Protein is what might be one of the most important nutrients. Implementing them in your healthy diet is crucial for staying healthy. Whatever your reasons might be for finding ways to add protein to your meals, getting properly informed about protein function and sources is important. There are numerous different ways you can get your daily dose of protein by adding some key ingredients to your meals. It doesn’t take much effort or time. These 12 easy-to-follow tips will ensure that you learn how to implement those high-protein ingredients to make your meals healthier and even tastier than before.
Try Greek Yogurt
One of the first and easiest ways you can add small amounts of protein daily is switching from regular yogurt to Greek yogurt. It can even come in several different flavours and it’s much healthier for your body. Greek yogurt is known for being rich in protein. You can eat it either as a snack or make your healthy high-protein smoothie. It is estimated that one serving of Greek yogurt can add approximately 18 grams of protein into your diet and if that’s not enough for you, you can add about 4 grams of protein by topping your yogurt with a handful of nuts to make it even tastier. Or you can eat a protein bar, if you’re craving something sweet afterward. This way you’ll be loading up on lean protein in the healthiest way possible.
Prep Meat Strips
If you want to make sure you’re getting enough protein on a daily basis, the best way to do it is by always keeping that essential nutrient as the top priority. Your goal should be to base each meal of the day on protein, whether it is 20 or 30 grams of protein that you plan on consuming, or even more. The optimal protein income is expected to be covered by at least three ounces of meat, or approximately the size of a deck of cards. If you want you can check out some useful meal-prepping strategies that can help you learn how to cook lunches for the whole workweek. This will make sure that you’ll be having enough protein even for those days that are extra busy and hectic. You can always cook and prepare some extra portions of protein-containing meat such as chicken or fish. Keep it stored in the refrigerator and then you can easily add it to your meals when needed. If you want to lower the amount of added fats that can be found in meat, try grilling or boiling it. Also, consider some healthier versions of sprinkling salt on your meal.
Eat a Variety of Different Nuts
If you want to add more protein while also having healthier snacks between bigger meals of the day, then consider eating more nuts such as almonds or walnuts. Both of these are great to always have around because you can add them to other meals for some extra flavour or you can eat them on their own. As mentioned above, you can add almonds on top of your Greek yogurt for a richer flavour, or you can even add nuts to your salads, oatmeal, breakfast cereal, and so on. You can never go wrong with any of these combinations. You can always keep a handful of nuts with you wherever you go by keeping them in a Ziploc bag. However, make sure you don’t eat too much. You shouldn’t get into a high-calorie habit of eating way too many nuts. Lastly, make sure to always get the naked nuts rather than those that are flavoured or salted. They are much healthier.
Add Beans to Your Meals
If there’s something you can learn from your vegan friends and their healthy diet, it’s definitely to try adding beans to your meals as much as you can. They might be very simple, but there are numerous different and creative combinations you can make with some good old beans. There are more than just one type of bean. For instance, garbanzo beans, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, or black beans are all different and can add rich flavour to almost any meal you make. You can add them to your salads, soups, and pasta. Beans are also one of the crucial ingredients of a burrito and by adding other healthy veggies to it you can have yourself a tasty, yet healthy, burrito full of protein for lunch or dinner. Beans are rich with fibre and can contain up to 15 grams of protein per cup and that is what makes them the best plant-based protein source.
Choose Quinoa Instead of Rice or Pasta
Using quinoa in your everyday meals can really help you gain more protein. This seed contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies need and is considered a complete protein. There are about 8 grams of protein in each cup of quinoa. You can easily implement it in your diet by using it instead of rice and pasta, for example. Or you can add it to salads, soups or even some sweets such as muffins and pancakes. This way quinoa will add extra nutritional value even to those sugar-packed snacks. Swapping your brown rice for protein-packed quinoa will help you maintain that healthy diet with lots of protein that your body needs in order to function properly.
Mix in Seeds
If getting the needed daily dose of nutrients is at the top of the list, eating a lot of seeds could also help you. This is one of the best ways to get more protein on a daily basis while doing the bare minimum. Although it might seem insignificant, developing a seed habit can make a huge difference. There are numerous types of seeds and many different ways you can mix them up and add them to your favourite meals and snacks. For instance, you can add seeds such as hemp, flaxseed, or chia into your oatmeal, smoothies, or Greek yogurt. Even just two tablespoons of these seeds can add up to 6 grams of protein to the food you eat daily. Eating seeds every day or, at least every other day, is definitely a game-changer.
