8 unconventional protein sources and tips to add more protein to your diet

protein exists in every cell, which plays an important role in the body's ability to grow, maintain health and self repair. It is also the most satisfying macronutrient, which makes it a particularly important component when you try to lose weight. Although protein deficiency is rare in the United States, according to the 2010 U.S. dietary guidelines (DGA), if you eat a restricted or high carbohydrate diet, your protein intake can easily decline. For optimal health, DGA recommends that adults eat 10 to 35 percent of their protein from a nutritional source. When you think about the source of protein, chickens, eggs, meat and protein shakes may come to mind. But there are other ways to incorporate protein into your diet. Read on to learn about other foods that can help you meet your protein needs.

integral: Jupiter images / goodshot / Getty Images

1. Seeds

seeds provide healthy fats, carbohydrates, proteins and antioxidants, making them nutritionally balanced snacks or dietary supplements. For example, Chia seed is a plant rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which many Americans lack. They are also rich in fiber (10 grams in two tablespoons), which helps digestion and appetite control. In addition, they contain minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron. Van Dana Sheth, a registered dietician and spokesperson at the Wilders School of nutrition and nutrition in ranchopalos, California, suggested adding Chia seeds to breakfast oatmeal to improve protein content. Or mix a third cup of sunflower seeds with cereals, or add about eight grams of protein. For protein and omega-3 fatty acids, stir the flaxseed to a whole wheat muffin or shake.

Credit: m-chin / iStock / Getty Images

2. Tofu

eggs are not the only source of protein you can fry. " Dina Aronson, a registered dietician in monclair, New Jersey, said: "tofu stir fry is a delicious vegetable protein that can replace scrambled eggs, and it's just as fast." Two pieces of soft tofu (about 3 ounces each), also called tofu, can provide more than 8 grams of protein. " Tofu is also a good way to use leftovers, "Aronson added. She recommends adding a little olive oil to one or two cups of cooked or raw chopped vegetables, followed by a piece of tofu. Mash tofu, stir fry vegetables, add turmeric, cumin, thyme and other spices, plus salt and pepper. More than 90% of soybeans in the United States are genetically modified, so you may need to look for organic or non genetically modified labels when shopping.

Credit: melissaannells / iStock / Getty Images

3. Pasta is usually not known for its protein content, but 100% of whole grains contain a lot of protein and other nutrients, such as fiber and vitamin B. If you don't eat or don't want to eat meat, Dina arenson recommends choosing pasta with the highest protein content. You can also add cooked black beans or lentils to pasta to add flavor, taste and protein. Rich whole wheat Italian bread includes whole wheat spaghetti, which provides about 7g protein per cup, as well as quinoa rotini and spetter lasagna. Quinoa is a South American grain that cooks faster and contains more protein than other grains. "I like to make quinoa in many ways," said Vandana Sheth, who named it one of the best recommended sources of protein. She suggested that vanilla and nutritious ingredients, such as cinnamon, pomegranate seeds, chopped nuts and fruit, could be added to seasoned soymilk as a delicious, protein rich food. You can also use quinoa instead of rice in your favorite recipes, or add it to soups, stews and casseroles instead of noodles. For high protein eggs, add quinoa to scrambled eggs and vegetables. A cup of cooked quinoa provides more than 8 grams of protein, plus valuable phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

Credit: dana2000 / iStock / Getty Images

5. Nuts

may be rich in fat and calories, but a study published in the Journal of nutrition and metabolism in 2011 showed that eating a moderate amount of snacks every day can improve the overall diet quality without causing weight gain. " "Nuts are also high in protein and delicious in pasta," says Dina arenson. "To get the best flavor, bake nuts first." A quarter cup of almonds provides nearly 8 grams of protein; the same amount of pistachios is about 6 grams. Put a bag of nuts in the car, office or wallet so that you can have a satisfying snack during the trip. Nuts can also be used as a delicious and protein rich ingredient in low protein dishes (such as vegetable salad).

Credit: olgakr / iStock / Getty Images

6. Beans are not the only way to add protein to salads. Emphasizing protein rich ingredients, rather than just fruits and vegetables, can turn a simple salad into a great meal. " My favorite is the fresh bean salad, not the salty salad you might think of, "says Dina arenson. While frozen three bean picnic favorites are not a bad choice, Allen prefers to mix boiled or canned, drained, garbanzo beans with chopped parsley, shallots, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh lemon juice to taste olive oil, salt, and pepper. " You can dress it up with any fresh vegetable you like. Another delicious combination is black beans, coriander and lime juice. "It's a perfect balance of protein, fat and fiber," Aronson said. "It's rich in antioxidants. And other trace elements. Milk powder

if your body needs more protein than your appetite needs, milk powder provides a simple way to increase your intake without having to eat extra food. Van Dana Sheth, RD, recommends adding skimmed milk powder to cream soups and casseroles to increase protein and calcium. You can also add milk powder to mashed potatoes, hot Cereals, hot cocoa, scrambled eggs and smoothies. A quarter cup of skimmed milk powder contains about 11 grams of protein and 375 mg of calcium.

Credit: Karam Miri / iStock / Getty Images

8. Instead of processed salty snacks, such as chips and pretzels, you can add protein and a variety of other nutrients to your diet. Green beans are fresh soybeans that are harvested before the seeds harden. What makes soybeans unique is that they are considered to be a "complete protein" -- so do eggs and dairy products. Enjoy soy plain, ideal seasoning or as a nutritional supplement to salads and sandwiches. You can also cook soy milk alone or with seasonings and other vegetables to make a healthy, protein rich dip. A cup of prepared soy beans can provide nearly 17 grams of protein and more than 8 grams of heart healthy fiber.

Credit: jreika / iStock / Getty Images

tips to meet protein needs: take protein snacks, said Van Dana Sheth, a registered nutritionist: "snacks, but adding protein between meals is an invaluable way to meet daily needs." "Make whole wheat toast with almonds or peanut butter instead of regular butter," suggests Sheth, "or use a bunch of cheese with apples instead of simply eating them. A balanced snack like this helps keep blood sugar levels stable, "she added," and keeps you full and energized before you sit down for lunch or dinner. "

Credit: David Crockett / iStock / Getty Images

tips for meeting protein needs: replacing breakfast cakes for tortillas

muffins, doughnuts and croissants are popular breakfast choices, but relatively less protein. "Breakfast pancakes offer a healthier option," says Dina arenson, especially on the road. Shop bought or homemade breakfast tortillas, including chopped vegetable burgers and vegetable or organic cheese, are a valuable option, "Aronson said." tex's Mexican style tortillas are made from black beans or fried tofu. " Another option is to fill whole grain tortillas with meat, scrambled eggs, vegetables and lean meat, roast turkey sausage. For lighter changes, breakfast burrito filled with large lettuce leaves, such as Rome. Frozen bean cakes provide about 9 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of satiated fiber.

Credit: mark Stott / iStock / Getty Images

What do you think? Are you tracking your protein consumption? Do you want to make sure you eat a certain amount of protein every day? How many grams do you want? Do you have these unconventional sources of protein in your diet? What tips or recipes would you try? Please let us know in the comments - we are glad to hear from you!

Credit: wavebreakmedia Limited / wavebreakmedia / Getty Images

Comments