Every cell in your body is partly made from protein, and consuming protein helps your body repair existing cells and make new ones. An adequate protein intake is needed to help the immune system produce antibodies and fight infection.
How much protein you need per day depends on your body size, activity level, age and even pregnancy status. The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. For someone weighing 150 pounds, daily protein intake should be at least 54 grams.
Here are a few high-protein foods to include in your diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Cottage cheese is low in fat and calories, yet high in protein. One cup provides 28 grams of protein.
Greek yogurt is high in protein with a creamy texture and tart taste. One 7-ounce container provides 20 grams of protein and almost half of your daily B12 requirement.
An excellent choice for a vegetarian or vegan diet, one cup of cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein.
Almonds are a nutritious tree nut rich in fiber, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. One ounce of almonds provides 6 grams of protein.
Whole eggs are packed with selenium and vitamins B12 and A, and are rich in choline. One medium egg can provide 6 to 7 grams of protein.
Chicken provides a variety of B vitamins, plus zinc and selenium. One chicken breast provides 54 grams of protein.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and iodine, selenium and vitamin B12. Some, like salmon and herring, are high in omega-3 fats also. Half an average salmon fillet can provide 30 grams of protein while a cod fillet can have up to 41 grams. All types of fish are a bit different so experiment.
Lean beef is a rich source of protein and one 3-ounce serving provides 24.6 grams of protein.
When you’re pressed for time, protein powders work. Pea protein and whey protein are excellent choices. Whey protein powder provides about 16.6 grams per scoop, while pea protein provides about 15 grams per scoop.