If you are confused about how to increase protein intake – these 10 effective ways are what you can rely on.
Protein plays a vital role in processing numerous body functions like muscle growth and proper immune system functioning. Moreover, they can help in nutrient transport alongside neurotransmitter synthesis. Your body needs 0.36 g protein (minimum) per pound every day – to meet the basic protein requirements. a study however suggested that adults need 0.54 to 0.9 g per pound of protein intake daily to promote an active lifestyle.
The protein requirements of teenagers and athletes are higher than those of adults following a sedentary lifestyle. Because a growing person and people who constantly work need extra protein to facilitate muscle growth and to maintain overall health. Similarly, people who follow restrictive diets and older adults find difficulties in maintaining their daily protein needs. Therefore, to meet your protein requirements and to get the answer on how to increase protein intake – keep on reading and make your meal plans through these simple and easy-to-follow tips.
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10 Best Tips – How to Increase Protein Intake
Add a Protein Portion to Every Meal
If you want to balance your protein levels – make a habit of adding protein portions to every meal you consume during the day. This is the easiest way to consume protein as per your body’s demands. Through regular consumption of protein, your body keeps your blood sugar level balanced while making you feel full during meal breaks. The research proposed that people who maintain protein levels are less likely to face low blood sugar levels and muscle growth.
There are numerous plant and animal-based protein sources – from which you can choose as per your preferences. Some of these protein sources are very easy to cook or are ready to eat already. For instance, if you add a half-can of tuna to grain bowls or green salads, it will add 20 g of filling and high-quality protein to your dish.
Prefer Protein Shakes for Breakfast
Another method to get the answer of how to increase protein intake is – to add protein shakes into your diet, especially to your breakfast. When you find yourself in a rush in the morning or have enjoyed a low-protein meal the previous day, protein shakes can be the best source to top up your protein level conveniently. Moreover, if you make protein shakes with the right ingredients, they can bank you 20 g or more protein through one glass.
Try making your protein shakes while using healthy fats and fibers alongside protein especially when you consume them for breakfast. Adding healthy ingredients to your protein shakes can ensure that you are fueled and full during an active day.
Try to prioritize the following protein-boosting ingredients for a healthy breakfast or snack time:
- 150g Greek Yogurt – 9g
- 3 tabs chia seeds – 6g
- 2 tabs nut butter natural – 8g
- Fresh berries – 150g
- 2 tabs pumpkin seeds – 5g
- Plain protein powder – 20g
- 200g silken tofu – 14g
- 150g soy yogurt – 7.5g
Know Your High Protein Sources
When you don’t know high protein foods – you cannot get the answer of how to increase protein intake. Because you cannot improve your intake of proteins without having the knowledge of which food contains more protein inside. Some plant and animal-based proteins can draw effective results to your protein diet.
Fish, Dairy, and Meat
- Chicken breast
- Cottage Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Turkey Breast
- Soy yogurt and milk
- Nutritional yeast
- Seeds and nuts
Choose More Legumes to Feel Full
One of the richest sources of protein is legumes including lentils and beans. They are also a high source of fiber – another nutrient that helps in feeling full for hours. For example, a half cup of cooked beans serving can provide 6 – 15 g of proteins alongside fibers. Likewise, a third-fourth cup of cooked beans provides an equal amount of protein as we get through the meat.
Legumes also help in gaining minerals and vitamins which often lack in the proteins sourced by animals. For instance, folate, vitamin C, and magnesium. This is why consuming legumes can provide the benefits of multiple nutrients in a single serving, that’s why called nutrition-rich foods.
Your body demands 6 basic nutrients to fulfill its nutritional needs. One of those nutrients is protein and to know the other five along with their essential functions, gives a reading to the topic. This way you can better understand which healthy part is missing in your diet and how you can incorporate that. Because without consuming all nutrients in a required amount you cannot enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.
Replace Cereal with Rich Protein Options
Most of the breakfast cereals contain low levels of protein. For instance, one serving (one cup) of Cheerios only has 3.5 g of protein. When you swap your cereal with some high-protein breakfast dish, it surely helps in increasing the level of daily protein intake. This way you can also start your day with full energy and activation.
Here are some tips for a high-protein breakfast and to get the answer of how to increase protein intake:
- Omelette or Frittata with cheese
- Greek yogurt bowl with seeds, berries, and nuts
- Protein pancakes with more eggs
- Protein shakes with chia seeds and berries
- 2 to 3 scrambled eggs with vegetables
People who prefer vegan options can have:
- Scrambled tofu with multi-seed toast
- Chia seeds pudding
- Protein porridge
- Soy yogurt bowl with seeds, berries, and nuts
Make Savvy Protein Food Swaps
People often mistake high-protein diets for overhauling their diets and food servings. This is not the case in actuality, overdoing your every meal can even harm your system. Just swap your food ingredients with healthy and rich protein sources. An easy and convenient way to boost protein intake is to effectively choose food products for your kitchen and snacks. This way you can also keep enjoying your favorite foods and meals.
