Protein is an important nutrient that our body needs to keep functioning. It’s found in most foods, but some are better sources than others. Protein has a number of different benefits for your health and wellness, including building muscle mass and helping you maintain lean body weight.
Not only that, but protein can help you achieve your weight loss goals. It can make you feel fuller for longer periods of time, which is great when you are trying to feel full while losing weight.
Protein will help keep your energy levels up throughout the day, which means you will always have more energy to get through your daily routine. If you’re having trouble keeping an active lifestyle due to health issues, protein can help you take that first step and get back into your daily activities or exercise regimen.
Before we dive too much deeper into the benefits of portion and share some yummy protein recipe ideas, let's chat a bit about what protein is!
What is protein?
Protein is made of amino acids. There are muscles in the human body that protein provides structure for and helps repair these muscles. Proteins also assist with blood clotting, preventing bleeding. Enzymes and hormones are proteins, which help control metabolism. Because your body uses protein to make new cells it is vital to stay healthy.
The recommended daily amount (RDA) is 50 grams of protein per day for adults. This includes all food you eat throughout the day, including meat, fish, eggs, milk, and dairy products. Protein-rich foods typically also provide carbohydrates in varying degrees.
Proteins are made up of smaller components called amino acids. There are hundreds of amino acids, but your body can make some of them on its own. Others you must get from food through proteins like meats, dairy products, and beans.
Protein is especially important to young people, who are building their bodies. But even adults need protein for good health. Without enough of it the body cannot renew itself well and can develop diseases more easily. You may feel tired or sick all the time if you do not get enough protein in your diet.
Top 5 Benefits of Protein
Now that you have a better understanding of what protein is and how it may help your body, continue reading to learn more about each of the top 5 benefits of incorporating protein into your daily diet.
Helps with Weight Loss
Some diets out there say that you should stay away from protein because it gives you calories. This is not actually true. Protein does have some calories but it also makes you feel full throughout the day. It's a great addition to your diet because it keeps you from snacking all day and needing more calories later.
Muscle Gain and Healthy Bones
Protein helps your muscles get bigger faster. By eating lean meat or other protein-rich foods, you give your body the essential amino acids it needs to make new cells. Protein is also important for building bones. Calcium strengthens them but it isn't enough on its own. You need protein to help your body absorb calcium.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Switching over to a high-protein diet can help lower blood pressure in some people. Protein helps stimulate the kidneys into releasing more minerals and salt, which causes you to urinate more frequently. This loss of minerals will lead to less fluid buildup in your body.
Improves Mood and Reduces Stress
Protein also has a big impact on your mood and how you feel throughout the day. Your brain uses protein to produce neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that send signals from one cell to another so you can think clearly and move properly. Protein keeps your body moving by producing hormones, which are chemical messengers that make your heart beat, regulate your temperature, and keep you breathing.
Protein takes longer to digest because it goes through the stomach at a slower rate. This allows you to get hungry again hours after eating protein instead of an hour after eating carbs. Eating more protein also helps you increase your metabolism, which will reduce the amount of fat you hold onto in the long run.
Consider Having Protein for Breakfast
Having a protein-rich breakfast can help you get through until lunchtime without snacking and keep your blood sugar levels even. The average person needs 50 grams of protein each day, so here are some yummy and healthy ways to incorporate it into your breakfast:
Smoothies are a wonderful way to start the day. Below are some basic smoothie recipes that will provide you with some protein to start your day off right:
- Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
- Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
If you're a fan of green veggies, spinach can be added to some of these smoothies as well as some other fruit or protein-rich foods. It's important to note that not all vegetables and fruits have the same amount of protein so it may be necessary for you to eat a few servings throughout the day if you want to meet your daily requirement.
Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and barley are also great sources of protein that you can use to try out some new recipes. Pancakes are one of the most popular go-to breakfast foods for people who don't have a lot of time in the morning. Try this recipe for protein pancakes with no added sugar.
Whole Grain Pasta
Whole grain pasta is another yummy way to start your day. This recipe for whole wheat spaghetti with an eggplant sauce provides you with 30 grams of protein per serving. You can use this option for lunch or breakfast, the options are truly endless.
Along with protein, a healthy diet and a probiotic supplement will help you achieve your weight loss and health goals this year. As always, we at Elm & Rye recommend you discuss any dietary changes with your doctor first. Once you're given the go-ahead, feel free to use our tips to start incorporating protein into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal plans every day.