Make Healthier Sweet Treats
We all have those moments when we desperately crave some sugar and not so healthy snacks. That’s when we give in to the temptation and go for a high-calorie chocolate cake or a huge slice of chocolate pie. And it’s completely fine to crave something sweet. You can’t always keep up with that healthy-eating lifestyle and that’s okay. You need to treat yourself sometimes too. However, if you still want to keep those healthy habits while enjoying something sweet from time to time, there are several ways of doing it. You can still have your favourite baked goods; such as chocolate muffins, cookies, and banana bread while also getting that daily dose of fibre and protein. For instance, you can add pureed or mashed white or black beans or chickpeas. They will enrich the flavour and provide you with the nutrients you need. Or you could even add silken tofu to your smoothies and puddings. However, if you don’t feel like baking, you can always find some sweet and healthy protein bars in your local supermarket.
Dig into Hummus
Eating snacks such as avocado and tortilla chips between the bigger meals of the day is something most of us are guilty of. Especially if nacho cheese or spicy salsa is involved, we end up with this high-calorie double trouble that we later have to suffer the consequences of. But there is a way to swap this unhealthy snack with something more protein-packed. For example, consider slicing up some vegetables like carrots or celery and dipping them into delicious hummus. Hummus consists of blended chickpeas usually mixed up with tahini because the protein function is higher in that combo. Hummus can even come in several different flavours. You can buy it in your local store or you could try to make it at home by adding some vegetables in this original combination of chickpeas and tahini. For example, if you prefer spicy snacks you can add some blended jalapeno chilli peppers to your hummus.
Double up on Fish
One of the best ways to add healthy nutrition into your protein diet is to eat more fish. It is very easy to prepare and it’s delicious. Just by playing with different spices and finding creative ways to mix them up together, you can have a tasty and rich-in-flavour high-protein meal. And because it’s easy to cook you don’t have to worry about following complicated recipes. If your whole workweek is overcrowded with busy schedules and business meetings, you can even make larger portions that you can store up in your fridge. That way you’ll be able to just pick up your lunch and bring it to work to eat it later in the day. This will ensure that you eat healthy every day and not opt for buying some unhealthy fast food on your lunch break. Salmon is said to contain the most protein out of all fish. Four ounces of salmon can contain up to 23 grams of protein. For some extra protein, you can always make a salad with some chickpeas on the side.
Always Keep Protein Powder Handy
However, eating lots of fish and adding seeds and veggies to your diet isn’t the only way to ensure you’re getting enough protein. Adding some protein powder to your meals and drinks can also help a lot. Whether you choose to mix it up with your favourite smoothie or add it to your breakfast oatmeal, protein powder will give you more than enough protein for the day. You can even choose to implement a pre-workout formula in your protein shakes and smoothies if you go to the gym regularly. If you want to make sure that you don’t run out of protein powder you can get a subscription on one of the websites such as True Protein that offer a great range of various different protein powders. This way you don’t have to worry about forgetting to buy more protein powder once it runs out, because you’ll be getting them delivered to your house as regularly as you need.
Eat Red Lentils
One of most people’s favourite protein players is red lentils. They are great for those cold and rainy days when you need a delicious soup to warm up. You can use them for cooking soups, curries, or stews. They are often used in many vegan dishes because they can replace meat and provide you with extra protein and fibre that your body needs. They are very easy to prepare. It only takes about 15 to 25 minutes to cook them. They go well with almost any soup recipe out there. And if you plan on making a stew you can always mix them up with various different veggies and mushrooms.
Add Spirulina to Your Smoothies
Lastly, one of the simplest ways of getting that daily dose of protein is to make it a topping. This is where spirulina comes in handy. It is a less-known superfood that if implemented correctly can be a huge game-changer. Spirulina is a natural alga and one of the most potent protein sources with a highly beneficial protein function. It contains nearly 16 grams per ounce. And on top of that, it is also a great source of antioxidants, iron, calcium, vitamin B, and other healthy nutrients that are very beneficial for your health. You can add spirulina to your protein shakes or fruit smoothies, depending on what you prefer.
As can be seen from the above-discussed tips, adjusting your protein diet in order to get more protein doesn’t have to mean making huge changes. It’s all about baby steps and adding smaller ingredients that will make sure your meals and daily snacks are much healthier. Also drinking protein shakes, having some sweet protein bars and protein supplements are also ways of adding more protein. Mixing different ingredients to cook healthy and make delicious meals that you can prepare in advance will ensure you get enough fibre and protein every day. We hope these tips will inspire you to be creative with your cooking.