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A well-balanced diet is a basis for the proper functioning of the body. It should be nutritionally dense, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is important not only the caloric value adjusted to daily energy demand but also the appropriate macro-and microelements. Carbohydrates are essential in the diet, as well as proteins and fats. The former is the primary source of energy for all cells. Proteins, in turn, are primarily building blocks for the body, but their role is much more significant. They perform several other functions to not be missing from the diet and in the correct quantity. The supply of protein should be adjusted to a given person’s individual needs because everyone has different requirements. In the case of physically active people who want to build muscle mass, amino acids are crucial. It’s time to consider which foods are high in protein and what you should reach for.

Why is protein a key component of everyone’s diet?

The body cannot function properly without an adequate supply of protein, specifically amino acids, which form cells’ structure. It is impossible to store large quantities of proteins, so they must be supplied from the outside. The body needs both endogenous and exogenous amino acids but can only produce the former. The exogenous ones must be obtained from food. Protein deficiency is a simple way to malnutrition and stunted the growth of the body. In the absence of amino acids, the intestines and muscles are unable to work. Susceptibility to infections and allergies also increases. In the case of people who train, an insufficient supply of protein impairs the building of muscle mass, muscle regeneration, and the entire energy supply. Protein acts as a building material for tissues and cells and is also a source of energy. It participates in numerous reactions in the body, regulates the acid-base balance, has an immune function, detoxifies and protects the body. It also has an immune, detoxifying, and transporting process. Both animal and plant foods may be sources of protein, but the former is considered the most complete source.
Where to get protein in your diet? Here are the best sources

1. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of easily digestible protein and are considered one of the most nutritious foods. They contain a range of vitamins, minerals, fats, and antioxidants. Protein is found in both the yolk and the white.

2. Fish and seafood

Fish is healthy, rich in fatty acids and protein, which is easily digested and does not overload the digestive system. There are so many species of fish to choose from, you can choose from seafood, so there is no question of a monotonous menu. Particular attention should be paid to salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, carp, cod, tuna, shrimps, and mussels.

3.Meat

Everyone knows very well that the primary source of protein is meat. Whether you choose chicken, turkey, beef, duck, or venison, the protein and fat content will differ. There are many types of meat, so there’s something to suit everyone’s needs and taste preferences. Poultry is the most popular – chicken fillet, wings, turkey fillet, turkey knuckle, and minced turkey meat. Even higher amounts of protein can be found in beef, rich in minerals, especially iron and B vitamins. Athletes greatly appreciate beef shoulder and sirloin.

4. Legumes

Vegans do not consume animal products, so plant sources of protein are essential. Legumes, which come in a variety of forms, provide ample amounts of protein. These are vegetables with a low glycaemic index, rich in dietary fiber, and many valuable micro-and macro-nutrients. It is worth reaching for them even in a traditional diet, as they are delicious and healthy. Vast quantities of protein are contained in soya, which has been popular with athletes for years. It is the main ingredient in most protein supplements. Large amounts of protein are also found in green peas, red and green lentils, black and white beans, and chickpeas.

5. Offal

Not everyone likes to eat offal, but it’s worth changing that, as it’s more valuable than meat. They are a great source of protein and, at the same time, plenty of minerals and vitamins. It is high time to become convinced and include beef, poultry, or even pork liver in your diet. You can also choose hearts, stomachs, and kidneys.

6. Protein supplements

Eating a lot of meat, pulses, or eggs can be hard on the body. The problem arises in the case of people who train intensively and want to build muscle tissue. They need a lot of protein, so a protein supplement is ideal for them. A protein shake is perfect after strength training, as it allows you to replenish amino acids quickly and easily. They are needed both for muscle development and during weight reduction. The composition of protein supplements can vary, and there are also options for vegans, i.e., an utterly plant-based version.

7. Cottage cheese

Physically active people often reach for cottage cheese, which is low in calories and fat and, at the same time, a great source of protein. Cottage cheese is delicious and tastes great, both salty and sweet.

8. Yogurts

Greek and Skyr yogurts are other popular dairy products with high protein content. It’s crucial to choose yogurts that are as little processed as possible and free from unnecessary sugar.

9.Milk

Milk contains good quality protein, but it doesn’t stop there. It also contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and even some vitamins. Milk is available in different fat contents; it doesn’t have to be cow’s milk, but goat’s milk or even vegetable milk.

10.Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds have many proteins and a lot of healthy fats, and more or fewer carbohydrates. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The most popular are peanuts, which contain more protein than even a hundred portions of beef or poultry. The same can be said for sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.

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