Nowadays, people are more health-conscious and fitness enthusiasts who are very particular about their high protein diet plans. But why protein diet? Protein is an essential micronutrient for proper cell growth and to keep your body functioning well. If you are doing exercise daily then your body may need extra proteins to maintain and repair tissues, muscles.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The daily requirement of protein may vary according to the age, weight, gender, and level of physical activity. The nutritional value of proteins is measured by the number of amino acids. The recommended daily dose of protein is between 46-63 grams for adults and it may increase to 65 grams in pregnant and lactating females.
What are the health benefits of Protein?
Protein-rich foods benefit weight loss and weight gain and aid metabolic health. Some other health benefits include:
- Curbs hunger and appetite
Protein suppresses your hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts levels of peptide YY. this helps to promote a feeling of fullness and prevents you from eating unnecessarily.
- Increases strength and muscle mass
Protein is believed to be the building block of muscle and so, eating protein-rich foods is especially important if you are engaged in strength training.
- Great for improving bone health
Studies have revealed that a diet rich in protein, especially animal protein may help to maintain bone health as you age thus, lowering the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
- Reduces binging habits
Eating breakfast or dinner high in protein will restrict you from indulging in mid-meal snacks or late-night snacks which can be very helpful for overweight adolescent boys and girls trying to lose weight healthily.
- Boosts fat burn
Eating protein boosts your metabolism by degrees and helps you to burn excess fat faster.
- Reduces blood pressure
Contrary to popular belief eating a low-fat protein diet can help to reduce chances of heart attack, stroke and kidney conditions. This is because protein helps to lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
- Good for kidney health
A protein-heavy diet can negatively impact those with already existing kidney disorders but for people with healthy kidneys, consuming protein-rich food is not harmful.
- Helps in speedy repair after injury
Protein is the building block of organs and tissues and so it speeds up recovery after an injury.
- Maintains fitness even as you age
One of the many effects of ageing is sarcopenia which is responsible for bone fractures, frailty and an overall lowered quality of life. Protein slows down the process of muscle deterioration and protects you from early sarcopenia.
What Are The High Protein Rich Foods?
Different food contains different proteins and they have various roles in our body. There are 9 essential amino acids that are not naturally found in the body. Hence, we need to include protein foods in our diet to get proteins easily for the bodies. Here are some high protein food options for you to get the best out of your body.
Boneless and skinless chicken breast is one of the common and best sources of protein. Bodybuilders and athletes usually include chicken breast in their diet because it does not have saturated fat. Chicken breast contains 31 grams of protein per 100 grams.
2: Pork Chops
The pork tenderloin is considered as an extra-lean chop which is rich in proteins and has low-fat levels.
3: Eggs White
It is one of the excellent protein sources for ‘eggetarian’ people who do not eat meat or seafood. Egg contains almost all essential amino acids which are necessary for protein formation. You always think that egg yolk is more nutritious than egg white but that’s not true. Egg white is a pure form of protein than egg yolk with less amount of saturated fat. Four egg whites have almost 16 grams of protein.
Seafood is a rich source of proteins with a lot of health benefits. Fish like salmon contain about 22 grams of proteins and usually has low fat.
5: Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of the tasty sources of proteins. It provides on average 10 grams of protein. Greek yogurt is more concentrated than regular yogurt hence it contains more proteins. Also, better to choose a plain Greek yogurt than a flavored one as it may contain more carbohydrates and sugar.
Milk is always considered as a complete food as it is full of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, calcium, minerals, etc. But always choose skimmed milk as it has more proteins and no fats and carbohydrates. It keeps your bone and teeth healthy and prevents osteoporosis. 1 cup of skimmed milk provides 8 grams of protein.
Paneer is an alternative for chicken. It is a rich source of casein protein. Paneer has 18 grams of protein per 100 grams.
8: Nuts and Nut Butter
Nuts such as groundnuts, almonds, and cashew are rich with proteins, unsaturated fats, and satiating fibers. They are slow-burning food which gives you stomachful feeling for a longer time which helps to reduce your cravings. ¼ cup of nuts provides 7-9-gram proteins.
Nut butter such as peanut butter, almond butter is new healthy products. These are high in proteins, potassium, and fibers.
9: Soy-Based Products
Soybean is also known as “meat without bones” because of its protein richness. It is available in various forms like the soy yogurt, soya milk, roasted soybeans, etc. It is a great source of protein and vitamin C with very low fats and no cholesterol at all. Soya is an alternative for vegetarians and lactose-intolerant people. It contains 36 grams of protein per 100 grams.
10: Red Lentils
Lentils are excellent for proteins for vegetarian folks. It contains grams of protein per cooked cup.
11: Split Chickpeas
Chickpea curry or dal is the commonest dish present in Indian plates. It is one of the easiest protein-rich food available in India. Chickpeas are low in fat and high in proteins. It offers 30 grams of protein per 1 cooked cup.
Are you ever consult a dietician for a diet plan? If yes, then he/she must be told you to add different seeds in your diet like sunflower seeds. Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds are full of proteins. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your immunity and heart and liver health. On an average ¼ cup seeds provide around 9 grams of protein.
Quinoa is a gluten-free, plant food that is packed with all essential amino acids. It contains 8 grams of proteins in 1 cup cooked Quinoa.
Oats is the new superfood for health-conscious people. It is an excellent source of protein. They contain 11 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Tofu is full of proteins as it is prepared from soy milk. It also contains magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1. It is gluten-free and low in calories helps to reduce and maintain weight. It contains 8 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Protein is an important nutrient to keep your body healthy and fit. There are various food sources available around us to add to our diets like chicken, egg whites, lentils, nuts, etc. These high protein foods help you to be energetic and strong without adverse effects.
Granola is a healthy cereal that helps you lose weight when you pick a version that’s high in fibre. A bar of granola provides you with about 100 gm of protein. You can either consume a granola bar on its own or have granola like cereal by mixing it with milk or greek yoghurt for a high-powered yet light breakfast, perfect for hot summer months.
17. Edamame Beans
Edamame beans are high in protein and contain amino acids essential for the human body. About half a cup of cooked edamame beans offers you around 9 grams of protein. A medium-sized bowl of lightly cooked edamame beans pairs well with roti or rice.