Ideas For Getting More Healthy Protein In Your Diet

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Try not to panic now but if you are older than or fast approaching 50, you are losing muscle daily. This may be because you are consuming insufficient protein. Even for younger adults that are constantly on the go, protein is all the more important as it ensures that there is enough energy so that the body can perform at its best. Experts agree that a high protein diet is vital for continued weight loss as well as boosting your metabolic health.

So how much protein do you really need to consume?

You must get a minimum of 10% of your total calories each day from protein. You want to make sure that you are getting your protein from an array of healthy sources all through the day. For instance, you can have a serving of low-fat Greek yogurt for breakfast, a serving of chicken at lunch, a healthy dose of protein coffee right after your workout, and a cup of beans for dinner. The human body is designed to break down protein and reuse it in numerous ways.

Are you getting enough protein in your diet? The simple truth is that you need protein for your body to perform optimally. As such, if your body is not getting the protein it requires, it will start to show in a variety of ways that include:

Unexplained swelling: One of the most common signals that your body is in dire need of more protein is unexplained swelling, also referred to as edema. The protein that circulates in your blood known as albumin is responsible for preventing fluid buildup within the tissues. As such, if you are experiencing swelling in your feet, legs, and hands and cannot seem to figure out why then it is time to up your protein intake.

Your nails are too brittle and your hair is falling out: If you are experiencing nail breakage more often than you would like, then it may be an obvious sign that you need to increase your protein intake. The same applies if your hair is thinning or falling out. Both the hair and nails are a byproduct of protein and they need protein to grow long and strong.

You experience constant mood swings: The brain relies on chemicals known as neurotransmitters to relay vital information between different cells. Many of the body’s neurotransmitters are comprised primarily of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. As such, if you are not getting protein in your diet, your body may be running low on those critical neurotransmitters, which will definitely change the way your brain operates.

Weakness and fatigue: Going for as little as a few days to a week without eating enough protein can impact the muscles responsible for posture and movement negatively. Long term refusal to add protein to your diet will eventually cause you to lose muscle mass, which will make you weaker and harder for you to maintain your balance.

To prevent all these things from happening, there are some things that you can do to add more vegetarian protein to your diet. Some ideas that can help include:

Protein Bars 

Protein bars are designed with convenience in mind. As such, if you find yourself too busy to sneak in a proper protein-heavy meal during lunch, a protein bar is an excellent snack to have on standby. Aside from giving you the protein and carbs that you need, most protein bars are also an excellent source of micronutrients such as iron, calcium, B Vitamins, and potassium. Although protein bars are great to have whenever you need a protein boost, it is important to know that not all protein bars are created equal. Some contain excess amounts of added sugar and unhealthy sweeteners like corn syrup and high fructose, which are all unhealthy. Therefore, before you settle for any protein bar, ensure that it has been made with healthy ingredients.

Quinoa

If you are looking to add more protein into your diet, quinoa is one of the best things that you can go for. Not only is it gluten-free, but it is also very high in protein content and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. Quinoa also boasts high quantities of B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and an array of beneficial antioxidants. Higher in fiber than most other grains out there, quinoa is also an excellent addition to the diet for anyone interested in weight loss. Quinoa contains twice the protein content in rice so it makes a great substitute for rice and pasta.

Go Nuts 

Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, and almonds are great to have nearby because they can be added to numerous foods or eaten on their own whenever you need to snack. Sprinkle them in your yogurt, on your salad, as well as add them to your breakfast oatmeal or cereal. One simple thing that you can do is always keep your favorite nuts in a ziploc bag so that you can have them to snack on whenever hunger strikes. To get the best from nuts, go for the naked, raw variety instead of those that are salted or flavored. Also, limit your intake to a handful at each session to avoid gaining weight.

Add Beans To Most Meals

Beans are chock full of fiber and protein, which makes them one of the most excellent plant-based sources of protein. You can have beans in a simple stew or you can add them to your portions of pasta, soups or salads. Try and eat a mix of beans such as white beans, black beans, garbanzo beans or lentils. When compared to other high-carb foods, beans are great for reducing blood sugar, which is good news for anyone that has insulin sensitivity. Along with regulating blood sugar, beans are also good sources of fiber and they help reduce excessive weight gain and fat mass. 

The body needs protein to function and without it, your body will slowly start deteriorating. Your skin, bones, muscles, tissue and even blood are all created from protein. When your body needs new cells or old ones repaired, it does so with the help of protein. But before you load up on the bottomless steak buffet, you should note that the right protein to consume is that acquired from healthy sources.

Marina Turea works as the content manager at Digital Authority Partners.

See also: 
What Is Quinoa? One Of The World’s Healthiest Foods
Beans 101 – Cheap, Nutritious and Super Healthy

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