What is protein & why do we need it?
Protein is a macronutrient found throughout the body - in bone, skin, hair, and muscle. Made up of at least twenty basic building blocks called amino acids, the body needs it in order to repair muscle tissue, and perform other vital bodily functions – for example, it makes up the enzymes that power chemical reactions and the haemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood.
However, the body ultimately can’t store amino acids. As a result, there are nine in particular known as essential amino acids that must come from food.
Research shows us that the more protein people eat, the higher the rate of muscle protein synthesis. This fact alone is important because the body is constantly in a fluctuating state of muscle loss and gain. Any time you replenish the pool of amino acid building blocks that the body uses to synthesise muscle, it causes a positive environment for muscle development.
The right amount to eat is between 25-30 grams in one meal, which will maximally stimulate protein synthesis in older adults. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you’re eating this much at each meal and reaching your protein intake goal daily.
10 of the protein sources we use regularly in our meal plans:
One large egg has 6 grams of protein
Not only are they high in protein they are a great source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and brain nutrients.
2) Lean beef
One 3-ounce serving of sirloin contains 25 grams of protein
Also high in iron, vitamin B12 and other vital nutrients.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein
Also rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
96 grams of broccoli has 3 grams of protein
It also provides vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and potassium.
142 grams contains 27 grams of protein
A good source of omega-3 fats.
198 grams of boiled lentils contains 18 grams of protein
Also high in fibre, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, folate and other nutrients.
7) Cottage cheese
One cup of low fat cottage cheese contains 28 grams of protein
Also rich in calcium, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins B2 & B12.
An 85 gram serving of Salmon contains 19 grams of protein
Also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
9) Turkey breast
An 85 gram serving has 26 grams of protein
Contains relatively very little fat and calories.
10) Chicken breast
One 3-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast contains 27 grams of protein
Also a good source of vitamins B6 & B3.