Food is essential for optimal health, growth, and mental acuity, and certain ingredients and combinations of foods affect the body differently. Milk will help with bone strength, spinach will give you plenty of iron, but if you want to build muscle, you’ll need to delve into the top sources of protein. These sources of high-quality protein will help you build muscle and stay strong.
How Much Daily Protein Do You Need?
So, how much protein should you eat? It depends on your weight. The most commonly cited standard is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day But many physicians and nutritionists now think that this number may be too low for older adults.
For a 150-pound woman, that translates into eating a minumum 55 grams of protein a day; for a 180-pound man, it calls for eating at least 65 grams.
To put that into perspective, a 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt has 18 grams; a half-cup of cottage cheese, 14 grams; a 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken, 28 grams; a half-cup of lentils, 9 grams; and a cup of milk, 8 grams.
Aim for 20 – 30 grams per meal and make sure that your breakfast includes of protein. If you make a nutrient dense smoothie with a high quality protein powder you’ll get 20+ grams.
Meat & Fish
Muscles need plenty of protein to retain strength and build more fibrous tissue, and meat offers a significant source of protein for a healthy lifestyle. The meats with the highest protein for muscle growth include beef, turkey, pork, and chicken. Fish is also an excellent source of protein.
Tofu is a plant-based source of protein made from soybeans that is easy to add to many recipes and comes in handy for those who are vegan or vegetarian. It has about 10 grams of protein in every half cup. Plus, there are very few added ingredients in tofu, such as sugar, making it an excellent option for people with diabetes.
Please don’t be scared of tofu. There are so many ways to prepare and flavor it. Tofu easily takes on the taste of whatever it’s cooked with—spices, sauces, and other flavorings. Slicing tofu into small cubes will make it easier to incorporate into multiple dishes throughout the day to give your meals an added boost in protein.
Beans are commonly grown and consumed throughout most of the world. From green beans to fiber-rich kidney and garbanzo beans, each type has a healthy amount of protein. They are great to add to soups, salad, and other dishes. Beans have a nice texture that isn’t hard to chew when cooked or baked, so consuming them is easy and delicious.
Nuts are another tasty treat that are perfect on their own or can compliment a variety of dishes. Eating handfuls of nuts can help you meet your daily protein requirements. Whether your taste runs to peanuts, walnuts, or almonds, ground up nuts are a delectable topping on many dishes, and nut butters offer an easy way to supplement your daily protein intake. Even sweets with nuts will supply you with some form of protein.
Grownups need to maintain and build muscle. Enjoy the taste of these wonderful protein-rich foods as you treat your body right.