Getting enough protein daily is essential for your overall health. Healthy protein sources include eggs, nuts, lean meats, fish, dairy, and certain grains.
Proteins are a large category of molecules that support cell structure, immune function, movement, chemical reactions, hormone synthesis, and more. They’re all made up of tiny building blocks called amino acids. Nine of these are essential meaning your body needs them but can’t make them on its own, so you need to get them in your diet.
Not only is protein essential for your health but consuming it can keep you feeling full and satisfied, which supports a healthy body weight.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is set at 0.36 grams (g) of protein per pound of your body weight (0.8 g per kilogram). Remember that this reflects the minimum protein required to meet your body’s needs.
Here are 16 delicious foods that are high in protein.
Whole eggs are a good source of protein that’s easy to absorb, and they’re also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
Remember that egg whites are almost pure protein, but whole eggs that include the yolk provide many more nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Eating almonds may benefit your health in several ways, including lowering heart disease risk factors like high LDL (bad) cholesterol and high blood pressure.
3. Chicken breast
4. Cottage cheese
5. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt, also called strained yogurt, is a very thick type of yogurt high in protein.
Dairy milk contains a little of nearly every nutrient that your body needs. It’s a good source of high quality protein, and it’s high in vitamins and minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Many people with lactose intolerance can’t tolerate milk and other dairy products, and they avoid many dairy-containing foods.
Lentils are among the richest sources of plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Plus, they’re loaded with other nutrients, too, including fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
Studies show that people who regularly consume lentils and other legumes have a lower risk of developing health conditions like heart disease and fatty liver disease.
8. Lean Beef
Red meat can be a part of a healthy diet, but it’s best to moderate your intake. Consuming high amounts of red meat has been linked to a higher risk of developing certain health conditions, including colorectal cancer.
Try cutting back on red meat and eating plant-based protein, fish, and poultry more frequently.
People who include a lot of fish in their diet tend to have a lower risk of health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, fatty fish like salmon and herring are high in omega-3 fats, which have powerful benefits for your overall health, including supporting heart health.
Quinoa is often referred to as a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. However, it actually contains insufficient amounts of certain amino acids, like leucine.
11. Protein Powders
When you’re pressed for time and unable to prepare a meal, protein powder can come in handy.
You can easily add protein powders like whey and pea protein to shakes, smoothies, energy balls, yogurt, and more to increase the protein and fullness factor.
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