Protein: Foods rich in protein and alternative sources
Why is protein essential
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. They are essential nutrients that help in the development of bones and muscles. They also help in tissue recovery and healing of wounds. Protein is important for the growth and development of cells. Like all other nutrients, protein is an essential part of your diet. Adult males should consume at least 60 grams while adult females should consume at least 45 grams.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks in our body. They are used by the body for developing bones, muscles, enzymes and hormones. They are also sometimes used as an energy source by the body.
Protein is mostly found in meats such as chicken, mutton, pork and fish. It is also present in eggs and dairy products such as milk, butter and yoghurt. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet should get proteins from plant sources such as lentils, tofu, peas, soybeans, beans, dry fruits, chia seeds etc.
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Healthy Foods that are rich in proteins
As we all know, meats are rich in proteins. However, eating chicken is better than eating red meat because it is a kind of lean meat. Lean meats contain a lower amount of saturated fat than red meat. A chicken breast contains 30 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Peas contain 5 grams of protein per 100 grams. What makes peas a great source of protein is that they are high in fibre, low in calories and low in saturated fats. Peas can be eaten boiled, in a salad, or as an accompaniment to some main course dish.
Eggs contain 10 to 15 grams of protein per 100 grams depending on how they are prepared. Along with being high in protein, eggs are also rich in good fats, iron, vitamins and minerals. They are also low in calories. The white part of Eggs contains no fats and cholesterol.
Tofu is a substitute for cottage cheese. It is made from soybean milk and is a great source of fats and proteins for vegans. Tofu contains around 8 grams of protein per 100 grams. Tofu is bland and tasteless on its own. Hence, you would need to cook it along with other things and put many spices in it to make it tasty.
Salmon is a type of fish that is found in the Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Norway, in particular, is the major exporter of salmon. Raw salmon contains 20 grams of protein per 100 grams. It is also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, good fats and vitamin B.
Lentils, also known as Dal in the Indian subcontinent, are edible legume. Lentils contain around 18 grams of protein per 100 grams. They are low in fats and cholesterol. They are low in calories and are rich in fibre, thiamine, niacin, potassium and iron.
Yoghurt is a great source of nutrition and tastes good as well. Yoghurt contains 10 grams of protein per 100 grams. It is low in calories and is rich in probiotics. Unlike milk, which can cause gastric problems, yoghurt is good for the gut and improves digestion.
Chia seeds are edible seeds that come from the flowering plant known as chia. They are rich in protein, containing 17 grams of protein per 100 grams. Chia seeds can be eaten raw but they have an earthy and bland taste. Therefore, it is better to add them to your smoothies or cereals to give a protein boost to them
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Alternative sources of proteins
If you are someone who doesn’t like eating any of the above-mentioned food, or if you feel that your daily diet contains insufficient proteins, then you can try some alternative sources for getting.
One great alternative source is whey protein powder. It is now readily available in the market and you can even order it online. Whey protein powder is made from extracted whey from milk. It is a highly concentrated form of protein and should be consumed as a shake. You can mix whey powder in milk as well as water. Milk makes a thicker, tastier shake than water. However, water makes it easier to digest. Whey protein is also available in many flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, etc.