Protein is essential to a healthy diet and many of the healthy protein foods are packed with additional vitamins and nutrients. The benefits protein itself has for the body are considerable and it positively affects the body down to a cellular level. Hair and nails are comprised mostly of protein and the body utilizes protein to build and repair tissues. The body also uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals that allow the body to function well. It assists in building bones, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood. The body requires a lot of protein to function properly as it does not store it. This is why it is important to eat the right amount of protein daily.
If we consider one egg has all the building block nutrients to grow a baby chicken, it not hard to imagine all of the health benefits eggs can have for us. Eggs are considered food for the muscles due to how much protein from each egg can be incorporated into proteins in the body. An egg has the highest value of amino acids compared to any other food out there. They also carry antioxidants that gather in the retina of the eyes to protect them from macular degeneration and cataracts, among other conditions. Eggs also contain high amounts of vitamin B12 and B2, vitamin A, selenium, calcium, iron, potassium, and more.
Milk, along with its high protein content, is rich in calcium, which everyone's bones need to stay strong. As a great source of both protein and calcium, milk builds muscles and tissue. The carbohydrates in milk give individuals energy when they need it. It is rich in nutrients that keep all aspects of the body functioning well such as vitamin A, phosphorus, vitamin B, as well as vitamin D, which is a crucial vitamin individuals also receive from exposure to the sun. The fats in milk are essential fatty acids the body requires in moderation. Individuals can choose from a range of different kinds of milk, including homogenous milk, skim milk, one percent milk, and perhaps the most popular: two percent milk.
Like milk, cottage cheese provides a good source of calcium and protein, which plays a big role in the strength of teeth and bones. It also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis and can help regulate blood pressure. Cottage cheese promotes healthy weight loss, along with fruits, whole grains, and vegetable oil. A study showed a generous intake of dairy products like cottage cheese can greatly assist individuals dealing with obesity or premenopausal women. Cottage cheese includes live cultures also known as probiotics, which have been proven to have benefits such as muscle-building powers, something protein can also help with. Many individuals who workout regularly choose to consume a healthy protein-filled snack including cottage cheese after an intense exercise session to help with muscle recovery.
The lean meat of a chicken breast contains plenty of protein without too much fat. Chicken also contains numerous minerals, including phosphorus and calcium, both of which assist in boosting an individual's bone health. It also contains selenium, which helps prevent arthritis from developing. The nutrients tryptophan and vitamin B5 can help alleviate stress as they offer a calming effect on the body. It is also rich in vitamin B6, which can help prevent heart attacks by lowering levels of homocysteine. Chicken also contains niacin, which can assist in lowering unhealthy cholesterol in the body.
Salmon is high in many vitamins and minerals, as well as being an excellent source of low-fat protein. It also contains potassium, selenium and vitamin B12. The main health factor of sockeye salmon is its content of omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids are the most beneficial to an individual's health and contribute to the health of the brain, heart, joints, and mood. Salmon can also lower the risk of a variety of cancers and other diseases such as asthma, depression, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, and multiple sclerosis.
Lentils, a member of the legume family, are a great source of fiber that keeps an individual's cholesterol low. They can help patients manage blood sugar disorders because of their high fiber content, preventing blood sugar levels from rising quickly after a meal. Lentils are a good source of protein along with essential minerals and contain almost no fat. Lentils have a fair amount of magnesium in each serving, which is helpful for women experiencing premenstrual syndrome, as it alleviates mood swings and also aids in the health of their heart. They also contain iron, which helps with an individual's daily energy levels and can also prevent anemia from occurring.
Natural Peanut Butter
Peanut butter can help individuals lose weight, although it is important to note it does contain a lot of calories for a small amount. It contains fiber and protein, however, that fills individuals up for a longer period. The indulgence factor of peanut butter is known to help individuals on a diet to fight off cravings. Peanut butter contains monounsaturated fat, which is the heart-healthy kind. Studies have concluded adults who ate a diet high in monosaturated fat had less belly fat than those who ate more saturated fat. Peanut butter also contains vitamin E (which is an antioxidant), magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Although almonds are high in fat, they carry a vast amount of nutrients, such as fiber, protein, monounsaturated fat, which all help in the reduction of an individual's risk of developing heart disease. Packed with vitamin E, they help the body protect itself against ultraviolet light damage and Alzheimer's disease. Manganese helps the body create strong bones as well as regulating blood sugar. Magnesium helps the function of organs, muscles, nerve function, blood glucose control, and the regulation of blood pressure. The flavonoids contained in the skin of the almonds act as an antioxidant and work together with vitamin E to help individuals age well. Although almonds are high in fat, the body is not able to absorb the amount of fat they contain as it is too difficult to break down.
