intake. Furthermore, eggs boast low calories with high satiety levels, helping you feel fuller for longer so that you can reduce calorie consumption later in the day. Egg protein is of superior quality and provides all the essential amino acids your body requires. Not only that, it provides vitamins B12, A, and D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to benefit heart health, but egg protein itself also boasts these essential vitamins.
Yogurt is a dairy product created by fermenting milk with live bacteria. It provides protein, calcium, and essential vitamins B6 and B12, as well as riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium. Additionally, prebiotics can boost the beneficial bacteria in your gut, maintaining the balance of microbiota that keeps your digestive system working optimally. Yogurt has also been found to lower blood pressure and triglycerides in those who consume it regularly.
Chicken and Turkey
Chicken and turkey are both excellent sources of high-quality protein. A 3-ounce serving of chicken provides 26 grams of protein, while a 3-ounce portion of turkey provides 25 grams of the same. Chicken and turkey not only provide protein, but they also offer a wealth of other essential nutrients like B complex vitamins, vitamin D, iron, and potassium. For those seeking high levels of protein, chicken or turkey breast or thigh makes a great option.
Milk is an excellent source of protein and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it contains less fat than many other dairy products. Traditional milk is made from cow’s milk, but now there are non-dairy alternatives such as almond, soy, and hemp milk. These kinds of milk make an ideal choice for vegans and those with lactose intolerances. Non-dairy kinds of milk can provide an excellent source of protein without the extra calories from dairy.
If you’re searching for an energy-boosting source of protein that can fuel your day, almonds are a great choice to add to your diet. Not only do these nuts taste delicious, but they also offer numerous health benefits like improved heart health, weight loss, and insulin sensitivity. Almonds are an excellent source of plant protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Additionally, they’re packed with minerals like magnesium, vitamin E, phosphorous, and copper.
Cottage cheese is an incredibly nutrient-rich dairy product that you can use in many dishes. It provides numerous advantages, such as protein, calcium, vitamin D, selenium, and phosphorus. A half cup of cottage cheese provides 20 grams of high-quality protein. It makes an ideal choice for those looking to build muscle mass or athletes who require a steady supply of amino acids during workouts.
Lean beef is an ideal source of protein that’s low in calories and saturated fat. It makes a great choice for those seeking to increase their protein intake while staying on a balanced diet. Beef is an excellent source of B vitamins and zinc, essential for strong bones and a robust immune system. A single serving of cooked lean ground beef contains 171 calories, 6 grams of total fat, and 26 grams of protein.
Quinoa is an abundant plant-based protein packed with fiber and antioxidants. Additionally, it boasts plenty of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Plus, quinoa provides plenty of calcium, iron, and zinc – making it a super food choice. It is an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Furthermore, it is a complete protein food, providing all nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein, more than most other grains.
Pumpkin seeds are replete with essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, their anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce arthritis pain and boost immunity levels. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent natural source of zinc, which helps in controlling blood pressure and protecting against heart disease. Furthermore, pumpkin seeds contain magnesium which supports bone health as well as glucose regulation.
Peanuts are an excellent source of protein and a variety of essential nutrients, such as healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. They are essential components for a balanced diet, helping to prevent high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. They provide a range of health advantages, such as antioxidants and reduced cancer risks. Furthermore, they contain protein, vitamin B6, niacin, magnesium, copper, and folate, making them an excellent source of protein nutrition.
Soya is one of the world’s cheapest sources of protein. Additionally, it boasts plenty of B vitamins, fiber, and potassium for nutritional support. There is evidence to support the idea that those who consume more soy products tend to have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis than those who don’t.
Benefits of Eating High-Protein Foods
Protein is an integral part of your diet, so ensure that you get enough. Eating enough proteins will help you reach your objectives – whether that be losing weight, building muscle mass, or simply feeling better overall. Here are some benefits of eating high-protein foods.
1. Build Strong Muscles
2. Strengthen Your Immune System
3. Help You Lose Weight
4. Strengthen Your Bones
5. Boost Your Energy Levels
Protein is an essential nutrient for optimal body functioning. It helps build and repair tissues, supports immune function and hormone synthesis, promotes weight loss, muscle growth, and recovery, etc. Eating enough protein each day is crucial for overall well-being. Fortunately, many whole foods can meet your dietary protein requirements. Choose plant sources like beans, peas, nuts, and seeds; lean meats; low-fat dairy; or egg whites for a nutritious source of protein. No matter if you’re a vegetarian or meat eater, there are plenty of high-protein foods you can incorporate into your meals and snacks to help build strong muscles.