As we age, getting enough protein into our diets is essential. Eating the right amount of protein at the right time during the day helps boost brain health, says Stephen Perrine, author of the new book, The Whole Body Reset. “Our bodies need 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal to keep the process of protein synthesis cranking along,” he explains.
And new research shows that eating just the right amount of protein can also help lower blood pressure, according to Well+Good. The China Health and Nutrition Survey found that people who ate a variety of protein foods had the most health benefits.
Here are 10 ways to add 10 grams of protein to your meals.
- Greek yogurt. A half-cup of Greek yogurt contains 11 grams of protein. According to Eating Well, Greek yogurt is a versatile way to add protein to any meal. Use it in breakfast smoothies, top salads or pasta with it for lunch or dinner, or simply savor it as a snack.
- Eggs. One egg contains 6 grams of protein so eat two to get 12 grams any time of the day. And do not worry about the myth that eggs are bad for heart health. Studies from Harvard Medical School that have followed hundreds of thousands of people over decades did not find higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular disease in people who ate one egg daily. In fact, one Harvard Study published in 2018 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who were free from heart disease and diabetes who routinely ate eggs had a lower risk of death from stroke and heart disease compared with those who did not eat eggs.
- Nut butters. Two tablespoons of peanut butter adds 8 grams of protein to your meal or snack, says Eating Well. Spread nut butters on slices of fruit or whole wheat toast. Blend them into smoothies for extra flavor and richness.
- Chia seeds. Just 4 tablespoons of chia seeds provide 10 grams of protein. Make a delicious chocolate chia pudding for breakfast or sprinkle the seeds over salads and baked goods.
- Lentils. Just one-half cup of lentils has about 9 grams of very affordable protein. Use lentils in soups, curries, and salads.
- Cottage cheese. One-third of a cup of cottage cheese has 9 grams of protein. You can make plain cottage cheese more glamorous by adding chopped fresh berries, nuts, honey or even avocados.
- Canned fish. One-quarter of a 6-ounce can of salmon or tuna contains 10 grams of protein. Like meat, fish is an excellent source of protein, and the canned variety is less expensive than fresh and easy to store in the pantry.
- Tofu. Three ounces of tofu provides 9 grams of protein and is a healthy plant-based product that is versatile to prepare. Stir fry tofu cubes with mixed vegetables and soy sauce or blend in a smoothie.
- Kidney beans. According to Healthline, kidney beans, one of the most consumed beans, have several health benefits. One cup contains 13.4 grams of protein, along with fiber, folate, and manganese. Serve over cooked rice or add to soups and salads.
- Nutritional yeast. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast has about 8 grams of protein. This product can be used as a plant-based substitute for Parmesan cheese or mixed into salad dressings. According to Eating Well, try sprinkling nutritional yeast over popcorn for a tasty snack that is high in protein.
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