For many women, finding the right amount of protein for their diets can be challenging. Especially if you’re not particularly fond of meat, you prefer to eat vegetarian, or you’re simply tired of the same type of meals week after week.
There’s really no reason to worry about the amount of protein you’re getting, because most Americans actually consume much more protein than their body actual needs. Keep reading for a look at different ways you can add protein to your diet without having to resort to filling your menu plan with animal (meat) protein every day.
Whole grains: Whole grains are a fantastic source of protein. If you’re looking for the number one whole grain, I recommend quinoa. It’s full of essential amino acids, which are necessary for good health. There are other whole grains that are great sources of protein as well. Consider brown rice, barley, flax, and whole grain breads for example. They are also cost-efficient, especially if you buy your whole grains in bulk.
Beans, lentils and legumes: All different types of these are excellent choices for your protein needs. Although the list here is far from complete, these are a few of the options you have when choosing beans for your protein needs. Black beans, split peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans and many more options will all provide more than enough protein for your body’s needs.
Eggs: Eggs can supply you with many vitamins and minerals in addition the the quality protein you receive when eating them. Vitamin A, riboflavin, several of the vitamin Bs, calcium and potassium are the main benefits following the protein value in the natural, single-food source. Eggs are also one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
Soy and tofu: Soy is such a versatile product you’ll always find different ways to use it in your cooking. Soy is yet another fantastic alternative for assuring you achieve all your protein needs. Whether you choose tofu or other soy products such as soy milk, soy nuts or even soy cheese you can be assured you are definitely receiving appropriate amounts of protein in your diet. And for those of you who are trying to watch what you eat, but still crave some sort of sweet or dessert on occasion, you can even choose soy ice cream.
The bonus with many tofu and soy products is that they are fortified with other nutrients as well. Normally you will find they have additional calcium, vitamin B12 and iron added to them to ensure you get as much health benefit as possible from what you’re eating.
Hemp: Hemp seeds contain all of the essential fatty acids and amino acids your body requires to remain healthy. The seeds can be eaten raw, made into hemp milk (similar to soy milk), used for tea as well as other baking. The leaves can also be used as a part of your salad! Its protein benefits are comparable to other sources such as meat, milk, eggs and soy.
Whey: Whey is what’s left over once milk has been curdled and strained, such as in the process of making cheese. This is another great source of protein, and here’s a little explanation of why it’s one of the most popular choices of supplements to food sources. Whey protein surpasses even the egg white standard (the number one natural source of protein). This means it is even more efficient at being digest and absorbed by your small intestine while still in its original form. As a result of this, it’s thought that the amino acids from whey protein enter the blood stream faster than other sources of protein.
Various protein powders: There are many different protein powders available everywhere from your local health food store to your pharmacy. They are made with dried protein sources such as whey, casein (milk), soy, egg white (albumin) or hemp seeds. They are most often used in meal replacement products such as shakes or bars, and are most often used by body builders. However, they are recommended by certain low-carb diets as an alternative to various meals. These powders are easy to use, as it’s normally just a case of adding water or low-fat milk, stir and drink.
As you get used to the fact that these ‘shakes’ are your meal, you’ll find it easier to be fulfilled with a liquid meal. However it does sometime take some time for your brain (and your stomach) to realize your body is getting all of the nutrition you need, and you may subconciously feel hungry even after using a meal replacement product.
As you can see, you have many choices available in order to ensure you get enough protein in your diet. There’s no need for meal after meal to contain meat, and these choices can help you to achieve a more flexible menu plan while still supplying your body with all of the nutrients it needs to remain healthy.