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The Healthiest Proteins

By Sara Butler

Protein is the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Your body needs protein in order to repair and rebuild muscle tissue and help to regulate your metabolism. The problem is that the quality of the protein you choose matters because the higher the quality, the easier it will be for your body to absorb and use it properly.

It's no secret that not all protein is created equal. But you can find high-quality protein from a number of sources, both plant and animal. Here are some high-quality and healthy proteins you should consider adding to your diet.

Eggs

Eggs are magical. OK, they may not be able to pull off tricks, but they are a protein superstar because just one egg has about seven grams of protein but is low in calories. Eggs are also a type of protein that your body can use efficiently and quickly, which is why they're perfect for any meal.

Eggs also contain antioxidants, iron, and choline, which help to support your heart and metabolism. They're inexpensive and versatile, too. You simply can't go wrong with eggs!

Salmon

Wild-caught salmon is really good for you, full of omega-3 fatty acids that help to keep your central nervous system healthy and reduce chronic inflammation. One 3-ounce serving of salmon provides about 17 grams of protein but also has potassium, iron, and zinc. It's important to choose wild-caught when you can because it is higher in nutrients than the farmed variety.

Chicken

Chicken is good for you and buying a whole bird provides you with both white and dark meat to choose from to boost your health. Dark meat is high in zinc and iron while white meat will provide you with Vitamin B. It's a high-quality protein that is also low in fat and versatile, so chicken should be a big part of your dinner lineup.

Tofu

If you aren't into eating animal protein, then tofu should have a starring role in your meal planning. This bean curd is a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids your body needs to stay healthy. One cup provides you with about 20 grams of protein and can help to reduce your levels of bad cholesterol. Plus, you can use it as a substitute in just about any dish for meat.

Protein is essential to a healthy diet. However, what you choose as your source of protein does make a difference.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fairfax, Va.

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