How to Increase Protein in your Diet

5 Ways to Increase Protein in Your Diet

Protein is an important component of a healthy diet. Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They are needed to make and repair skin, bones, muscle, and tissue. Our bodies use protein continually throughout the day to help our bodies perform optimally. Having enough protein is a great way to boost your metabolism and keep you full. Protein takes longer to digest, so its ideal to have at every meal and snack especially if weight loss if a goal.


  1. Hemp Hearts: These awesome seeds are a great way to boost nutrition in almost any meal. All you have to do is sprinkle the seeds over foods. My favorite way to use them is to stir them in yogurt, oatmeal and adding into a smoothie as a protein powder replacement. There are 161 calories, 9 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in a 1 ounce (2 tbsp. serving).


  1. Pair Protein with Produce: Having a diet high in fruits and veggies is ideal to help ward against certain diseases and providing you with an abundant source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, many fruits and veggies score low on the protein end, that’s why pairing some protein with your fruit and veggies makes it a complete snack. Some examples include using nut or seed butter as a spread on apples and pears. Adding berries to yogurt, or adding 2 tbsp. of hummus with raw veggies as well as slicing some cucumbers onto cottage cheese are great ways to incorporate protein.


  1. Go Greek – swapping in Greek yogurt vs. the regular yogurt is a great way to boost the protein in your diet. Greek yogurt requires more milk to make so that means twice the amount of protein. Opt for a plain (unflavored) low-fat Greek yogurt and sweeten yourself with some honey and berries. Swap in Greek yogurt in sandwiches or dishes that call for mayo and sour cream.


  1. Switch to Quinoa: Swapping out rice and pasta for quinoa is a great way to boost the protein in your meal. Quinoa is a whole grain and it is a seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. Quinoa is a complete protein, which is ideal for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, quinoa is a great source of fiber, iron and magnesium. You can add quinoa to soups to replace pasta and rice, sprinkle cooked quinoa onto salads for added protein or make a quinoa salad.


  1. Snack Wisely: Snacks can be a great addition to a healthy diet. It helps bridge the gaps between meals and can help keep your meals in check since you won’t be famished when it comes to mealtime, so you will be able to make better choices with portions. Include at least 5 grams of protein in a snack. Some suggestions include a hardboiled egg, a whole grain cracker with 1 tbsp. of nut butter, a Kind bar, 1-ounce almonds and ½ cup of unshelled edamame.


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