How to eat more protein: 6 easy tips

Before sea moss gel, green powders and celebrity-backed Erewhon smoothies (hi, Hailey and Bella) became “it” superfoods, getting enough protein into your diet was the name of the wellness game. be. Derived from the Greek word for “primary,” meaning “first place” or “top spot,” you might call it the OG of nutrition trends.

Hot take: Protein is making a comeback and for good reason. Eating the right amount of protein is essential for our muscles and bones to repair and grow. When protein is eaten, the body breaks it down into amino acids, absorbs it, and uses it to build muscles and organs, to make hormones and antibodies, and as a source of energy. Bottom line: Protein is essential for keeping your body in top condition.

So how much protein do you need to eat? Although it depends on factors such as age and activity level, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that the average individual consume 0.35 grams per pound of body weight per day for general health. For example, a person who weighs 165 pounds should consume an average of 60 grams of protein per day. Use this formula as a starting point, then talk to your doctor or nutritionist about how many grams you should aim for based on your needs, goals, activity level, and body type.

While you might think sticking to grilled chicken and hard-boiled eggs is the only way to include more protein in your diet, there are simple tricks to meeting the proper macronutrient intake that aren’t. . BLA bla. Here are six simple tips to help you eat more protein. Spoiler: They offer taste and variety.

1. Meal prep protein in every meal

Planning your meals in advance ensures that each meal is built around a high quality form of protein. Eggs or breakfast sausages might be obvious choices for a protein-packed breakfast, but don’t sleep on high-protein burritos, casseroles, pancakes, and oatmeal. For lunch or dinner, season or marinate your lean protein sources, like chicken, fish, and tofu, and cook them in bulk to have them on hand for bowls, salads, pastas , tacos, wraps and stir-fries.

If you just can’t afford to make large servings of protein ahead of time, make a little more than you need when you cook dinner and save it for lunch the next day. To boost your protein intake, be sure to sprinkle any (and every!) meal or snack with nutritional yeast (a protein-rich seasoning), chia seeds, or nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pine nuts.

2. Add a protein powder to the routine you already have

From the ever-trendy collagen to the common assortments of whey and botanicals (like pea or hemp), you can take your pick of protein powders to give you a morning kick, afternoon zing, or a post-workout recovery boost. Protein powders are one of the easiest ways to get protein into your routine because you can add them to just about anything: smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, and more.

Another easy way to seamlessly incorporate protein powder? #Profee, or protein coffee, ICYMI. TikTokers and Wellness Girls grab their morning cup of coffee with protein powder to get a protein boost for the day (insider tip: Starbucks fans can also get involved with Protein- Blended Cold Brew – you’re welcome). Is matcha more your cup of tea? Make a matcha latte with vanilla protein powder and milk of your choice for a healthy pick-me-up and a protein boost. Just make sure that the protein powder you choose is ideally organic or clean, with no additives or artificial sweeteners.

3. Have protein-rich snacks on hand

Snacks are there for us when we feel hungry, hungry, or need to increase our protein intake. You want what you pay for, so stock up on protein-rich snacks like a smoothie, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sliced ​​turkey and cheese, smoked salmon and avocado toast, apple slices with peanut butter and roasted edamame (I could go on and on). Bonus points: They’ll also help keep your blood sugar levels stable and prevent that all-too-familiar afternoon crash. If you’re always on the go, have some handy snacks on hand that you can easily grab on the way out. Think: beef jerky, clean protein bars, and nuts or seeds.

4. Incorporate more legumes

They say good things come in small packages, and beans are no exception. Soybeans, lentils, and navy beans are packed with protein, and not only do they serve up a good serving of plant-based protein, but they also help meet your fiber, iron, and vitamin needs. Other protein-rich beans to add to your grocery list include split peas and red, black, navy and pinto varieties. Stock your kitchen pantry with these protein powerhouses for an inexpensive and easy way to prepare versatile meals and snacks. Eat them on their own or make them into a soup, dip (hummus, anyone?) or veggie bean burger, or toss them into an omelet or salad for a healthy dose of protein that will keep you going. satiated and satisfied. Another hack? Replace your processed carbs with legume-based options, like chickpeas or lentil pasta.

5. Add protein to baked goods and desserts

You might think of muffins, bread, or cookies as a nutrient-free treat, but homemade options are actually the perfect vehicles to add protein to the mix (literally). With the addition of protein powder, Greek yogurt, beans, ground flax seeds, or a nut or seed butter, you can satisfy your sweet tooth and hit your protein goal in just one go. cut. Try these brownies with chocolate protein powder and almond butter, blueberry cake donuts that include almond flour, vanilla protein powder and Greek yogurt, or cookies with red lentils packed with red lentil protein, peanut butter, oats, and whole wheat flour (don’t knock it until you try it!). And if no-bake desserts are more your thing, try these Lemon Coconut Flaxseed Balls, Peanut Butter Cups, or Vegan Cookie Dough at your next self-care night (now , that’s my kind of multi-tasker).

6. Replace refined grains with whole grains

Food for thought: Whole grains are packed with important nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates and, you guessed it, protein. When we process grains (turning them into refined carbohydrates, like white flour), it robs them of their nutritional qualities, including removing protein. For example, whole wheat flour contains 28% more protein than refined wheat flour. When buying bread, pasta, or other wheat-based products, look for whole wheat as the first ingredient for a range of benefits, including more protein.

Better yet, opt for whole grains like quinoa, farro, barley, bulgur, brown rice, or millet. Most grains contain about 25% more protein when eaten in their whole form because protein is usually processed. Add whole grains to salads, make a whole grain side dish, or make pilafs, stir-fries, and bowls.

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