My Protein Picks

Protein Sources1

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

Nutrition tips:

  • 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.

Find out about Flax!

FlaxFlax contains many healthy benefits including it’s protein, fibre (soluble and insoluble fibres) and omega-3 fatty acid content (usually found in fish sources). Therefore, it is a great idea to incorporate flax into your diet. There are three different forms of flax for consumption: seeds, ground flax, or flaxseed oil.

Flax seeds can be added to smoothies, granola, cereals, baked goods etc. Flax meal can be used in baking to add flavour and nutrient content. Flax can also come in the form of flaxseed oil, generally used to make salad dressings. It is not wise to cook with flaxseed oil as the nutrient content is diminished under high heat.

So what type of flax would be most beneficial to add into your daily routine? 
Ground flax! aka flax meal

Why is ground flax the best form? 
Ground flax is made from the grinding of flax seeds which allows for easier absorption of nutrients throughout the body. It provides the body with a great source of fibre therefore, helping to maintain regular bowel-movements and keep a healthy digestive system. Incorporating even a tablespoon of flax into your regular muffins, breads, and cookies recipes will add nutrients and many health benefits.

Ground Flax Nutrient Content (per 1 tbsp):
Calories: ~36 cals
Protein: 2g
Fibre: 3g
Omega-3 Fats: 2.46g ALA (alpha-linoleic acid)

Flaxseed oil is great to use in making salad dressings as the omega-3 fatty acid content greatly increases in the oil form (2.59g ALA per 1 tsp!).

To refresh your memory on the importance of ALA in the diet check out my Food Fact of the Day on Chia Seeds