Nuts About Protein

The best way to lose weight, and keep it off is to build lean muscle mass. When your body has more muscle definition it actually burns calories quicker, both at rest and while exercising. Adding protein rich foods to your diet not only can help you stay out of the junk food cupboard, but it can actually keep you fuller longer, and repairs your body from basic wear and tear.

What is Protein? 
Proteins are found in: 
Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dried beans and peas, nuts, seeds, cheese, yogurt (Greek) and milk
Body Building Proteins: 

Proteins are one of the most important nutrients necessary for good health. Your body is constantly making new cells to replace those that die. Every seven years your body replaces most of its cells, except those in your brain and teeth, so it is very important to make sure that your body is getting the fuel it needs to make new ones.

Where do we get the protein our bodies need ?
Animal Protein 
Meat, Fish, Poultry, and Dairy 

Vegetable Protein
Beans, Nuts, Seeds, and Lentils 

Because protein buids, maintains, and repairs tissues in your body, you need a lot of it. This is especially true if you are ageing or under a lot of stress, and let’s face who isn’t these days? Some proteins carry chemicals around in your body, and some chemicals together trigger essential reactions. Other proteins, called enzymes speed up chemical reactions such as those that occur in digestion. Many hormones are actually proteins themselves; in fact you have proteins in every part of your body.

If you are a vegetarian you MUST plan your diet carefully to get the protein you need. Proteins consist of smaller units called amino acids. Vegetables do NOT contain all the amino acids your body needs. Nuts and Cereals contain one kind of amino acids; while peas and beans contain another, so if you’re a vegan, vegetarian or presque-tarian always eat nuts or cereals along with peas or beans to get complete proteins. 

Amino acids are the basic building blocks from which proteins are made.  Amino acids are necessary for the building and repair of bodily tissues. Therefore, protein is a vital part of the daily diet, although the amount an individual needs each day varies at different stages of life. Babies, adolescents and anyone exerting themselves physically needs extra protein for muscle growth and repair. 

Did you know?

A hen’s egg is the ONLY single food that contains all the eight essential amino acids!

          Eggs often get a bad reputation, research published back in the early 80s suggested that eggs were forbidden for everyone. We still have some the remnants of the 80s left over and no I’m not talking about spandex; people still seem to think of eggs as a big no-no. Sure when consumed in large portions and prepared in grease these little amino acid packed little suckers can set you back a few calories, but if done right (poached/hard boiled) they are actually very good for you.  

         Eggs contain a lot of protein, so they are a great option for breakfast because they start you off strong, and keep you going until your morning break and if need be: lunch. Eggs can safely be consumed by healthy active individuals, but that being said those who are at risk of heart disease or have a history of high cholesterol in their family should avoid consuming eggs everyday because it can increase the production of bad cholesterol levels. As long as you aren’t eating them by the carton on a daily basis, and you work out daily (one hour of physical activity a day is recommended) it’s okay to have 1-2 eggs at breakfast, as long as the rest of your diet is well balanced.

Some great protein options include: 
          Packing a whopping 21.1 grams of protein per servings almonds are an excellent choice for adding both fibre and protein to your diet. Although almonds are very good for you, you want to make sure you do not eat too many. A little goes a long way, you should never be eating more than a small handful. Almonds are high in fat (a good fat), so you want to limit the quantity. Almonds contain an abundance of Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. 

Sunflower Seeds: 

Sunflower seeds are almost the equivalent of beef steak or chicken breast for protein content. They can be eaten at any time and are packed with power. Sunflower seeds also have essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which pass energy through the body to nourish all the organs of the body. Your skin will also improve becoming clearer and fresher looking. Sunflower seeds also contain calcium, iron,zinc, manganese, omega-3 and 6 essential fats, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene and vitamins A, D,E and K.

Pumpkin Seeds: 

          With 28.8 grams of protein pumpkin are definitely our big protein winner. Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc, amino acids, essential fatty acidsm iron, and phosphorus. Just a handful a day is all you need to feel the benefits. They are also low in carbohydrates and have medicinal properties. Pumpkin seeds have been said to help minimize the frequency of urination for females, making these a great road trip snack eh ladies? Don’t worry though fella you’re not left out here either, pumpkin seeds also promote prostate health, so it’s a win win. 

Happy Saturday, 

**Images provided by Google, information about Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds was graciously borrowed from this website. Feel free to check out more protein amounts in your favourite foods, but always read your labels to be sure. http://www.howmuchprotein.com/foods/

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  • Reply styleonthecouch.com October 23, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    This is all such excellent advice, and I didn't know those facts about eggs! I had a diet overhaul recently and I feel I have more energy and my skin is better. Amazing the effects of diet on health and wellbeing.


  • Reply Anonymous October 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Great post!

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