One of the main areas that the Friendship Nutrition team sees people struggling with coming into nutrition work is their protein intake, and getting protein from quality sources! So, this article will better define why protein is extremely important to our nutrition, and give you some quick and easily implementable tips and recipes to find better success in your quest for better protein intake.
First let’s start by discussing exactly what protein is and why it’s important to make sure we’re getting enough in our diets.
Proteins are comprised of amino acids; these are the building blocks of proteins and I’m sure you’ve all heard this one time or another. There are three groups of amino acids: non-essential meaning that our bodies have the ability to make them on our own, essential amino acids meaning we must obtain these from our diets, and conditional which are only used during severe stress, illness, or trauma. The essential amino acids we must consume from foods are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Animal sources of protein include: wild caught fish, beef, poultry, and eggs. We can’t forget our vegetarian and vegan friends who need to be extra mindful when it comes to getting enough protein in! Great plant-based sources of protein are: beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and legumes.
Proteins play a big role in our bodies and are crucial for rebuilding muscle and tissue after exercising . Other key roles that proteins have in our bodies are hormone production, immune health, digestive health and many other body processes. It is essential then that we get the appropriate amount of protein to support our body and our brain’s function, and promote a high level of health and wellness.
I have compiled a list of 5 protein rich snacks to give you some ideas on how to include more protein in your diet. These quick and minimal-ingredient snacks should be enjoyed between meals to keep you full, satisfied, and on track with your goals. Protein is crucial to a healthy diet and especially that of an active crossfitter!