High Protein Foods. Eating a variety of foods high in protein can benefit your overall health and help you lose weight. It can also improve muscle building and give you energy during workouts.
Protein is found in a wide variety of foods, including meat and poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, dairy products and fortified soy products. Plant-based sources of protein also have their benefits.
1. Lean Meat
Protein is one of the most important nutrients for optimal health. It helps maintain muscle mass and a strong immune system, which reduces the risk of illness.
Eating a high-protein diet also reduces hunger and can help you keep your weight in check. It may also help lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol in your bloodstream, lowering the risk of heart disease and other conditions.
Lean meat, such as chicken or turkey breast, is a great source of protein and low in fat. It is particularly helpful for people with diabetes or obesity, as it can help regulate blood sugar levels and maintain normal blood pressure.
Meat also contains B vitamins, zinc, and other nutrients. It can be prepared in a variety of ways and is relatively low in calories.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are nutrient-dense legumes. They provide protein, folate, fiber and a range of other vitamins and minerals.
They also contain a form of resistant starch that slows digestion and keeps blood sugar levels stable, so they’re good for people with diabetes.
A half cup of cooked chickpeas contains about seven grams of protein, which is an important source of energy. And, like other legumes, they contain fiber which helps keep you feeling fuller longer and may help control the body’s natural insulin pump.
They also provide iron, which is essential for men and women and especially helpful during pregnancy. In fact, a small serving of chickpeas provides about one-third of the recommended daily amount of this nutrient.
One of the most popular grains on the planet, quinoa is a protein-rich seed that delivers a healthy dose of essential nutrients. It’s a complete source of amino acids, which means it can provide your body with all nine of the proteins it needs.
A great source of fiber, quinoa also helps regulate digestion and improves gut health by feeding beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. This makes it a great option for those with gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Quinoa is also an excellent source of several micronutrients, including zinc, manganese and magnesium. All of these minerals support immune function and help prevent colds.
4. Wild Rice
Wild rice is a low-calorie and gluten-free whole grain that has a long list of health benefits. It is a good source of fiber, magnesium and phosphorus and may reduce your risk for heart disease.
It also contains B vitamins which help convert carbohydrates, protein and fats into energy. It is a great choice for people with diabetes as it helps control blood sugar levels.
In addition to its nutrient-dense nutritional value, wild rice is high in antioxidants and is beneficial for the immune system.
It is also a source of calcium, iron and zinc. It can strengthen bones and prevent bone loss as we age. It is low in sodium and cholesterol. It also has a high level of dietary fiber, which promotes weight loss and can lower your LDL cholesterol, thereby reducing your risk for heart disease.
Eggs are a classic breakfast food that provide a high amount of protein and can keep you fuller for longer. They also help regulate blood sugar levels, which can keep you feeling energetic and reduce cravings for foods with high-glycemic indexes.
In addition, eggs are an excellent source of heart-healthy nutrients like HDL cholesterol and fatty acids, including omega-3s. These nutrients can reduce heart disease risk by preventing blood clots and promoting cardiovascular function.
They are also a good source of protein and vitamins A, B12 and selenium, which can improve immune system functioning. In addition, they contain choline, which can enhance memory functions in the brain and prevent onset of age-related neurodegenerative disorders.
6. Cottage Cheese
Protein-rich foods are essential for healthy eating, and cottage cheese is no exception. It provides a good amount of protein (about 15 to 25 grams per cup, compared to 3 ounces of chicken breast), along with vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus.
It also contains casein, a type of protein that’s slow to digest and great for muscle recovery. It also helps with satiety, which can help you control your appetite and avoid binging.
But it’s important to note that too much cottage cheese can lead to problems, especially if you have lactose intolerance or are trying to lose weight. It’s also high in sodium, so it’s best to choose reduced-fat options and steer clear of added sugars or other high-sodium additives, according to Smith.
If you’re looking for a way to add protein to your diet without adding too much fat, try mixing it with whey powder. This can increase the protein content by 10 percent, without compromising taste or texture.
7. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great choice for those looking for a high-protein snack or a protein-packed breakfast. It’s also a good source of calcium and vitamin D, making it a nutritious addition to anyone’s diet.
But like any other dairy product, be careful when deciding on which brand to buy. Some people are allergic to lactose or other dairy proteins, which can lead to uncomfortable digestive issues and histamine reactions.
If you’re a lactose intolerant or a person with an allergy to casein, you should stay away from any yogurt that contains these ingredients. In addition to causing discomfort, the histamine reactions from these dairy products can cause rashes, hives, eczema and asthma.
8. Dairy Products
Dairy products are nutrient-rich foods that can help maintain a healthy weight, increase energy, and help with digestion. They also are a good source of protein and calcium, which can support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.
The Dietary Guidelines recommend adults consume 3 servings of dairy a day, and children should consume 2 or 2.5 servings. But most people eat far less than the recommended intake, so it’s important to keep your personal goals in mind as you choose dairy for optimal health.
While research on dairy consumption is mixed, a growing body of evidence shows that it may be beneficial for your overall health, especially when paired with other dietary factors. For example, a recent review found that regular dairy consumption was associated with a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis. It was also linked to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Fish is a great source of high-quality protein and contains many nutrients important to your health. These include vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
Aside from being an excellent source of protein, fish also provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can lower the risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, and improve your metabolism.
Another nutrient that fish is rich in is vitamin B12, which is essential for growth and reproduction of red blood cells, DNA formation, and nerve function. Getting enough of this vitamin can reduce the risk of dementia and heart disease.
Aside from being a healthy source of protein, fish is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also rich in vitamin D, which is important for your bones and immune system.