It’s no secret that the path to weight loss success is to cut back on the fat and up the protein intake. But why? I’ve been having a read about the benefits of protein and why people rave about it so much and to be honest, I can’t argue. Aside from protein acting as a form of building blocks for your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood, it also supports the building of enzymes, hormones and vitamins. Basically, as one of three nutrients that provide calories, it’s a pretty big deal.
It’s important not to get bored of a protein heavy diet though, so fishing around for new recipes to try is equally important. Food should be enjoyed, even if it is super healthy. Have you ever tried any of the recipes from Kraft? If you’re seeking protein-rich inspiration and ideas, it’s not a bad place to start.
Here are some other reasons protein gets our plus points:
- It has high vitamin B content which our bodies love. Vitamin B helps our bodies release energy, supports the nervous system and helps with the production of red blood cells and tissue.
- Iron is incredibly important and is used to carry oxygen in the blood… can you think of a more important role?
- Another support of building bones and releasing energy from our muscles is Magnesium, but protein also provides us with Zinc, which is necessary for biochemical reactions, helping the immune system to function properly.
But don’t just think exclusively of meat when I refer to protein. Eggs and fish are great sources too and will do just as much good as chicken and steak! One significant
advantage fish has over meat is that when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in all different levels within seafood, it’s way up there. Aside from weight-loss, eating eight portions of fish a week is said to help reduce the risk of heart disease too – as the American Heart Association reports, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of arrhythmias, abnormal heartbeats, which can contribute to sudden death. These acids can also lower blood pressure, albeit slightly.
An athlete’s diet should have about 15% protein in it. That sounds quite a lot, but if you’re going to work super hard exercising, lifting or toning, then you want to support your body in any way possible. Now that we’ve got that down, it’s time to dig out the kinds of recipes that will have you looking like a protein champ in no time.
Remember, this doesn’t mean you have to eat meat, fish and eggs alone, just that the weightier portion of your meal should be protein and vegetables. So, try a nicely-grilled flank steak with a hearty green salad, for example. Or a fillet of salmon, poached or fried (with as little oil as possible) in a pan with a side of rice. Plan your weekly meals around these principals and your protein intake should increase sufficiently.