Proteins play an important role in our bodies. It helps to repair the body cells and to form new cells. Protein is required for many body functions, such as vision, immune response, blood clotting, fluid balance, hormone, and enzyme generation.
Protein is a significant component of hair, bones, skin, nails, muscles, and internal organs. How to calculate how much protein is necessary for your body? Protein is very important for the body, so protein should be in the right amount in the diet. The amount of protein a human needs depends on how much physical activity your body does. If we talk about the daily requirement of protein in general, then 0.8 grams of protein should be consumed per kilogram of weight. For example, if one weighs 50 kg, one should consume 40g of protein per day.
According to a research paper published by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), one should consume 1.6 grams of protein per day per person’s body weight. So before knowing the top 10 protein-rich foods, let us know what is protein?
What is Protein?
Protein is a macronutrient that is necessary for developing muscle. It is usually found in animal products and is also present in other products, like nuts and legumes. Macronutrients provide calories or energy. According to the University of Illinois McKinley Health Center, the body requires large amounts of macronutrients to sustain life. Each gram of protein contains four calories. Protein makes up about 15 percent of a person’s body weight.
Chemically, proteins are composed of organic compounds containing amino acids, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and proteins are the building blocks of muscle. When protein is broken down in the body it helps promote muscle mass, which helps with metabolism. So let us now know which are the top 10 protein-rich foods.
Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods
Eggs are protein-rich and one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on earth. It is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. One large egg contains approximately 3.8 grams of protein. Egg yolk contains vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Apart from these, it also contains 2.7 grams of protein.
Almonds are a protein-rich food. Almonds are abundant in protein as well as other nutrients. It contains monounsaturated fat, magnesium, vitamin E, and fiber. It is believed that consuming almonds gives metabolic benefits.
According to research, its consumption reduces the desire to eat and appetite. According to a study published on the NCBI website, consuming almonds (as snacks) may protect your heart from cardiovascular disease, reduce inflammation, improve skin health and help control blood sugar levels.
Among the protein-rich foods, chicken breast is the most popular. The amount of protein in chicken breast is very high. In addition, fried chicken breasts have a low-fat limit. Hence, people can consume it without worrying about calories. In particular, bodybuilders use it to lose weight by consuming less fat with protein.
Chicken is also a source of B vitamins, such as niacin and vitamin B6, which are important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, controlling diabetes, supporting brain health, and lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
Oats are also included in protein-rich foods. It contains protein as well as beta-glucan. Consuming 3 grams of beta-gluten daily helps guard against heart diseases. Consuming oats helps to reduce harmful (LDL) cholesterol and increase beneficial (HDL) cholesterol, thereby controlling cholesterol.
These complexes are rich in carbohydrates. You can have oats with different whole foods like fresh fruits and nuts.
The residue left after removing the excess whey in yogurt is called Greek yogurt. Whey is a white-colored liquid that comes out after the curdling of milk. It is slightly thicker, creamier, and sour than regular yogurt.
This Greek yogurt is also a Protein-Rich Foods to include in your diet to make it a protein-rich diet. It contains more protein than milk and regular yogurt. It promotes bone, water, and connective tissue and increasing strength, developing muscle and fat-free mass, i.e. fat.
Greek yogurt is very tasty and full of nutrients. It is easily available in the market. You should incorporate Greek yogurt in your diet rather than plain yogurt. To improve the test, you can add salt, nuts, or honey to it.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower are also rich in proteins. It contains a high amount of protein as well as selenium, mineral, and glucosinolates compound. Broccoli helps to increase the cardioprotective protein thioredoxin in the body and thus keeps the heart-healthy. A cup of raw broccoli has about 2.6 grams of protein while a cup of chopped cauliflower contains 2 grams of protein. Both these vegetables are also called powerhouses of protein.
Quinoa is a type of whole grain. It contains many beneficial phytochemicals and proteins, including amino acids, fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is believed to be higher in protein than other grains, as it is gluten-free, which helps enhance digestion. The dietary fiber present in it inhibits the absorption of cholesterol and lipids, which helps in controlling cholesterol and lipids in the body.
Walnuts are considered brain food. It is rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids. It is very beneficial for brain health. Research has found that this fatty acid present in walnuts can improve memory and improve the ability to learn something new.
Polyphenolic compounds found in walnuts reduce oxidant and inflammatory effects on brain cells and improve intrinsic signaling.
Protein-rich foods also include fish. It is considered a good source of low-fat as well as high-quality protein. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish in a healthy diet at least twice per week. Rich in protein, vitamins, and other nutrients, fish can help lower blood pressure and reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in it are considered essential for healthy brain and baby development, especially the eyes and nervous system. It may help reduce the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, psychotic disorders.
Part of the Diet for Weight Loss Editorial Team 2021