As we know from previous posts, protein is an essential macronutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle, as well as making hormones and neurotransmitters. You should aim to eat 0.8-1g of protein per 1kg of body weight each day.
It is important to both eat the right amount of protein and to choose a high quality source of protein too.
Here are my Top 5 sources of protein.
- Lentils: These are a great source of vegetarian protein. They are a rich source of fibre and packed full of minerals such as zinc, potassium, iron & manganese. Lentils contain molecules known as Lectins that can be very hard for people to digest and break down. My top tip is to soak lentils for 12 hours before you cook them to reduce lectin content.
- Eggs: Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, containing on average 6-7grams per egg. They contain all of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein source. Eggs can be boiled, scrambled, poached or fried with turmeric sprinkled on top. Always eat the egg yolk when making eggs as this is rich in essential fatty acids, biotin and Lutein.
- Chicken: Chicken contains a high amount of protein and is rich in other vitamins and minerals. 100g of chicken breast contains 30g of protein. When purchasing chicken it is vital that you choose organic poultry only. You are what you eat is only half true. You are also what your animal eats. Conventional chickens will be fed a cocktail of hormones, antibiotics and corn. Organic and free range chickens will not be fed GM foods therefore the meat will contain higher nutrients, be better for you and our environment. Look for the ‘Organic Soil Association’ stamp when buying chicken or better yet, visit your local organic farm.
- Trout: Trout is a rich source of protein containing approximately 20g in every 100g. When buying fish, be sure to ask your fishmonger where the fish has come from. Fish can contain a high amount of heavy metals such as Mercury. However, Trout is low in mercury and is also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers cholesterol, improves heart health, reduces inflammation and helps to brighten the skin.
- Beef: Red meat has been given a bad name in the press lately. I agree that people need to consume less processed meat but lean beef is a great source of protein. Beef contains 26g of protein per 100g. It is also rich in the B vitamins needed for energy production and detoxification and a great source of iron. When buying beef, I urge you to only buy organic, grass fed and grass finished beef. Grass fed beef simply means that the cattle were allowed to forage and graze for their own fresh food. They may be given close substitutes like alfalfa during the winter, but unlike grain-fed animals, the emphasis is still on providing the closest thing to a natural diet as possible. This will benefit yourself and the earth.
***Protein tip: It is also essential that you are able to break down protein into amino acids to be used by your body. If your digestion is slow or poor, you may benefit from taking a digestive enzyme before meals containing protein.