We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet, but when it comes to protein, do you know what healthy protein choices you should choose? Protein is important, especially as we age. Whenever our muscles, bone, skin and tissue need to rebuild or repair, protein is what does it. Protein has plenty of other benefits too.
- Can make you feel full, helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
- Helps with brain function and growth.
- Can help to lower cholesterol when eaten as plant-based protein sources.
- Builds essential muscle - especially important as we age, because our bodies get less efficient at processing protein, and we need more protein to build the same amount of muscle.
Healthy Protein Choices:
- Quinoa: I love quinoa - it has a wonderful texture and can be added to soups, salads or served as a base for a healthy veggie bowl! Plus it has the highest protein content of any grain and contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which is why some people call it a superfood! I like to do Sunday meal prep and make a batch to use throughout the week, because it keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge. Give it a try!
- Nuts: These are a great source of protein, and are excellent as on-the-go snacks. While they can be high in fat, some nuts - like walnuts - provide the good, healthy omega-3 fats we need for our health. Almonds are a good choice too, and you can add both to salads for an extra serving of protein.
- Beans and Lentils: If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get more protein, beans and lentils are the way to go! Both are good sources of protein and fiber, and are perfect for people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, as they can be eaten in abundance without breaking the bank. Try swapping out black beans for meat in Mexican dishes, add a can of white beans to your homemade soup, or sprinkle some garbanzos in a salad. Garbanzo beans are also called chickpeas, and are the base of hummus, so eat some up with veggie sticks as your next protein-rich snack! I have plenty of vegetarian recipes using beans and legumes in my eating plan, so check it out today!
- Eggs: Eggs are easy to cook, inexpensive and a good source of protein. I keep some hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator as snacks, and will often whip up an omelette for dinner when in a pinch!
- Salmon: I love salmon, and try to eat it at least once a week (in part because it is so good for our skin!) I try to eat salmon at least once or twice a week because it’s such a miracle food. I also like it because it is a versatile protein - you can use it as a substitute for red meat in almost any dish! My eating plan includes lots of tasty and easy to make salmon recipes, including Salmon Cakes, Maple Grilled Salmon, and more!