Building Blocks for Your Body

ProteinThere are lots of different opinions about the best foods to include in your diet, but no one questions the need for protein. Consuming protein supports the building of bone, muscle, skin and blood.

Protein is considered to be a macronutrient, meaning your body needs a relatively large amount. If you have worked with a trainer at the gym, I’m sure they have told you to consume protein within an hour of your workout. That’s because the protein will support your body in rebuilding your muscles, and increasing your muscle mass will raise your metabolism, which makes it easier to lose weight.

We all know about chicken, fish, and lean beef as sources of protein. Here are some other sources that you can include in your meals:

Cottage cheese – a type of cheese that tends to be very low in fat and calories. Don’t be afraid of the full-fat version. It provides not only 27 grams of protein, but also calcium, phosphorus, selenium and B vitamins.
Almonds – a tree nut that offers 6 grams of protein per ounce, along with fiber, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.
Eggs – the whole egg is among the most nutritious food on the planet. In addition to 6 grams of protein in each one, they are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants and brain nutrients.
Oats – one of the healthiest grains, 1/2 cup of rolled oats provides 13 grams of protein, along with fiber, magnesium, manganese, thiamin and many others.
Pumpkin seeds – providing 5 grams of protein per ounce, these tasty seeds are also high in iron, magnesium and zinc.
Lentils – a type of legume that are a great source of plant-based protein (18 grams per cup), fiber and a wide range of minerals.
Quinoa – a seed/grain among the most popular superfoods, quinoa provides 8 grams of protein per cup, along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Ezekiel bread – different from most breads because it is made from sprouted organic whole grains and legumes (read my last newsletter to find out why that’s important) and provides 4 grams of protein per slice, along with fiber and nutrients.
Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts – protein from vegetables? Yes! A cup of each of these provides 3 grams and 4 grams, respectively, along with fiber, vitamins C and K, and other bioactive nutrients.

You can provide the protein that your body needs, along with a variety of other nutrients, without always needing to eat meat. What options interest you? How might you combine them to boost the protein value and make your meatless meals more interesting? Post your ideas on the Pursue Wellness Facebook page … and while you are there “like” it if you haven’t already.

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