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Protein Sources for Good Nutrition

by Kimberly Hays August 28th, 2012 | Nutrition, Vitamins
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We’ve all heard that proteins are essential for muscle growth, but they are also present in our organs and cells, and they are constantly breaking down. This is why it is important to have proteins in your diet on a daily basis to remain healthy. There are many sources, some surprising, which will assure that you are getting enough in your diet.

Eggs to Start the Day – Eggs are one of the most inexpensive options for protein. Although some people have heard that eggs are not good for you due to bad cholesterol, they are a protein rich source that has been approved by the American Heart Association as long as we only have one a day.

Milk Products – Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all good sources of protein, and also offer the added benefits of calcium. Some are also fortified with vitamin D, which is a vitamin that more than half Americans are said to be deficient.

The Powers of Beans – Beans are often an overlooked source of protein. A half-cup of beans is equal to the same amount of protein as an ounce of beef. There are many varieties to choose from, they are inexpensive, and they pack a lot of fiber which helps us stay fuller longer.

Heart-Healthy Soy – Soy is not only packed with protein, it is also a good option for those on a heart-healthy diet. Soy, if eaten daily, can lower cholesterol, if eating to replace proteins with high fat content. You can find many soy options in grocery stores, such as soy milk and meat substitutes.

Lean Meats – Lean meats, such as pork tenderloin and beef, are good sources of protein. Many think beef is not healthy, but today’s cuts are leaner, and they are comparable to chicken. You will also get the benefit of getting B12 and iron in your diet.

Protein Rich Snacks – We all want to reach for a snack from time to time, and there are options for getting protein here, too. Protein shakes and protein bars can be found in convenience stores. Just be sure they are not loaded with too much sugar and fat, and they have at least six grams of protein. An alternative is to pack a snack. Nuts, such as peanuts and especially almonds, are very high in protein. Seeds are also protein packed, so a bag of sunflower seeds are a great source. Peanut butter and other nut butters are also an option – served on whole wheat crackers.

Leafy Greens – Many are surprised to find that leafy greens are a protein packed food. One cup of kale has a whopping eleven grams of protein. Other leafy protein sources include broccoli, spinach and romaine lettuce. Leafy greens are also very versatile and can be added to soups, omelets, casseroles and salads.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.