We all know protein is important in our diets but are you getting enough? The USDA recommends consuming at least 0.37 grams of protein per pound of your weight. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be getting at least 60 grams of protein daily. The good news is that many foods you eat regularly are surprising sources of protein.
When you think of protein your mind probably goes straight to meat. Yes, beef, chicken, fish, turkey and other animal meats are high in protein. But that’s not the full story on where you can get some really great protein in your diet. Find out surprising sources of protein that can help you get your daily fill:
Dairy: Cow’s milk has about eight grams of protein per cup so most dairy products made with milk have a significant amount of protein as well. When you’re looking to make the most out of your dairy products, go for Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, which will give you max protein per cup.
Soy: There are a plethora of soy products that pack a big punch of protein. It’s the only vegetable that’s considered a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Protein values vary per types of soy foods such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, miso soup, edamame, soy beans and tofu.
Nuts and Nut Butters: Small but full of protein, nuts and nut butters are a great way to sneak some extra protein in your diet. Raw nuts are easy to take as on-the-go snacks and delicious too. Nut butters spread on anything from breads to fruits and also bulk up smoothies.
Quinoa: This tiny seed is simple to add to tons of dishes including salads, soups, casseroles, baked goods and oatmeal, or it can be served as a mixed main or side dish. With about 20 grams of protein per cup, this little grain-like superfood is no small matter.
Green Veggies: Vegetables like spinach, peas, broccoli and kale have about 5 grams of protein per cup and they offer a ton of other essential nutrients as well. When you’re filling your plate, don’t forget to add these veggies towards your protein count.
Beans: Among the most economical surprising sources of protein, beans have anywhere from 10 to 18 grams of protein per cup, depending on the type. Of course beans have lots of fiber too and are super versatile in a variety of dishes and dips.
Whole Grain Breads: Whole grain breads can have upwards of 5 grams of protein per slice. This includes bagels as well. When you spread a nut butter, avocado or hummus on it, you’re probably getting at least 10 grams out of this delicious snack.
Protein is important for every cellular function of the body and is the building block of muscles. When you don’t eat enough of it, you can feel tired and weak. Give yourself the energy you need to face every day with vigor and vitality by enjoying these surprising sources of protein!
Sources: HealthyEating.org, Dr. Oz, FitDay and Fitness Magazine