Protein helps to build strong muscles, skin and organs. As proteins are broken down slowly by the body, they provide a great source of sustained energy throughout the day. Children, and pregnant women and anyone recovering from injury or illness may need to include more protein in their diet in order to build tissue and encourage growth.
In addition, people suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure can benefit from eating more protein, while a protein rich diet can actually help to encourage weight loss and reduce fat around the belly.
Looking to add more protein to your diet? Here are some foods that are high in protein you may want to include:
Nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashews and peanuts are not only a great source of protein but also extremely high in fibre and essential vitamins like Vitamin E. Although the benefits of eating nuts doesn’t always extend to nut products like peanut butter which can also be high in fat and should only be eaten in moderation.
2. Chicken breasts
Chicken breasts are an extremely lean source of protein. Just be sure to eat it without the skin and don’t crumb or deep-fry if you are trying to avoid extra calories. This extremely versatile ingredient can easily be added to a wide range of dishes, making it a great source of protein for growing families.
Cheese is an amazing source of protein, especially for anyone avoiding meat. Cottage cheese in particular is a great choice because it is rich in calcium and vitamins but low in fat. Other cheeses that are a great choice for a protein-rich diet include Swiss cheese, cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella.
All types of fish are rich in nutrients and essential omega-3 fatty acids while being an excellent heart-healthy form of protein. Salmon is a good choice, while tuna packs in the most protein. Freshly grilled tuna steaks make a great choice for on the BBQ while cold tuna can be added to salads or sandwiches.
5. Grains and legumes
Superfoods like quinoa and lentils are an amazing, often overlooked source of protein. An amazing choice for vegans, both quinoa and lentils are rich in vitamins and minerals while being high in fibre and protein. These plant based proteins are great in salads that you can snack on while playing at gaming sites, or can be mixed up with a variety of vegetables to add bulk to meals.
6. Milk and yoghurt
Offering high quality protein as well as stacks of calcium and the all-important Vitamin B2, milk and yoghurt should be incorporated into your diet daily. Just be sure to watch your fat intake, and rather opt for low fat varieties if possible and without any added sugar.
One of the healthiest foods you can eat, the good old fashioned egg is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and healthy fats. Egg whites are almost pure protein so having an egg-white omelette for breakfast is sure to keep you sustained and energised for the morning ahead.