Protein Source: an absolute for health
So, we’ll fess up. Marti got to meet with a dietician and learned some facts about protein and finding a good protein source that both scared and fascinated her because yes, it’s an absolute for health but the daily requirements are pretty staggering.
The roles of protein in health are fascinating:
The roles protein play are fascinating and varied, determined by each protein’s sequence of amino acids which determines its 3-D structure and its job. Most of the work in cells is done by proteins and they’re also essential for maintaining the structure and function of the body’s tissues and organs.
Albumin, a plasma protein, is a big deal in terms of maintaining fluid balance which it does by helping cells pull in and emit fluids. If your body doesn’t have enough albumin, swelling can occur because of fluids that have leaked into your tissues. Think back to those times when you’ve felt bloated and sluggish because you’ve retained fluid. It might be because your body needs more protein. We’re not nutrition experts and definitely believe you should check with a dietician or your doctor before significantly altering your diet.
So here it is – both the challenge of getting enough protein and some protein source:
CHALLENGE: Women need to consume .8 percent of their body weight in kilograms daily which can translate to between 50 – 70 grams of protein in a day. That’s a staggering amount when we thought about the protein in one egg equaling 7 grams. Yikes! We aren’t thinking about eating the 5-7 eggs it would take to meet the protein requirement for a day but the thought of meeting the minimum requirement by eating that much protein seems… crazy!
SOLUTION: Greek yogurt is a great protein source but be sure to read the label because the grams of protein can vary widely. Chobani and Fage are two brands that contain 18 grams of protein in their 6-ounce containers. You can do the math to adjust for various serving sizes but that can be 50% more protein than some other Greek yogurts offer.
SOLUTION: Chicken! Yes, heard that one before! That’s because, without the skin, most of its calories provide protein – 53 grams for 284 calories. Add to that that chicken is versatile – you can fix it so many different ways, it doesn’t have to same-old, same-old.
SOLUTION: Quinoa! It has all nine essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein and offers 8 grams of protein (222 calories in one cup of cooked quinoa). Whoa! That’s not all – quinoa also has quercetin, a flavonoid that is shown to be a powerhouse fighting depression, inflammation, viruses, and cancer.
SOLUTION: Lentils give about 18 grams of protein per cup when cooked. Besides being a great protein source, they’re also a great source of iron – think energy – and fiber – think fullness and weight loss!
SOLUTION: Good, quality protein drinks like Premier give about 30 grams of protein. That’s with only 160 calories and 270 grams of sodium for those people who are watching salt intake.
Did you know the origin of the word protein comes from the Greek protos which means first? That helps us to remember the basic role of protein in our health which means that when we’re getting enough protein, it’s able to perform its many roles beyond providing energy.
Scrumptious protein in a parfait made with Greek yogurt? Fast protein in a drink? You’ve got this and will feel so much better for it!