WHY IS PROTEIN CRUCIAL FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Protein is a must. In fact, it’s vital for the proper functioning of your body. We always talk about how protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, but it’s also important part for every cell and body tissue, including bones, organs, hair, nails skin.
Protein is an important nutritional element for molding your body into the shape you desire. Proteins are broken down by the body into amino acids, the “building blocks of life.” They repair and rebuild muscle tissues, grow hair and nails, create enzymes and hormones, and maintain the health of internal organs and blood.
Specifically, protein consists of 22 amino acids. Eight are “essential,” meaning that your body cannot manufacture them sufficiently or at all. It has to get them from the foods you eat. The others can be made by your body but are also found in food.
Just as important as how much protein you eat is when you eat your protein! The body doesn’t have a protein holding tank like it does for carbs, where it can get quick access whenever it needs. To ensure you have adequate protein, it’s best to split it up throughout the day.
As a reminder, it’s important to have protein within 30 minutes of strength training, because that’s when your muscles are most receptive to assimilating amino acids and rebuilding the muscle.
Think protein has to be chicken and eggs? Think again! Here are 13 top powerhouse protein options with plant-based alternatives included!
Grass-fed meat – Rich in vitamins A and E, powerful antioxidants
Wild-caught fish – Salmon, tuna, anchovies, trout, bass, flounder, mackerel, and sardines
Cage-free eggs – super source of protein
Organic poultry – Chicken, turkey, and duck are all good protein options and contain a variety of beneficial nutrients
Bone broth – Healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycene, and proline that have the power to transform your health. Good for your joints!
Free-range organ meats – Liver is full of an array of B vitamins, vitamin A, selenium, and folate.
VEGETARIAN PROTEIN OPTIONS
Greek yogurt – 23g of protein per cup
Lentils – 4g of protein per 1/4 cup (cooked)
Beans (chickpeas, black beans)– 4g of protein per 1/4 cup
Cottage cheese – 14g of protein per 1/2 cup
Hemp seeds– 4g of protein per 1 Tbsp
Chia seeds– 3g of protein per 1 Tbsp
Hemp seeds– 5g of protein per 1/4 cup (shelled)
Green peas– 8g of protein per 1 cup
Almonds– 3g of protein per 1/2 oz