Protein Power – 7 Foods To Pack a Punch
If you are looking after your body and good health (and if you’re not, you ABSOLUTELY should be), then watching your waistline might also be important. Maintaining a good weight doesn’t need to be seen as shallow or vain – keeping your body fit and trim helps reduce your risks of all kinds of nasty health issues, from diabetes to heart disease. Of course, it’s not ALL about diet – if you are a regular here to DaniStevens.com you will know that I am passionate about motivating people to get moving for the best shot at an active, long and enjoyable life.
If I can do it with four kids AND a business, there’s hope for everyone – promise!
When it comes to food, I like to know what I am putting in my body and I always make sure I get a good balance of essential nutrients.
Protein is so important and one of the benefits of including it in your wholesome diet is that it actually has the effect of leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
Some of the best sources of protein can be found in foods you might not think of – handy especially for anyone who is following a vegetarian or vegan diet and avoiding the obvious way of getting your daily protein intake through read meat.
Here’s a list of ten great foods you can include in your next meal. From snacks to school lunchboxes, if you tick some of these off on your next shopping trip, you’ll be off to a good, protein-rich start.
7 Sources of Protein
Think of fruit and you don’t normally think protein but the fact is that plenty of fruit contains protein. Some of my favourites include, dried apricots, guava, raisins, dates, prunes and, of course, avocado.
Smash them into a healthy, home-made hummus, make them into a meatless burger blend, or throw them into a salad. Chickpeas are also fantastic in curries, with some onion and diced pumpkin (plus delicious coconut milk, of course).
Out of all the healthy legumes and nuts you can choose from, lentils rank up there with the best – number 3 in terms of the amount of protein per gram. In fact, around 26 % of all the calories found in lentils are made up of protein – perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
Did you know that just 5 grams of spirulina powder (that’s one teaspoon) contains 2.2g protein – that’s more protein, weight for weight, than other ‘typical’ sources of protein, including fish, meat and poultry.
That puts it into official ‘superfood’ status and means it is also a great source of iron – good for staving off anemia.
Not sure how to add it to your daily food intake? Try putting a spoonful into a delicious breakfast smoothie, or add it to your baking mixes of muffins or biscuits in small doses for an extra protein boost.
You might not have heard of it yet but watch out. This ancient Ethiopian grain is officially the world’s smallest grain and it is packed with more goodness than the average grain. Protein? Tick. It also has iron, 8 essential amino acids and, unusually for a grain, Vitamin C. It comes in whole grain form or as processed flour and is the ideal gluten-free substitute in everything from bread, pasta, porridge, and pancakes.
You’ll get a healthy 6 grams of protein from just one large egg. But then there’s more. Eggs are also a rich source of Vitamin D, which is a key ingredient in the fight against chronic illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease – as well as being critical for strong, healthy bones.
Add even half a cup of hard tofu to your next stir-fry and you’ll be adding a power-packed 20 grams of protein, plus Vitamin B to help boost energy levels in your body.
Ahhh.... I love it when a protein plan comes together. It's the key to every meal I have, protein and produce. It's all about balance and I hope this post has given you more ideas to punch MORE protein into your day.