Exhibition
Home > Exhibition > Content

8 Health Benefits of Eating More Protein Foods


blob.png


Did you know that your organs, tissues, muscles and hormones are all made from proteins? The protein found in foods is used by every part of the body to develop, grow and function properly. It can be argued that nothing is more important than consuming protein foods, and because proteins are involved in just about every body function, it’s important that you consume foods high in protein every day, during every meal to prevent protein deficiency, which can wreak havoc on the body.

Studies show that eating a high-protein diet has a number of health benefits. Not only does it help you maintain and lose weight, but it also works to stabilize your blood sugar levels, improve your ability to learn and concentrate, reduce brain fogboost your energy levels, support your muscles and bones and support the absorption of important nutrients. (1)

Many people make the mistake of trying diets that involve calorie counting and deprivation. On a high-protein diet, you will feel completely satiated after eating, and you won’t have to deal with the blood sugar highs and lows that lead to cravings and moodiness. You’ll be surprised to see how many foods you can eat on a high-protein diet. Even people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, who sometimes turn to processed foods for energy, have enough high-protein foods to choose from.

We need to eat plenty of protein foods every day to keep our metabolisms running, our energy up and our blood sugar levels stable. You might eat enough protein overall, but do you eat the right kinds? Let’s take a look at some of the best protein foods for health.


Top 11 Protein Foods to Include in Your Diet

1. Grass-Fed Beef: 3 ounces: 22 grams  

Grass-fed beef is one of the best high-protein foods that you can find. Not only does it supply almost 50 percent of your recommended daily value of protein, but it’s also a rich source of vitamins A and E and powerful antioxidants. Grass-fed beef nutrition has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood sugar levels due to its protein and healthy fat content. (2)

2. Organic Chicken: 3 ounces: 21 grams

One chicken breast supplies over 30 percent of your recommended daily value for protein, making it an excellent high-protein food option that can easily be added to healthy lunch and dinner recipes. Chicken is also a source of B vitamins, like niacin and vitamin B6, which are important for lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, treating diabetes, supporting the health of your brain and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Choose organic chicken to ensure that the chicken was fed organic food grown with no pesticides, received no antibiotics and was given access to the outdoors. (3)

3. Bone Broth: 1 serving (¼ cup): 20 grams

Protein powder made from bone broth is packed with protein and powerful amino acids that support gut integrity and detoxification. It also contains beneficial minerals, including potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium. With just one serving of this protein powder, you ingest the healing benefits of bone broth like improving joint health, reducing cellulite, boosting your immune system and treating leaky gut.

4. Lentils: 1 cup: 18 grams

Eating lentils is a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get enough protein in their diets. A cup of lentils checks a lot of boxes off the nutrient list, including protein, fiber, folate, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins, just to name a few. The protein in lentils helps boost cardiovascular health, aid digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, and alkalize the body and balance its pH level. (4)

5. Wild-Caught Salmon (and other wild fish): 3 ounces: 17 grams

Wild-caught salmon is one of the healthiest foods around because it’s high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a slew a vitamins and minerals — including vitamin B12 (with well over 100 percent of your daily value from a 3 ounce piece); vitamin D; selenium; vitamins B3, B6 and B5; and potassium. The benefits of salmon nutrition promote the health of your entire body, including your brain, bones, heart, eyes, skin and cells. (5)

6. Black Beans (and other beans): 1 cup: 15 grams

Black beans are another high-protein food that can be consumed by people following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Black beans are an excellent source of both protein and fiber, which can help to make you feel full and satisfied after eating, while also controlling your blood sugar levels so you don’t experience blood sugar highs and lows. The protein and fiber duo found in black beans also helps the body absorb nutrients and release acids into the bloodstream, which makes you feel energized and helps to cleanse your digestive tract. (6)

