Know Your Protein Needs
By Stepy Kamei
When it comes to the most important nutrients that your body needs to get from your diet in order to thrive and function well, protein should land at the top of the list. You'll be doing your body a big favor by taking a few moments to learn more about how maintaining a proper protein intake can help you live your best life.
What Does Protein Do for the Body?
Protein is a nutrient which encourages muscle strength, as well as allowing them to recover from injuries and strains. It ensures the basic building blocks of the body are sustained at an adequate amount. Protein is so powerful that it can even impact a person’s mood, which is good news for anyone who deals with bouts of depression, anxiety, or just general irritability (in fact, irritability is a symptom that can be found in a person who is not getting enough protein in their diet). What’s more is that foods that are high in protein content generally tend to make us feel fuller for longer, which in turn means that we are that much less likely to overeat, or to even overindulge in unhealthy food.
When it comes down to it, protein is absolutely vital for keeping your overall physical and mental health in excellent working order. Everyone benefits from getting enough protein in their diet, but it's important to figure out what your specific protein needs are, as this can vary from person to person depending on amounts of exercise, stress, weight, etc.
Where to get Protein
You may be thinking that you should stock up on more red meat, but there are actually many different sources of protein out there. After all, too much red meat is not the best for your cardiovascular health, especially if you have high blood pressure or are currently at risk for developing either high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Fish is an excellent meat source of protein that is leaner and generally healthier, so try adding salmon and trout into your meals at least once a week. Beans are also a great source of protein that most people of various dietary restrictions can still enjoy, so be sure to incorporate black beans and pinto beans into your meals if you can. Finally, you can always turn to nuts, nut butters, seeds, and even seed butters (sunflower seed butter is a real thing!) for added protein and healthy fats into your diet.