Whether your goal is to build up muscles or trim down, protein is a must-have to give you essential nutrients for a healthier, toned body. According to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, an adult requires an average of 0.03 ounces (0.8g) of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein shakes supplement your diet to help you achieve the daily recommended protein intake. Protein-rich foods can help you lose weight because they make you feel fuller for longer. While eating plenty of proteins has countless benefits, nutritionists advise that you opt for balanced meals as much as possible. If you thought protein shakes are full of proteins, below is a list of seven foods that have higher protein content.
1. Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is low in fats and sugar. It’s thick, creamy and loaded with dozens of nutrients. Its protein content in a one six-ounce (170 grams) container can be as high as 17 grams with only 100 calories. For the non-fat Greek yogurt, you stand to gain more nutritional value compared to the one with added sugars. You can also take the full-fat Greek yogurt for the protein, but you can expect to get more calories. Plain Greek yogurt makes a nice addition to baked foods and smoothies. When shopping for Greek yogurt, look for the ‘live and active cultures’ label to gain the full benefits of probiotics that help you lose weight by improving your gut health.
Known to contain higher protein content than other grains, oats are also gluten-free and less costly. A half cup (78g) of oats packs 13g of proteins. Oats are also high in minerals and vitamins, not to mention high in fiber. They lower LDL making oats a great option for your heart health. Make oatmeal for your breakfast and add your favorite fruits for more texture and flavor. Avoid processed oats to limit your sugar intake.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are no doubt one of the cheapest ways to up your protein intake. You can get as much as 7 grams of proteins in as little as one ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds. And that’s not all. Pumpkin seeds have antioxidant properties thanks to Vitamin E.
They are also rich in magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus which are known to boost energy, make your skin glow and repair and replace damaged tissues. What’s interesting about pumpkin seeds is that you can eat them as snacks or add them to oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt.
4. Chicken Breast
Chicken is one of the most consumed types of protein. Chicken breasts are the leanest parts and contain the highest protein content. Three ounces (85 grams) of roasted chicken breast packs 28 grams of proteins. Due to its high content, chicken breast makes a great addition if you’re dieting. To get the best out of chicken, go for skinless pasture-raised ones which supply more omega-3 and antioxidant properties.
Despite its small size, an egg is full of essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Eggs contain all the amino acids making it an exemplary food choice for your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Egg whites contain the most proteins, with one cup of eggs whites supplying an impressive 26 grams of proteins. Eating just one large egg gives you 6 grams of proteins. Eggs are a great companion if you want to lose weight because they make you full for longer, hence you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
6. Black Beans
These are plant-based proteins that are easily available. One cup (170 grams) of black beans is loaded with 17 grams of protein. They are also good for weight loss because of the high amounts of fiber. Incorporating black beans into your diet reduces hunger and limits your food cravings. Unlike other beans, black beans also boost your brain function due to anthocyanin compounds. Their versatility makes them easy to make and mix with any other foods.
Like most fish, tuna is a high-protein food. The fact that tuna is very low in calories makes it almost 100 percent protein. 85 grams (three ounces) of tuna can carry up to 20 grams of proteins and only 93 calories. Apart from protein, tuna also supplies us with B-vitamins and other minerals like potassium and magnesium. The mercury content in tuna has always been an issue, but eating one canned tuna per week is not harmful. Plus, it has a high selenium-content that protects our bodies against mercury toxicity.
Most of these foods also contain other essential nutrients that your body needs for optimal performance. The impressive high protein levels and low calories in these foods mean that they are filling, thus helpful when it comes to weight loss.
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