Protein is one of the essential macronutrients needed by the body. It is needed for proper functioning and growth of the body. Its deficiency can lead to serious health issues such as the impaired functioning of the body and muscle atrophy.
It is mainly taken in abundance by athletes and individuals interested in building muscles. However, excess protein in the body can lead to straining of the major organs of the body such as kidneys and liver. These are the organs responsible for breaking down and excreting proteins and its by-products. Protein obtained from animals is known for increasing cancer risk.
How much protein is needed by the body?
Adults are supposed to take about 46-56 grams of protein daily. Lactating and pregnant mothers should take about 70 grams of protein daily. Some of the foods that are rich in protein include milk, cheese, nuts, cheese, low-fat yogurt, tofu, lean beef, fish, chicken, lean pork, eggs, lentils, and seeds. The following are the main sources of healthy proteins.
Skinless turkey and chicken
These are great choices for lean meat. Turkey and chicken give about 25-30 grams of quality proteins. They are also loaded with essential vitamins and selenium. You can get high-quality protein by roasting a whole chicken.
Leaner ground beef
This product is rich in high-quality proteins. It gives about 22 grams of quit protein. In addition to this, it is loaded with a high dose of zinc, iron and vitamin B12. You can consume this beef together with beans and grated veggies or even add it your salads.
Beans and lentils
These are vegetarian proteins which are considered as super-healthy. You should consume them frequently. A half cup of beans or lentils gives about 9 grams of proteins. Apart from proteins, they also contain energy-creating iron, heart-healthy folate, and fiber.
Soy foods and tofu
Soy is one of the best sources of vegetarian proteins. One cup of tofu can give you about 16-20 grams of protein. The amount of protein obtained from tofu depends on whether it is firm or soft. A cup of edamame which is an example of soy foods gives about 17 grams of high-quality protein. It is also packed with fiber.
Nonfat or low-fat dairy
Most of the dairy products such a cottage cheese, milk, ricotta cheese are good sources of healthy proteins. You can easily make a smoothie with skim milk, yogurt, and fruits for your breakfast.
Shellfish and fish
Most people do not take enough fish. On average, you should take about 3.5-oz servings weekly. You can use Alaskan salmon and light tuna in preparing a sandwich filling, making salmon cakes or topping your salad.