No matter your fitness level, there are a handful of essential nutrients that your body needs if you want it to function properly. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins are all considered essential nutrients that your body cannot do without. However, according to nutritionists, most people don’t meet their daily requirements of these essential nutrients, which subjects them to several ailments. In many cases, people were found to be deficient in protein intake specifically because they don’t know where to get it from.
If you have a similar concern, here are some ways to increase your protein intake easily:
Make Protein a Priority
When you are planning your meals for the day, make sure you focus on the protein-rich foods first then afterward, think about the rest of the meal. If you discover that you don’t have any source of protein for dinner, don’t settle for a protein-free meal. Go to the grocery store and pick a fresh-cut steak or some beans and lentils if you are a non-meat eater.
Drink Protein Shakes
Drinking protein shakes are one of the easiest and simplest ways to make sure you are getting enough protein daily. Nowadays, you can find an endless number of brands to choose from. However, if you choose to go with veteran owned supplement companies, you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality product. Military people and professional athletes usually work with the best nutritionists and health experts. Because you might not have access to these professionals, the next best thing is to follow the advice of their impressively fit clients.
Boost your Snacks with Proteins
If you normally snack on fruits, why not add some cottage or string cheese on the side? If you are lactose-intolerant, some unsalted almonds would also be a great addition to sneak in some protein for a more nutritious snack easily.
Read the Labels
Don’t surrender to the fact that food labels are hard to read with all the complicated names and chemical compositions. Learn about the different names of protein and make it a mission always to have foods that are packed with protein in your pantry. Additionally, you can find many sources online that provide step-by-step guides to analyze the list of ingredients on packaged food containers.
Make Small Swaps
By replacing regular yogurt with Greek yogurt, you will be taking almost double the amount of protein for the same serving size. You can also use Greek yogurt as a healthier protein-rich substitute for dips and sauces. If you are used to having cereal and milk for breakfast, opt for fortified milk instead of the regular as it usually contains more protein without any difference in the flavor.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Legumes
Legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas are often dismissed as bloat-inducing foods. However, if you know just how much protein you are missing out on, you would change your mind. Try soaking the legumes before cooking to make them gentler on your stomach.
The fact that you are being mindful about increasing your protein intake is in itself a step toward doing so. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations of foods to help you get your body’s protein needs. If there are protein-rich foods that you don’t necessarily like, get creative and try cooking them in different ways.