While protein shakes are a great post-workout recovery drink or snack, I’m a big believer in getting the majority of the macronutrients your body needs from natural sources. Proteins are the building blocks of every single cell in your body. So, your body needs enough protein every day to keep building and repairing new tissue including your hair, skin and muscles. Protein also works to slow the release of carbs into your bloodstream to keep your energy levels even throughout the day while giving your metabolism a boost and reducing hunger pangs. To make sure you’re eating enough, try to include one of these natural protein sources in each of your meals:
Eggs are one of my favorite sources of protein! Not only are they delicious, but they’re an easy breakfast or lunch option. The yolks are also full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to keep you full until your next meal. Poach them up and serve on avocado toast, whip up a vegetarian omelette or add sliced hard boiled eggs to a salad.
High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids to keep your body fueled and happy, salmon is a top choice when it comes to natural sources of protein. Opt for wild salmon as it’s got a preferable mineral profile with more iron, calcium, zinc and potassium than farmed types. Add smoked salmon to salads or serve up a fillet with vegetables for a quick and nutritious meal.
Most unsweetened, thick Greek-style yogurts contain more protein and less sugar than regular flavored yogurt. It’s also full of gut-friendly probiotics and calcium to help maintain healthy teeth and bones. Add some berries or banana and cinnamon for a naturally sweetened snack or use instead of sour cream in Mexican dishes.
Chicken breast is a staple of most healthy diets because it’s such a great source of lean, high-quality protein. It’s also one of the cheapest and most versatile meats available. Check out this article for some easy ways to make chicken breast delicious.
Although they’re not as high in protein as the natural protein sources mentioned above, snacking on walnuts or adding them salads and Greek yogurt is a great way to boost your daily protein intake. They also have a similar omega 3 content to salmon as well as containing phytonutrients and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One serving of walnuts equals 14 halves.
Quinoa is one of the only plant foods that contains a full profile of the nine essential amino acids. It’s also a healthy source of low GI carbohydrates and fibre to provide a steady source of energy throughout the day. Top that off with an impressive profile of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and quinoa is an excellent choice for any healthy diet. Boil it up and serve it alongside a meal like rice, use it as a salad base or eat it for breakfast as a porridge.
What are your favorite natural protein sources? Post to the comments below!