How to Include More Protein in Your Diet

How to Include More Protein in Your Diet

A balanced diet consists of carbohydrates, healthy fats, dairy, fruits and vegetables and, of course, plenty of protein. Unfortunately, many people may struggle to include enough quality sources of protein in their daily eating plans, and this can lead to an array of negative consequences and health issues. Here is how to tell if your body is lacking in protein and, if so, how to include more of it in your diet.

Signs you have a protein deficiency

The first and most noticeable sign of a protein deficiency is a lack of energy and constantly feeling tired despite getting lots of rest. You may also begin to develop problems relating to your hair, skin, and/or nails. Hair loss, hair thinning, dulling of hair color, brittle nails that break easily, and dry, flaky skin are all possible signs that you need to eat more protein. Another tell-tale symptom is an unexplained loss of muscle mass. Research has shown that even moderate protein insufficiency can lead to substantial muscle wasting, especially in older adults.

How to eat more protein

The great news is that it is possible to pack in that protein even if you are not a meat-eater. There are many different plant-based sources of protein that can help you to get those levels up where they need to be. They include:

  • Tofu: Tofu is one of the richest plant-based source of protein. For maximum results, aim to eat firm tofu as it contains around 20 grams of protein per cup.
  • Tempeh: This is an Indonesian food made out of fermented soybeans – and it is even more powerful than tofu. It contains up to 30 grams of protein per cup!
  • Lentils: Lentils are wonderful as they also contain plenty of fiber, which is great news for the digestive system. Cooked lentils contain around 16 grams of protein per cup.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas can be turned into hummus and used as a delicious spread. They contain around 14 grams of protein per cup.
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If you are a meat-eater, while it is important to eat as many plant-based sources of protein as you can and to try to keep red meat to a minimum, if you are looking for a quick way to get a good dose of protein, you cannot go wrong with the occasional medium-rare steak. Don’t have time to cook one for yourself? Head on over to a pub or restaurant, like The Corner House Pub in Windsor (The Corner House menu is famous for its ‘Steak Thursdays’) and treat yourself.

How much protein should you aim for each day?

According to experts, the average required daily intake of protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. This means that the average man who doesn’t exercise regularly will need approximately 56 grams per day, while the average woman who doesn’t exercise regularly will need to strive for around 46 grams per day. Anything less than that amount and a protein deficiency may begin to develop. By including more protein in your diet you can better take care of yourself.

 

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