Friday, April 27, 2018

Building Blocks for Muscles: Protein Packed Foods


Protein is a necessity for athletes, and getting enough protein in your diet can be difficult. Whether you are trying to add more protein into your diet, or looking to build muscle these are the best protein rich foods for the least number of calories.

Main Courses

Chicken

Chicken is hands down a winner when it comes to healthy food packed with protein. Chicken can be incorporated in most dishes and has the most protein for the least number of calories. The key is how you cook it. To make sure you are eating the healthiest version of chicken, avoid the skin and the deep fryer. Instead, grill, roast, or stir-fry the skinless chicken.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a vegetarian option, or an option if you want to change up your protein. It’s fermented bean cake, but don’t let that gross you out. Tempeh has a rich nutty flavor, and like tofu it’s great at absorbing the flavors you marinate or cook with. Unlike tofu texture, which for some is a no go, tempeh has a more solid texture like chicken. Like chicken, tempeh also has a high protein to low calorie ratio.

Open-Faced Sandwiches

Looking for a meal already put together? Try a slice of toast with avocado spread over the bread and some slices of turkey. It’s not only easy to make, but packs protein in each flavorful bite. In addition to protein, you get healthy fats from the avocado and healthy carbs from the toast. This meal is an all-around win-win.

Whole-Wheat Pasta

Whole-wheat pasta takes the cake when it comes to a meal with carbohydrates, but it also does well in the protein category. To avoid using rich sauces, try adding other protein rich ingredients to your pasta meal. Spinach is a great protein enriched green to add to your pasta dish along with a small portion of cheese.

Lentils

Lentils are a staple in my household, and for good reason. Lentil soup is vegetarian, cheap, and packed with protein. Try to get a lentil soup without any extra additives. If you just aren’t feeling like soup you can throw it on top of quinoa and the liquid will get absorbed and flavor the quinoa.


Snacks

Spoonful of Nut Butter

Nut butter is a healthy snack packed with protein. Almonds and peanuts are the most common of the nut butters. Grab a spoonful for a healthy protein snack. In addition to being good snacks, they also help add protein to other foods, like oatmeal.

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and easy to make. Whether you only have time for a quick scramble, or a nice hard-boiled egg, eggs fill you up. Not only are eggs great snacks, but they can also spice up other meals while providing protein.

Jerky

The favorite road trip food is also a quick on the go protein snack. High in protein most jerky will give you the benefits you are looking for, whether it’s beef jerky, turkey jerky, or even vegetarian options.

Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthy snack, but when it comes to yogurts, Greek is the best. Greek yogurt out performs regular yogurt, because Greek yogurt is made from whey, meaning you are getting more protein. When choosing this snack, it’s more cost efficient and healthier to create your own Greek yogurt flavors. Plain Greek yogurt can be enhanced with various types of fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and bananas, and if you want different texture combos try adding almonds. Greek yogurt is also a great substitute when cooking.

Eating the same high protein foods can become boring, but hopefully with these foods it helps create variety. Try to spice up other foods with protein rich foods to help get the protein you need without missing out on any flavor.

Happy Protein Rich Eating!

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