Protein is a macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and fats, that is essential to our diet to maintain proper body function.
My top protein picks (as seen above) include: ground turkey/chicken, salmon, nut butters (preferably almond butter), skinless boneless chicken breast, almonds/mixed nuts, quinoa, chickpeas, Greek yogurt (plain 0%), and beans/lentils.
Why is protein so important to our body?
- it is apart of every cell in our body
- it is needed for muscle synthesis and development
- helps to build and repair nails, tissues, skin, and hair
- it is a building block of hormones and enzymes
- Choose ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef. Ground beef is high in saturated fats whereas, turkey/chicken are much leaner sources of protein.
- When cooking chicken, try to barbeque/grill the chicken breast with spices versus pan-fried and with commercial sauces.
- Choose plain/nature greek yogurt to avoid refined sugars. Sweeten it at home with fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup, melted frozen fruit (put in fridge over night).
- Add chickpeas to your salads or stir fry’s to add protein.
- Carry a small handful of nuts/seeds on you throughout your day in case you get hungry. Nuts are packed with the good fats (polyunsaturated) and protein to satisfy you until your next meal.
- Choose quinoa, the ancient grain, over rice. Quinoa is a complete protein source, containing all the essential amino acids and also contains much more substantial/satisfying nutritional content. Check out my food fact of the day on quinoa for more information.