When most people think of protein, they think of muscle building– but protein does so much more than that! Read on to find out how protein helps your body function to its fullest, and how you can fit it into your diet.
Protein is a macronutrient made up of building blocks called amino acids. When we eat protein, our bodies break it down to those amino acids which our bodies use to function at its best. Protein helps our bodies by:
- Supporting our immune system
- Regulating metabolism
- Creating and functioning as hormones
- Helping cells grow and reproduce
As you can see, protein is a vital nutrient! There are two types of protein that perform these functions: animal protein and plant proteins. Animal protein comes from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese whereas plant protein comes from nuts, seeds, legumes, soy, and other plant sources. Incorporating both types of protein into your diet introduces a variety of other nutrients as well.
Are you looking for different ways to incorporate protein into your daily diet? Try some of these protein-packed snacks:
- Turkey roll-ups - Use a wrap and add some veggies to bump up the nutrition.
- NuGo Egg White Protein Bars - With 12-14g protein, this makes a perfect clean snack on-the-go for a paleo or gluten-free diet.
- Greek yogurt - Add some fruit and granola for a filling and satisfying breakfast or snack.
- Cottage cheese - Add some fruit to make it a fresh and wholesome dessert.
- Trail mix - Look for the low sodium kind if you’re watching your salt intake.
- Edamame - A great source of plant-based protein!
- Chicken salad - Spread on crackers or put on a sandwich.
- Apple & peanut butter - Protein in the peanut butter + fiber from the apple = a filling and nutritious snack!
- Tuna pouches - Great for on the go.