5 Easy Ways to Incorporate More Protein into Your Diet
You don't have to be a bodybuilder or workout fiend to want to incorporate more protein into your diet. Protein is an essential part of every single cell in your body; protein builds and repairs tissues, mostly makes up your hair and nails, and helps produce enzymes, hormones, and countless other body chemicals. In other words, protein helps keep your body healthy, happy, and fueled, and it's important that your diet doesn't neglect it.
So, how do you make sure you're eating enough protein? Protein is found in powder form and countless foods, and there are some hacks that will allow you to make sure you're getting a sufficient amount. Here are just a five.
1. Eat Your Protein First
Your dinner plate should be colorful and diverse, with proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables. While you may be tempted to dive right into the buttery pasta or potatoes, it's actually helpful to eat your protein source first. When you eat your chicken or beef before anything else, you'll make sure you're getting all your protein in before you get full, and you won't have as much stomach room for the carbohydrates and the other things that might be less nutritious. Additionally, eating protein first can help maintain healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin after a meal.
2. Use Protein Powder
Protein powder is probably the easiest way to incorporate protein into your diet and has countless health benefits. Protein powder is one of the best ways to manage your weight, as adding protein to various foods will help you feel fuller for longer and prevent unnecessary snacking. Protein powder also cultivates muscle growth and helps your muscles and tissue recover after exercise. Plus, it adds nutrition. Protein powder comes in a variety of flavors--most popularly chocolate and vanilla--and can be put in smoothies, oatmeal, juice, pancakes, cookies, or pretty much anything else you can think of. It's easy, convenient, and healthy.
3. Eat Eggs for Breakfast
Eggs are a perfect protein-rich breakfast food, and can replace many of the carb-riddled breakfast classics such as cereals, toasts, and bagels. In addition to providing other important nutrients, three large eggs have 19 grams of protein (in other words, a lot). Further, eating eggs for breakfast is not only a delicious source of protein but it will keep you full for hours into the afternoon and prevent you from eating an excessive amount of calories throughout the day.
4. Add Protein to Salads
Let's be honest: salads are not the most exciting food. In fact, they might be one of the least exciting foods. Plus, eating leaves for lunch often leaves you feeling hungry just an hour later. However, you can spice up your favorite salad by adding a form of protein. Adding chicken or turkey breast, tuna, salmon, chickpeas, or even cheese to a salad will provide a protein-rich way to make your salad taste better and help keep you full for longer.
5. Eat Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of the most versatile, flexible foods out there and has tons of protein. You can eat greek yogurt plain or topped with fruit and granola, but there are also tons of other, more unexpected ways to utilize it. You can swap it in for sour cream in any of your favorite recipes, use it instead of mayo in chicken or tuna salad, mix it up for a creamy salad dressing, blend it into guac and hummus, or add it on top of pancakes or muffins. Basically, greek yogurt is a shape-shifting source of protein that will add value to almost any meal.
Protein is an essential part of the human diet, and it's important to get enough protein each and every day. But thankfully, this is easy to do; there are fast and convenient tips and tricks that allow you to get your protein fuel in exciting and delicious ways. So tomorrow for breakfast, try having an egg, and for lunch, try putting some chicken on top of your salad. You'll feel way more energized.