Sources of Protein to Include in Your Daily Diet

Sources of protein (Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash)
Sources of protein (Photo via Unsplash/Sam Moghadam Khamseh)

Protein should be one of the most important constituents in your diet. It’s mandatory to focus on a diet that allows you to consume all three macronutrients - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

While you can moderate the macronutrients, usually, protein is one that cannot be less than the required amount. The macronutrient helps the muscles rebuild themselves by using a chain of amino acids, which is basically the structure of protein.

Without protein in your diet, your muscles wouldn’t be able to repair themselves, and won't become thicker or stronger. Eventually, you will put in the effort at the gym but without protein, you won’t grow. Even when you’re trying to lose fat, you should have protein in your diet to ensure that you’re not losing considerable muscle mass due to the constant calorie burning.

Major sources of protein to add to your diet

Chicken (Photo via Unsplash/Mark DeYoung)
Chicken (Photo via Unsplash/Mark DeYoung)

The following is a list of high protein foods that you should add to your diet. More often than not, protein is found in the most basic food items without which you wouldn’t be able to build a diet.

Whether you’re vegan or vegetarian or non-vegetarian, you will find some perfect sources of protein.

  • Meat, fish, poultry
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Legumes such as lentils, peas, and beans
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds
  • Whole grain proteins such as quinoa, bulgur, and barley
  • Plant-based proteins such as tempeh, tofu, and seitan

However, from the list of high protein foods, certain items such as eggs, chicken breast, lean beef, cottage cheese, and fish are some protein food items you can add to your diet.

Benefits of protein

Benefits of protein (Photo via Unsplash/Anastase Marago)
Benefits of protein (Photo via Unsplash/Anastase Marago)

Now that you know the sources of protein, it’s important to know the benefits of protein too. Here're a few:

1) Recovery

Protein provides the amino acids that are needed for the muscles to rebuild their fiber after strength training.

2) Prevents muscle loss

When you’re cutting, you will be putting yourself on a calorie deficit diet. However, with proper protein intake, you will be able to continue providing the building blocks to the muscles, even when the body is burning extra calories.

3) Increases metabolism

There are certain foods that can help with burning more calories. One such example is foods with protein, which help with increasing the thermic effect. In fact, protein does more than fats and carbohydrates.

4) Reduces appetite

Protein makes you fuller than other macronutrients. One of the reasons for that is because protein helps reduce the level of tge hunger hormone known as ghrelin.

Proteins (Photo via Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya)
Proteins (Photo via Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya)

Whenever you work out, the muscles go through wear and tear. That means while the muscles are trying to lift heavy weights, the fibers can tear.

When you provide protein to your body, it uses the building blocks from protein to repair the muscle fibers and grows them thicker and stronger so that the muscles can withstand the heavy weight.

There comes a time when the muscles get used to the weight, so you will have to increase the weight or number of sets. This is called progressive overload. You need to continuously increase the number of reps per set or the total number of sets or add more weight. That will prevent the muscles from getting used to any particular weight.

You must continuously keep adding sources of protein to your diet while focusing on progressive overload. That will help with weight loss (in a calorie deficit) and adding mass (calorie surplus).

Finally, you need to add rest and recovery to the mix. What that does is that the muscles get the time needed to recover after a heavy session. During this period, they use protein to repair torn fibers. If you don’t give your muscles enough recovery time, they will not be able to heal from wear and tear and neither will they become thicker or stronger.

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Edited by Bhargav