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The Powerful Punch of Protein and Where to Find It

By Genevieve Cunningham

For a while now, the fitness world has been very clear about its stance on protein. The basic consensus? Protein is key to a fit and healthy body. You need it to build muscles, burn fat, and sculpt out awesome definition. Even though you have likely heard this advice before, you may not fully understand why it is so important to add this aspect to your regular diet. Check out these three ways in which protein benefits the body, followed by some great suggestions on where to find some healthy forms of this powerful nutrient.

Why Protein is Amazing

  • Energy - Protein helps provide the body with a natural energy source. While carbohydrates also do this, too many carbs can make you feel sluggish and tired. Keeping your protein and carbs balanced may help keep your energy level up without the sleepy side effects.

  • Muscle growth - Muscles rely heavily on protein to grow. If you want to bulk, you have to add protein. Likewise, if you are not looking to bulk, but rather sculpt, protein is equally important. Eat more protein to feed the muscles, and then lift weights to get the most good out of the protein’s power.

  • Weight loss - For many, a side effect of building more muscle is losing weight. Muscles requires more energy to maintain, and therefore requires the body to expend more calories. The result? Less fat! If you want to lose fat, increase your muscle size and strength to give yourself the best opportunity.

Great Places to Find Protein

  • Lean meats - While all meats contain protein, choosing lean meats such as chicken and fish can provide your body with the protein without the fat and calories. A healthy serving is about 4 ounces, and it should accompany each meal.

  • Nuts - When you need protein in the form of a snack, just reach for a handful of nuts. Nuts contain enough protein to give you a quick boost in energy and to fuel your muscles. They also contain a dose of healthy fats, so with this one snack, you are getting a lot of nutrients and benefits for the body.

  • Protein powder - Often times, only the very serious fitness enthusiasts go for a protein powder, but it can be a really great way to get in some more protein. The powder can be used in shakes and smoothies, but it can also be baked into some delicious dessert options so that you can literally have your cake and eat it, too.

Getting enough protein in your diet is crucial to keep the muscles strong and the body balanced. The benefits of pumping your body with the right kind and amount of protein are seemingly endless. To round out your diet and get in amazing shape, add protein to your daily menu and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Eagan, Minn.

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