14 “Protein-Packed Power Foods” (And How To Easily Add Them To Your Diet)
These Lean Proteins Can Help You Improve Your Health & Boost Weight Loss…
Proteins may not be as much fun as dessert… but they are vital to our health. The proteins you choose to consume have a great influence on your wellbeing.
Proteins are important because they are necessary for many major bodily functions. These include:
- Fighting infections
- Building and repairing tissues
- Making hormones and enzymes
- Helping cells divide
- Building skin, muscles, cartilage, and blood
- Carrying oxygen, fats, minerals, and vitamins throughout the body
- Clotting blood
- Balancing bodily fluids
It turns out that some of us are actually consuming too much protein. High-protein/low-carb diets (which can cause people to have an excess of calcium in their urine!) are one of the reasons.
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You may want to consult The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics daily protein recommendation guide to determine how much protein is ideal for you.
They also explain… for sake of comparison… that an ounce of cooked meat, poultry, or fish has the same amount of protein as a quarter cup of cooked beans, an egg, a tablespoon of peanut butter, or half an ounce of nuts or seeds.
Proteins you might be familiar with include meat, dairy, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds. There are many other low-fat, nutritious, and yummy foods that you might not realize have high protein content.
Let’s take a look at foods that are known to contain a great deal of protein and the ones not as famous for being good sources of protein.
1) White Meat & White Flesh Fish
White meat and white flesh fish are the least fatty of meats and fishes. If you opt for those… you won’t ingest as much fat, cholesterol, and C-reactive protein (which causes inflammation).
Pork, chicken (remove skin), and turkey (remove skin) are the white meats. White fishes include bass, halibut, grouper, cod, Alaska pollock, haddock, and tuna.
2) Lean Meat
When purchasing red meat, opt for the lean pieces. Trim the fat off before cooking or eating it. Loin and round are code words for low fat. Look for 95% lean. Many studies have linked the fat in red meat to heart disease.
3) Low-Fat Dairy & Milk
Reduce your fat intake when consuming dairy by buying low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and other cheeses. You’ll consume less sugar if you buy plain yogurt and add in your own fruit, nuts, etc.
Greek yogurt is a better choice than regular yogurt because it’s creamier and thicker due to the liquid whey being removed. It also contains less lactose and double the protein of regular yogurt.
4) Egg Whites
Egg yolks are chock-full of fat and cholesterol. They have been controversial in the health world… as some people believe they are beneficial to your health… while others say they should be avoided.
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If you want to play on the safe side, you can still create a gastronomic masterpiece by making your omelets with egg whites. Flavor them with peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and other good stuff.
Here are some healthy and delicious options that you might not know are packed with protein.
Quinoa is a healthy grain that’s loaded with protein. It’s perfect for side dishes and can be used to make fantastic meals.
Here are some great quinoa recipes… including enchiladas, salads, mushrooms, a breakfast dish, meatballs, and chicken parmesan. You’ll want to eat all of them when you see the drool-worthy pictures!
6) Green Leaf Veggies
Green leaf veggies are epitome of nutrition. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, spinach, asparagus, and—less green—mushrooms and cauliflower—are brimming with protein.
Add some to your breakfast smoothie, include one in your lunch, and eat more at dinner. You can snack on them with low-fat dressing or dip them in hummus.
Fantastic news! Potatoes contain protein.
Don’t smother them in butter or cream cheese, though. Top your potatoes with Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt (for a plant-based condiment).
If you haven’t tried non-dairy yogurts yet, you’ll find they are very tasty because many are made from nuts. Some contain oats, peas, or coconut.
You can also use dairy-free butter like Smart Balance or experiment to see which dairy-free butter you like best.
Here are a bunch of healthy and mouth-watering potato recipes. If you’re like me, you are rejoicing to have an excuse to eat lots of potatoes!
Hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, and chia seeds can be mixed in with salad, soups, smoothies, and trail mix.
Nuts are delicious, portable, and require no preparation. A handful makes a healthy and satisfying snack.
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They also provide a yummy crunch and additional flavor in salads, steamed veggies, cereals, stir-fries, ice cream, and yogurt. In addition, you can use nuts to encrust fish, poultry, and meat. Extra points for almonds, cashews, and pistachio.
Disclaimer: Seeds and nuts have a lot of healthy fat… so they should be eaten in moderation.
Beans are great for you and are bursting with protein. Toss them into salads, make a bean salad, eat them in chili, in baked potatoes, nachos, or enjoy rice and beans.
Check out these yummy bean recipes… which even include several bean breakfast dishes.
Throw some in your stew, rice, or salad to up your protein. If you have a little time, try making one of these amazing looking lentil dishes. Healthy, low-calorie, and delicious!
Chickpeas are filling and full of nutrients.
Oats contain lots of protein and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try oat and fruit parfaits, oat muffins, oat granola, oat cookies, oat scones, or oat breading on fish or poultry.
Have a look at all these other ways to incorporate oats into your day.
14) Peanut Butter
If you’re a peanut butter addict like I am… you know that it’s one of the best substances in the universe. Buy natural peanut butter, not the salty and sugary ones.
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Make a PB&J on wheat bread, smear on a cracker, spread on an apple or banana (à la Elvis), scoop into celery, spoon into a smoothie, make peanut sauce and serve on noodles, Mr. Rogers-style on waffles, or in a dessert.
There are countless ways to enjoy peanut butter! Have a look at these recipes.
There are many lean proteins out there. Pick the healthy ones to feel and look your best!
Why It’s Important To Eat A LOT More Protein…
Now that you see how many “Protein-Packed Power Foods” are out there… you really should consider adding them to your diet… A LOT.
That’s because a recent study found that adding 30% more protein to your diet can burn 441 more calories per day… even if you do nothing else for weight loss!
Here’s the problem though:
Many of the people in that study were already eating the “normal” amount of protein every day that doctors and dieticians recommend.
However, another study found that 46% of American adults are eating significantly less protein than they should be eating!
If you suspect you’re in this 46% of low-protein individuals… do NOT worry.
Just start eating a lot more of the foods above.
And if you really want to jumpstart your weight loss… I’d highly recommend these other two “Low-Effort Fat-Burning Tips” as well.
They’re both even easier than “eat more protein than a T. Rex”…
And you can do both just by flipping a switch… and taking an all-natural pill.
Here’s what these “Low Effort Fat Burning Tips” are… plus how to use them to burn a lot more fat…even while you’re sleeping: