Protein comes in many sources, so mix it up and see what fuels your fire ( and your body).
Our bodies have 100 trillion cells! It is composed of 15% protein, making these amazingly powerful molecules the primary solid element in our body, found in every tissue, organ and cell.
They are the building blocks of life, needed for growing, breaking down our food and repairing body tissue.
Proteins are the building blocks of life. How much protein do I need? Am I getting enough? These are questions we all consider when we talk about diet, weight, nutrition and health. Lets start with the basics.
Fifteen percent of our bodies are made up of protein, making these powerful molecules the primary solid element in our body. Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids; each having a specific amount that are joined in a unique order. That is why the protein in a piece of fish is different than in a piece of cheese, or even a strand of hair.
We have twenty amino acids that help us build and breakdown our food helping repair our bodies. Eleven of these aminos are called "Non essential", which mean s that our bodies produce them naturally. The other nine are called "essential" which means that our bodies cannot produce them naturally and we need to get them through the consumption of foods. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, aminos are not stored in the body so it is important that we keep ourselves supplied.
The average male needs approximately 60 grams of protein, females 50 grams, & athletes need a little more.
Usually meat, fish, and dairy come to mind, and no doubt they supply a good amount of protein as well as your amino acids. As a health coach (and for myself) I like to introduce and educate people on other sources of protein that may not be as obvious but still gives one the same benefits as your typical types of protein.
You wouldn’t believe the amounts of proteins out there. It is in everything!
Take a look at these numbers:
1 avocado – 10 grams
1 cup broccoli – 5 grams
1 cup spinach – 5 grams
2 cups cooked kale – 5 grams
1 cup boiled peas – 9 grams
1 cup cooked sweet potato – 5 grams
1 cup tofu 20 grams
1 cup soybeans – 28 grams (1 cup tempeh – 30 grams)
1 cup lentils – 18 grams
1 cup refried beans – 15.5 grams
1 cup garbanzo beans (and hummus) – 14.5 grams
1 cup pinto, kidney, black beans – 13-15 grams
1 oz peanuts – 6.5 grams
1 cup oatmeal-7 grams
Almonds (23) 6 grams
Peanut butter (2 tbsp) 8 grams
Chickpeas (1/2 cup) 7 grams
4 oz Salmon-25 grams
4 oz chicken breast-35 grams
Lima beans ( ½ cup) 7 grams
Try to incorporate some plant-based proteins in your diet. It will supply you with a good amount of protein, fiber and complex carbs that you need to fuel yourself for the long haul. Plant based carbs are low in fat, cholesterol as well as calories. If you chose meat, fish or chicken, make sure it is lean, fresh and organic if possible.
(Note: 4 oz serving is the size of your palm)
It is important to have a variety of foods in your diet and not just focus on one thing. Mix it up, vary the colors, flavors, nutritional values, and remember to try something new. There are so many wonderful healthy options to choose from. Enjoy!