Proteins are essential to many functions in the human body, including building and repairing muscles and tissues. Here are just a few of the other benefits that come from consuming protein:
*Increased energy! Protein takes longer than carbohydrates to break down (metabolize) in the body. Because of this, it works to provide a longer-lasting energy source than carbohydrate. This means an increase in energy for you. Be sure to consume some protein at every meal to benefit from this energy source!
*Increased muscle mass! More muscle means a higher metabolic rate, which means a higher calorie burn just by doing your everyday activities. The building blocks of protein are called amino acids. These same amino acids work to preserve muscle mass and help build new muscle proteins.
*Stabilized blood sugar levels! Protein aids in the process of getting sugar (carbohydrate) to your muscles to be used for energy. Consuming protein with your carbohydrate makes it readily available for use during the metabolic process. This helps prevent that large spike in blood sugar that can occur when carbohydrate alone is consumed.
According to the USDA, the recommended daily intake of protein for adults of average weight and activity level is 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. These amounts are a minimum amount and can vary based on your actual amount of muscle mass and the type of workouts you are participating in.
11 Quality Protein Sources to Consider
Food item Serving Size Grams of Protein
Grass-fed beef 3 ounces 19 grams
Bone broth 1/4 cup 20 grams
Lentils 1 cup 18 grams
Wild fish 3 ounces (salmon) 17 grams
Organic chicken 1 breast 16 grams
Black beans 1 cup 15 grams
Natto 1/2 cup 15 grams
Milk 1 cup 8 grams
Kefir or yogurt 6 ounces 6-9 grams
Free-range eggs 1 large 7 grams
Cheese 1 ounce (goat) 7 grams
For more information about protein or if you are interested in meeting with one of our nutrition consultants at CBRC to find out more about protein levels appropriate for your lifestyle and goals, please contact Morgan Fewel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Cookbookman17 via Flickr