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12 Yummy Protein Sources You Need To Start Having Today

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The significance of protein in our diets cannot be stressed enough, it is essential for recovery and working out to build muscle and the brain cannot function without it. Without protein, you wouldn’t be able to function at your best and your body would not be able to support you long term. Proteins are referred to as the building blocks of life because in the body they are broken down into amino acids which boost cell repair and growth. Proteins also take longer to digest compared to carbohydrates which helps one feel fuller for longer on fewer calories which is beneficial for anyone trying to lose some extra pounds. With that being said it is important that you try as much as possible to incorporate the best sources of protein into your meals so you can get the most out of your diet such as the below-mentioned foods.
  1. Green Peas

Legumes are an excellent source of protein and green peas are not any different because one cup of green peas has 7.9 grams of protein which should be the same as a cup of milk. You can have them as a side dish; blend them into a pesto or try any other ideas to make a yummy dish packed with protein.
  1. Quinoa

Lots of grains have a small amount of protein, however, quinoa which is technically a seed is special in that it has more than 8 grams of protein in every cup this includes all the 9 essential amino acids which are required by the body for repair and growth of the cells and the muscle but it cannot produce on its own which is why it is frequently referred to as a perfect protein. Quinoa is a versatile food as it can be had with both savory and sweet foods.
  1. Nuts and nut butter

We all know nuts are a delicious source of protein and healthy fats making them extra valuable. However, seeing as they are high in calories it is wise to opt for varieties that are dry roasted or raw. Pistachios, cashews and almonds, for example, all have 5 or 6 grams of protein per ounce and 160 calories. Nut butter such as almond butter and peanut butter are a great way to get protein but when buying them you should look for brands with the least ingredients as possible- the main ones being nuts and maybe salt. Skip those with lots of added sugar or hydrogenated oils.
  1. Beans

They come in all shapes, sizes and colors but one thing they all have in common is their tremendous amounts of protein. A good example to use would be kidney beans of which 2 cups contain 26 grams of protein. The good thing is that whether you heat them up over the stove, rinse them or buy them canned you will still get their nutritional benefits.
  1. Chick Peas

Also referred to as garbanzo beans can be thrown into a salad, pureed into a hummus or fried and salted into a crispy snack.  Half a cup contains 7.3 grams of protein and they are low in calories and high in fiber. for a filling meal try some homemade chickpea hummus, some vegetables and some whole-wheat flatbread.
  1. Tofu and Tempeh

These are made from soybeans making them some of the highest sources of protein given that tempeh has 15 grams of protein per half cup and tofu has 20 grams of protein per half cup. They are highly nutritious and can really change up the texture of your meal.
  1. Edamame

This comes directly from the soybean and still in the pod meaning your soy serving will come just as it appears in nature. Half a cup of boiled edamame has 8.4 grams of protein and can be served cold or hot and sprinkled with salt, added to pasta or salads without the shell, as an appetizer before dinner or as a snack.
  1. Leafy greens

Even though vegetables do not have as much protein as nuts and legumes some of them have significant levels. If you widen the variety with which you have them it will add up to a good amount of amino acids. Some of these leafy greens include broccoli and raw spinach.
  1. Hemp

Hemp can be added to your diet in the form of seeds which are a complete source of protein and can be added to baked goods, pestos or smoothies and it is also found in some trail mixes and cereals. Try hemp milk as well which is even lower in calories than skim milk.
  1. Chia seeds

They are an easy way of adding fiber and protein to any recipe as they can be eaten as they are, blended into smoothies, stirred into oatmeal or yoghurt or sprinkled over a salad.
  1. Poppy sunflower and sesame seeds

They are rich in healthy fats and protein with sunflower seed kernels having the most protein at 7.3 grams per ¼ cup while sesame seeds and poppy seeds each have 5.4 grams of protein.
  1. Unsweetened cocoa powder

The kind used in making hot chocolate from scratch or in baking has about 1 gram of protein in every tablespoon. By itself, it is a bitter powder which is why most recipes call for lots of fat (usually other dairy or butter) and sugar. You can alternate these two with calorie-free sweeteners and non-fat milk such as almond milk for a healthy low-calorie hot cocoa. You can also add it to air-popped popcorn together with cayenne pepper, allspice and sugar for spicy and sweet whole-grain treat.
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