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The Power of Protein

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Protein is one of the major nutrition building blocks essential not only for strong, lean muscles but also for fuel and repairing the body. We all know we need it, but we aren’t quite sure about how much or maybe even why. Protein usually tastes good but that’s not the only benefit of including it in every meal. Protein contributes to that satisfied feeling after a meal and, along with fat and fiber, keeps you feeling fuller longer. Protein keeps your metabolism running smoothly by preserving your muscle mass, which is important for your figure but even more important for supporting your bones. Protein is also vital for a healthy immune system, proving the effectiveness of Grandma’s chicken soup when you’re sick. The protein found in chicken boosts your immune response and the production of infection fighting cells.

Related Article: Why we love Greek Yogurt

The good news is that you’re more likely to be over consuming protein than not getting enough. Roughly 80% of Americans intake 120 grams of protein a day, when the average daily recommended value is 50 grams for women and 65 grams for men. We’re all unique, so if you would like to calculate your exact protein needs, use this formula: Daily Protein Requirement = [your weight in pounds/2.2] * [0.8]. Remember to take your exercise regimen into consideration; a recreational exerciser should add 15 grams of protein to their daily amount. Thankfully, having too much protein isn’t going to hurt you, but having too little will.

Now that you know how much you need and why, let’s talk about good protein sources. Here’s a question to start with: Which has more protein, 1 large egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter? The answer is that peanut butter has 26% more protein than the egg. Here’s a list of my favorite healthy protein sources, some of which may surprise you.

Food Serving Size Grams of Protein
Smooth Peanut Butter 2 tablespoons 8 grams
Sliced Turkey 2 oz 13 grams
Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt 6 oz 18 grams
Salmon 3 oz filet 22 grams
Low-fat (1%) Cottage Cheese 6 oz 24 grams
Chicken breast 3 oz filet 26 grams

- Amy Yazdian

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