7. Natto: ½ cup: 15 grams

Natto is a fermented food that’s made by soaking whole soybeans, steaming them and adding healthy bacteria into the mixture. Natto offers an array of health benefits due to its protein, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, vitamin K and vitamin C (just to name a few) content. The smell and texture of natto take some getting used to, but I suggest that you give it a try in order to take advantage of this nutrient-dense, probiotic, high-protein food. (7)

8. Eggs: 1 large free-range egg: 7 grams

Did you know that eggs have a complete amino acid profile? That means eggs contain all nine of the essential amino acids that we need to get from our food. Add eggs to your diet to boost your heart health, aid in weight loss, prevent metabolic syndrome and boost skin health. Not to mention, eggs are rich in biotin, which helps improve protein absorption. Vitamin B6 also plays an important role in protein absorption as it helps enzymes break down the protein and carries the disassembled amino acids to the blood.

But keep in mind, to get the full health benefits of eggs, stick to organic, free-range eggs, which guarantee the hens are allowed to roam, wander, perch and have a good quality of life. Plus, free-range eggs, when compared to eggs from caged hens, contain more vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and less cholesterol. (8)

9. Yogurt or Kefir: 6 ounces: 6–9 grams

Yogurt and kefir (a cultured dairy product) are balanced sources of protein, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals, and they’re full of beneficial probiotics that help to improve the microflora in your gut, thereby supporting your digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Adding this high-protein food to your diet can boost your immune system, support weight loss and regulate your mood. (9) This is why probiotic yogurt is considered a superfood. While Greek yogurt is a common go-to, I personally recommend yogurt made from goat or sheep milk.

10. Goat Cheese (and other raw cheeses): 1 ounce: 7 grams

Goat cheese comes from beneficial goat milk, which contains A2 casein protein (instead of A1 casein that’s found in cow’s milk) and is therefore easier to digest. Cheeses like goat cheese and feta cheese provide a good amount of protein per serving, and they help promote nutrient absorption and supply medium-chain fatty acids that boost energy levels and help lower cholesterol. (10)

11. Almonds (and other nuts): ¼ cup/23 almonds: 5 grams

Almonds are a healthy snack that contains protein, antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids and fiber. Almonds nutrition, including vitamins like riboflavin and minerals like magnesium, help protect your heart from cardiovascular disease, reduce inflammation, support cognitive function, improve the health of your skin and control blood sugar levels. (11) If you don’t want to reach for a handful of almonds or other nuts, nut spreads can be another high-protein option. I recommend having almond or cashew butter and skipping the popular peanut butter.


8 Health Benefits of Eating Foods with Protein

1. Boost Muscle Mass

Eating enough protein is necessary to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, while also supporting tendon, ligaments and other body tissue. So, protein is important for bodybuilding, but it’s also necessary for developing leaner muscles as well. When your diet is lacking in amino acids, “muscle wasting” (or muscle atrophy) can take place when your muscle fibers are broken down to support your body’s energy needs.

Protein is especially important after exercise, since physical activity like strength training purposefully damages muscle tissues so they can repair and grow back stronger. For the process to happen effectively, you need some extra protein to help repair the damage. While protein alone won’t enhance athletic performance, research shows that eating protein before and after exercise helps increase muscle recovery, promotes muscle synthesis and serves as effective muscle ache treatment. (12)

2. Help Manage Your Weight by Filling You Up

Although some research studies show conflicting results regarding high-protein diets versus low-protein diets for maintaining an ideal weight or losing weight fast, there’s plenty evidence that protein helps make you feel full and can prevent overeating. While dietary or lifestyle change must be personalized for weight loss to be effective, studies show that controlled calorie intake in association with a moderately high protein intake can be an effective and practical weight-loss strategy. (13)

Some of the reasons this is true? High-protein foods cause increased satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrates or fats, so they can prevent overeating and snacking. (14) It’s usually much easier to overeat carbohydrates, especially if they’re refined or sweetened, than it is to overeat healthy protein foods. Eating protein also creates a process in the body known as thermogenesis, which requires the body to expend more energy (calories) in order to digest food. (1516) At the same time, protein helps ward off muscle loss that can result from a low-calorie diet, which makes certain proteins superfoods for weight loss.

3. Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

Insulin is a hormone that’s required for carbohydrates, fat and protein to be metabolized. However, carbohydrates require much more insulin than fat or protein does. The major determinate of blood sugar levels is the glycemic index response from the foods you eat, so while eating high-carb and high-sugar foods results in fluctuations in blood sugar levels, eating protein does the opposite.

Eating foods with protein has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels and can, in fact, slow down the absorption of sugar during a meal. (17) This means a high-protein diet can help prevent spikes in blood glucose, which is especially important for preventing type 2 diabetes, balancing energy levels, and keeping your appetite and mood in check.

4. Improve Your Mood

Certain amino acids from protein foods are needed to balance hormones naturally, control your mood and act as a natural remedy for anxiety. Proteins help neurotransmitters function and synthesize hormones like dopamine and serotonin that calm us and keep our outlook positive. (18)

Many people who are lacking in key amino acids start experiencing weakness, moodiness, and increased anxiety or signs of depression for this reason. Because protein helps stabilize glucose in your blood, it also prevents mood changes, irritability and cravings that can occur due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.

5. Promote Healthy Brain Function and Learning

Proteins are needed to make enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters that are critical for cognitive function. As your mother may have told you when you were a kid, eating a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the day and prepares you to learn and remember information.

The brain requires a steady supply of amino acids in order to keep concentration, focus and energy levels up. Studies show that when amino acid deprivation takes place, learning and coordination suffers, but once all necessary amino acids are reintroduced into the diet, learning and motor skills improve. (19)

6. Help Maintain Strong Bones

Many studies now show that a positive association exists between eating more foods with protein and better bone health. (20) The effects of protein on bones also relate to the specific protein foods being eaten and intake of important bone-building nutrients like calcium and magnesium. A diet high in protein from whole, nutrient-rich foods can heal broken bones and prevent bone weakness, fractures and even osteoporosis by increasing calcium absorption and helping with bone metabolism.

Recent studies in the elderly in the U.S. show that the greatest bone losses occur in people with low protein intake of 16–50 grams per day. It’s believed that when someone eats a low level of protein, insulin-like growth factor production is reduced, which in turn has a negative effect on calcium and phosphate metabolism in the bones and bone formation. (21)

7. Protect Heart Health

Some studies show that an inverse relationship between protein intake and risk of heart disease has been observed in adults, as higher protein diets appear to one of the natural remedies for high blood pressure. Also, substituting carbohydrate foods with protein results in lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels. One reason this might be true is because higher protein diets balance blood sugar and tend to help prevent other heart disease-related causes, including obesity and diabetes. (22)

8. Slow Aging and Promote Longevity

One of the key roles of protein foods is helping the body synthesize glutathione, often called the “master antioxidant.” Glutathione is stored within our own cells and helps us detox and reduce carcinogens that age us. Animal and human studies both show that adequate protein intake is crucial for the maintenance of glutathione and helps the body stay in a state of balanced “homeostasis.” Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, cancer and viral infections. (23)

Research shows that a diet high in balanced amino acids from protein foods can help treat muscle loss due to aging (called sarcopenia). (24) A diet that has adequate levels of protein helps slow the aging process by keeping muscle mass intact, supporting strong bones, and maintaining high cognitive and immune function. In the elderly, amino acid deficiencies can potentially lead to eye problems like cataracts, heart problems, muscle loss, weakness and mood changes.

As you age, your body is less capable of synthesizing amino acids on its own, which is one reason why the amount of muscle you have tends to decrease over the years while fat accumulates. This makes it even more important for you to eat plenty of protein-rich foods to support not only a healthy body weight, but to keep your memory sharp, energy up, and strength and balance in place.


Previous: No Information

Next: How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day?

Tongfang Health Technology (Beijing) Co.,Ltd

S