Protein is the most essential nutrient that everyone feels they are not getting enough of. Indeed it's quite difficult to make sure you get in enough protein in your diet, especially if you're a vegetarian. Proteins are building blocks of human cells and as such are very important for the smooth functioning of our bodies. Protein is important for growth, repair and development of body tissues and is counted among the three essential macro-nutrients that your diet should be rich in. The other two are carbohydrates and fats. Including protein in your diet is essential to maintain muscle strength and muscle mass, as you age and a diet rich in protein also helps rev up metabolism for weight loss. In fact, a protein-rich diet or a diet rich in protein-rich foods, is recommended by many health experts for effective weight management.
How Much Protein Should You Eat Daily?
According to a Harvard Health blog, the commonly quoted daily recommended intake of protein is as follows- 56 gm per day for men and 46 gm per day for women. This recommended allowance may vary depending on the intensity of physical activity that a person indulges in, daily. If you are engaged in heavy duty workout or a physical activity that requires high stamina and strength, you should follow a strict high protein diet plan, drawn up just for you. A commonly accepted weight-based daily recommended allowance for protein dictates that one should consume 0.8 gm of protein per kilogram of their body weight. There are some easy ways to sneak in more protein in your diet on a daily basis. Let's take a look at some protein-rich foods that you can add in your daily meals.
How To Add More Protein To Your Weight Loss Diet
1. Protein In Breakfast
Most people start their day with protein-rich eggs, which are filling, nutritious and delicious. But the whites from a single large egg only contain about 6 gm of protein (as per USDA data). You can bump up your protein intake by adding some protein-rich flaxseeds to your oatmeal porridge. Oats are also quite rich in protein and hence are considered a healthy choice for breakfast. Add some flaxseed powder to your breakfast smoothie to load up on the nutrient in your first meal of the day.
2. Protein In Lunch
During lunch, keep away from white or even brown rice and instead opt for whole wheat chapatis. Whole wheat flour contains much more protein than rice. Add a cup of plain curd or yogurt. It's a great way of aiding digestion and adding some protein and calcium to your lunch meal. Sprinkle some flaxseeds or chia seeds to your yogurt cup.
3. Protein In Dinner
Popular protein-rich dinner ingredients include egg whites, cottage cheese, chicken breast, turkey breast etc. Again, instead of going for rice, include whole wheat chapatis or whole wheat bread in your meal.
4. Protein In Snacks
Snacking is important for weight loss. Seeds and nuts are very popular when it comes to healthy snacks. Seeds are rich in protein and so are nuts like almonds and walnuts (21 gm and 15 gm per 100 gm, respectively, as per USDA data). You can also opt for roasted chickpeas or a sprouts salad with green gram sprouts or mung beans.
Also Read: 10 Pre And Post Workout Snack Recipes
An easy way to meet your recommended daily allowance for protein is to break your protein intake into smaller allotments of 15 to 30 gm of protein per meal. Check with a certified nutritionist or dietitian for more concrete tips on how to include more protein in your diet and an effective breakup of macro-nutrients in each meal.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.