Let’s have a look at some alternatives of low protein options:
- Flavored or plain yogurt: NO → Greek Yogurt: Yes
- White rice: No → Quinoa: Yes
- Oat milk: No → Soy milk: Yes
- Toast for breakfast: No → Toast with scrambled eggs
- Soft cheese: No → Cottage cheese
- Plain milkshakes: No → Protein shakes
- Coconut yogurt: No → Soy yogurt: Yes
Pick Protein-Packed Snack Options
You can easily make your snack time a protein time – a perfect way to answer how to increase protein intake. If you are fond of snacks and never miss a single day, protein-rich snacks can be a golden choice for you. When you snack on a protein-filled item you help your body to feel fuller for longer while staying active. You can feel the difference especially if previously you were consuming sugary options.
Try any of these affordable and tasty protein rich snacks:
- A can of tuna
- A boiled egg
- 20g soy or Greek yogurt
- A stick of cheddar
- Roasted edamame or chickpeas
- Vegetable sticks with nut butter or hummus
- A handful of seeds or nuts
- Homemade protein balls
Include Protein Vegetables in Your Diet
Are you one of those who believe vegetables don’t have protein inside? Vegetables do have protein however the quantity is a bit low to meet your daily protein requirements. you can add high-protein vegetables to your meals for effective results. This way you can get numerous beneficial nutrients along with protein without including artificial elements.
Vegetables are an easy way to add volume to your meals without consuming too many calories. They contain essential micronutrients, antioxidants, and fiber – keep you fuller for long hours. Hence, adding half a plate of vegetables can make your meal a perfect nutrition to consume.
The most important thing while consuming vegetables is to keep shuffling between a wide range of vegetable options. Prioritize those having high protein levels to keep yourself active and healthy. Let’s have a look at some protein-rich vegetable options, another way to answer how to increase protein intake:
- Spinach – 2.9g
- Broccoli – 2.8g
- Green peas – 6g
- Cauliflower – 3.6g
- Edamame – 14g
- Kale – 2.9g
- Mushrooms – 3.1g
- Broad beans – 6g
Consider Taking Protein Powder
Sometimes it is difficult to take out time for meal preparation while keeping a check on their ingredients. This is because of the busy lifestyle most of us have in this modern era. If you are facing the issue these days and wondering about how to increase protein intake without much hassle. Protein powder could be an answer for you.
Protein powders usually come in a condensed powdered form with essential properties. Mixing and making a protein drink out of them is a comparatively quite easy and quick process to boost your protein level. However, this should be an occasional attempt as constant use of artificial things cannot act as a wise idea.
Always prefer to meet your protein intake through whole foods rather than processed bars and shakes. Numerous protein powders have large amounts of flavorings, gums, sweeteners, and synthetic minerals and vitamins. They might work as a protein booster but are not good for your health if are taken regularly.
Choose a protein powder wisely – one containing real food ingredients and has fewer artificial flavors. Simply have a keen look at the ingredients while purchasing and if the list appears as a chemical lesson, then avoid it.
Add Protein Toppings to Your Meals
Protein toppings are not only healthy but also add flavor to your meal. Try some nutritional yeast or nuts onto your meal and enjoy a protein-rich lunch or dinner without much effort. This way you can add a crunch as well as your favorite flavor to any meal. This is also a time-saving option to get nutrient-rich food with less hassle. Hence, protein toppings are the best way to get 10g or more proteins every day.
Here are some protein-rich topping ideas to answer how to increase protein intake:
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Nutritional yeast
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Does protein intake really matter?
Protein is a part of healthy nutrients that our body needs regularly. They act like building blocks for muscles and organs. Protein is an energy for our body that keeps us going through the day. There are numerous protein sources and meat is one of the leading protein sources. For more details, you can have a look at the article above with the name of how to increase protein intake.
How to increase protein intake for weight loss?
Several studies have found that meeting the requirements of your daily protein intake can also help in weight loss and better body composition. This is because when you take more protein it keeps you fuller for long hours while managing your hunger strikes. You can use versatile protein diet plans to meet your ideal weight. Make sure to keep your protein levels at a certain level – as access to anything can be harmful similar goes for protein.