Protein is an important nutrient that helps your body grow and repair cells. It is essential to be consuming enough protein, especially to build lean tissue and strong bones, trying to conceive or currently pregnant. The general rule of thumb for females is 1-1.5g per pound of bodyweight. This can be easier said than done so I've put together some simple ways to get more protein into your diet:
1. Eat Your Protein First
When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches. Protein increases the production of PYY, a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied.In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of the "hunger hormone" ghrelin and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep.
Eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
In a small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before high-carb foods, compared to when the order was reversed.
2. Replace Cereal with Eggs
Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels and cereals.
Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 6 grams in a typical 1-cup serving.
On the other hand, three large eggs provide 19 grams of high-quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline.
What's more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day.
Eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL ("bad") cholesterol particles in a way that may decrease heart disease risk.
3. Eat Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a versatile, high-protein food.
A 240-gram (8-oz) serving provides 17–20 grams of protein, depending on the brand(I use Fage). This is about twice the amount in traditional yogurt.
Greek yogurt is made by removing whey and other liquids to produce a richer, creamier yogurt.It increases the release of the gut hormones GLP-1 and PYY, which reduce hunger and make you feel full. Add some berries or chopped fruit. It can also be used as a substitute for sour cream in dips, sauces and other recipes.
4-Add a protein source to your salads
Salads are loaded with vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help protect you from disease.However, they often contain only a few grams of protein, which will likely lead to hunger after an hour or two.
To add protein to your salad, top it with any of the foods below. A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of these foods will give you the following amounts of protein:
If you're looking for a good plant-based option, chickpeas are a great choice that provides 15 grams of protein per cup (165 grams).
5. Have a Protein Shake for Breakfast
A shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast, depending on the ingredients. Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables or juice, but little protein.
Protein powders make it easy to create a high-protein shake. There are several types on the market, including whey, soy, egg and pea protein.
If you have sensitive tummy I would recommend pea or hemp protein as whey can leave you feeling quite bloated. Add peanut butter,almond butter,flaxseeds and chia seeds for even more of a boost.
6- When dining out choose leaner, slightly larger cuts of meat
Selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes slightly can significantly boost the protein content of your meal.
Your meal may even end up being fewer calories. For example, compare these two steaks:
7. Snacks!! Pair Peanut Butter with Fruit
Fruit is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and fibre. However, it's very low in protein.
Peanut butter is a delicious, high-protein food with a creamy texture that complements firm fruits such as apples and pears and easy to eat on the go. Spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit will boost the total protein content by 8 grams .
Edamame Beans are also very high in protein, you can easily snack on these. One cup of edamame has 17 grams of protein and about 180 calories.
Edamame is high in an antioxidants and helps to reduce blood sugar levels.