Proteins are the main components of our body (skin, organs, muscles & tendons) and are used to make crucial enzymes and hormones that serve various functions within biological processes. Proteins are responsible for new-cells production, they are essential for growth and they help to repair our tissues&muscles (for example they re-build broken muscle fibres damaged after high intensity or strength workout). They also keep blood sugar on stable level throughout the day and help you limit the intake of calories by eating less food while achieving same satiety.
That is why, following protein-quality diet is vital for every person who:
- aims to stay healthy,
- lives active lifestyle (& does exercise),
- wants to loose weight
Apart of boosting metabolic rate and reducing the appetite, proteins limit the amount of fat people regain after weight loss and help build and preserve muscle mass. However proteins are made of amino acids mainly produced by body itself, in order to boost their levels – it is vital to know their best food sources.
For the average adult who is on 2000-2500 calories diet, does not exercise much but is at a healthy weight, the optimal daily intake of proteins is around 75g (male) or 60g (female). People who want to build muscle mass and strength need to increase the amount as well as elderly people or those with physically demanding job. The good news is, you can not overdose proteins- there is no scientific evidence that a reasonably high protein intake has any adverse health effects.
The best sources of proteins are animal products (meat, fish, dairy) as they have all the essential amino acids, but vegetarians & vegans can also fill their diet with proteins by eating specific vegetables, seeds and nuts.
In order not to get bored with your meals (no need to stick to beloved grilled chicken salad!), you can add following food to your daily diet-plans:
Cod: serving 110g, protein 24g
Canned sardines: serving 3 sardines, protein 24g
Canned tuna: serving 110g, protein 28g
Wild salmon: serving 110g, protein 28g
Shrimps: serving 110g, protein 24g
Ham (extra lean): serving 100g (4 slices), protein 20g
Skinless turkey breast: serving 110g, protein 20g
Pork tenderloin: serving 110, protein 20g
Chicken breast: serving 1, protein 16g
Egg: serving 1 large, protein: 6g
Egg whites: serving 2 large, protein: 8g
Greek Yogurt: serving 225g, protein 23g
Cottage cheese: serving 1 pot, protein 28g
Black beans: serving 120g, protein 8g
Lentils: serving 1 cup, protein 18g
Tofu: serving 120g, protein 10g
Raw pumpkin seeds: serving 50g, protein 10g