There have been some mixed messages about soy products and how healthy they are. It is important to note healthy tofu would come from an unprocessed soy product. When in a pure form, tofu offers an excellent source of amino acids, calcium, and iron along with micronutrients.
A study on Chinese adults concluded tofu is a more effective way of preventing stomach cancer than normal soy. When tofu replaces meat, there is an increase of folate, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber. It will also lower cholesterol intake, lowering an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease. There are also anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect blood vessels from inflammatory damage. The phytonutrient genistein can motivate the activity of a tumor suppressor protein called p53. When it becomes active, it can assist in cell death of cancer cells preventing the activity of cancer from growing. It is especially effective in slowing tumor formation of breast and prostate cancer.
Quinoa contains flavonoids, which are plant antioxidants showing many health benefits. In particular, the antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol are found in large amounts in quinoa. They provide molecules with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant qualities.
It is high in fiber, protein, and many minerals, and does not contain gluten, making it a good grain option for celiac disease patients. While many gluten-free foods contain lots of refined starches, quinoa is a naturally gluten-free food. Where most proteins lack some of the necessary amino acids, quinoa has all of the amino acids the body needs. It is also high in magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron.
Oats have long been a popular breakfast food. One of the reasons individuals like them is because they contain a substantial amount of protein and fiber, two things that can keep individuals full until lunchtime. A 3.5-ounce dry serving of oats contains about seventeen grams of protein. Oats are also low in fat and have virtually no sugar. They are among the most protein-rich grains, which make them a better choice than toast or an English muffin. They are also gluten-free, which make them a great choice for individuals who have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. In addition, oatmeal is full of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and many others. It also contains several antioxidants and is the only dietary source of a type of antioxidant called avenathramides. These antioxidants can improve blood pressure by lowering inflammation levels in the body.
Greek yogurt is a versatile high-protein food appropriate for any time of day. Individuals can top it with some high-protein granola and fruit and eat it as a filling breakfast parfait, incorporate it as a side at lunch, or enjoy it as a post-workout snack. Plain yogurt can also be used as a condiment instead of sour cream, such as for tacos, baked potatoes, or beans. Greek yogurt's advantage over regular yogurt is its high protein content. It usually has between twelve and seventeen grams of protein per serving. However, individuals should be sure to check the nutrition label, because some brands do add a lot of sugar to their yogurt, which lowers the protein content. In addition to high protein levels, Greek yogurt contains plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and probiotics. These nutrients ensure healthy bones and a healthy digestive system.
Eating lean cuts of beef is a great way for individuals to get extra protein in their diet without consuming too much fat. Lean beef is defined as beef with less than ten grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and ninety-five milligrams of cholesterol per 3.5-ounce serving. These guidelines come from the United States Department of Agriculture, which also regulates the labels that can be put on beef being sold at the grocery store. If the label on a cut of beef says it is lean, consumers can trust it.
Lean beef can be eaten in a variety of ways, including as steak and as ground beef. Hamburgers may have a reputation for being fattening, but they can be very healthy if they are made with lean ground beef and combined with healthy toppings. Lean ground beef at ten percent fat provides twenty-two grams of protein in a three-ounce serving, and it also provides a high dose of iron, zinc, B vitamins, and selenium. Iron is essential for healthy blood cell production, while zinc is important for immune function, and B vitamins and selenium support a healthy metabolism.
Tuna, in addition to being a very portable and versatile food, is one of the most nutritious things individuals can eat. One cup of chunk light canned tuna contains a whopping thirty-nine grams of protein and has only about 180 calories. In addition, it is full of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and selenium, which are essential for metabolic function. This fish also provides a substantial dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart and brain. Individuals should be sure to pick out chunk light and skipjack varieties of tuna, as other types, such as albacore, can have higher levels of mercury.
Shrimp, in addition to being delicious, is very high in protein while being low in calories (as long as it isn't deep-fried). Individuals may not think of seafood as healthy or as diet food, but it is so easy to fit it into a low-calorie, high-protein diet. A three-ounce serving of shrimp is under one hundred calories but contains around seventeen or eighteen grams of protein. It is also high in essential nutrients like calcium, selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Saute these crustaceans with some fresh vegetables for a hearty, healthy post-workout meal. It is always great to have an excuse to eat more seafood!