Are You Getting Enough Protein In Your Diet?
When we think of protein we think of a juicy steak or any other type of meat, like chicken, turkey, and pork. Yet, there are many vegetables that can offer you a great deal of protein and with fewer calories. Protein refers to a type of molecule in food that can be broken down into amino acids. When we eat, our body breaks down the protein we eat in order to create the amino acids that it needs.
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The essential amino acids are tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, valine, and histidine. While no one really knows the names of these, we do know that we need protein to stay healthy. Our entire body, including our organs, skin, muscles, hair, and nails need proteins to grow and to keep us alive. This is why it’s so important to not only get the protein that we need from meat, but also from vegetables in order to be healthy.
The amount of protein that you need varies on your age, weight, and levels of activity. Children for example, are still growing and developing, so they need more protein than adults. People who are very active and always exercising may also require more because they need to build and repair tissue as well as to build muscle. Many times people that exercise take protein shakes because this helps their muscles grow.
So how much do we need? You can multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8, this is the number of grams of protein you should eat every day. One fourth of your diet should include protein rich foods, the rest should include carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
5 Protein Rich Vegetables
Kale: One cup of kale is only 33 calories and it has nearly 3 grams of protein. It also has 2.5 grams of fiber, which as an added bonus it helps you manage your blood sugar and makes you feel full.
Spinach: One cup of raw spinach contains 27 calories. It also has protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and folate.
Brussel Sprouts: Each cup of brussel sprouts has 2 grams of protein, along with potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Peas: We never think of peas as being a super healthy food, maybe because they’re sweet and taste so good. Yet, they have strong fiber and protein content, about 8-10 grams.
Asparagus: Just 8 asparagus have over 3 grams of protein. They also contain vitamin K, A, and folate. Plus they help detoxify your body and since they’re rich in fiber it fills you up.