Every day people are becoming more and more aware of their diets and what they should and should not be putting in their bodies in order to be healthy. One huge element of the diet is protein, and while protein is great for you, what many don’t realise is the importance of eating both the right amount and right kind of protein.
At PledgeSports, we are not only experts in helping athletes, teams and people from the sporting world raise money through sports crowdfunding, but as athletes ourselves we acknowledge the importance of foods high in protein that can keep our bodies going.
So, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 foods high in protein so you can ensure your body is really getting what it needs.
Fish & Seafood
Fish and seafood are good foods high in protein and typically low in fat. While slightly higher in fat than other varieties of fish, salmon, in particular, is bursting with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce joint stiffness and inflammation.
Using 10% fat ground beef provides just the right amount of fat so your burgers or bolognese won’t taste like cardboard. Beyond a truckload of protein (20g per serving), this red meat is also a good source of the almighty creatine.
If you have some cash to spare, you can also dabble in steak. Leaner cuts of steak provide a fantastic 1 g of protein for every 7 calories; rib eye, on the other hand, delivers roughly 1 g of protein for every 11 calories.
White-Meat Poultry (Skinless)
When it comes to animal protein, opt for lean protein from white meat poultry such as chicken and turkey. There are few sources of protein any better than poultry, with 95g-100g giving you roughly 20g of top-notch protein.
It’s also easy to include in your dinner or snacks, so no excuses!
A medium egg has around 6g of protein, and better yet, the protein is in an easily digestible form. If you’re stuck for ideas when it comes to breakfast or a post-exercise snack, cook up some scrambled eggs or an omelette and they’ll help you get the protein you need.
A word of warning, if you eat a lot of eggs it may be best to limit the number of egg yolks you consume and instead eat mainly just the egg whites as the yolk can impact your cholesterol.
A combination of casein and whey protein, yoghurt is one of those foods high in protein and full of the right nutrients for your body. Since most of the lactose is removed, it can also work for most people who are lactose intolerant.
Add some yoghurt to your porridge for some extra fuel in the morning – it’s guaranteed to keep you going through to lunch.
Beans & Lentils
Take kidney beans, chick peas, quinoa and lentils, for example – each of these is protein-rich, eating between 200g and 300g will give your body 20g of protein.
High-quality proteins also contain branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are key in supporting muscle recovery. Leucine, in particular, makes up one-third of muscle protein and helps to stimulate repair after exercise.
Pork is one of the richest sources of leucine and therefore a great addition to a post-exercise meal or snack.
Low-Fat Cottage & Swiss Cheese
It’s an incredible snack, especially before bedtime. Beware, however, that the sodium content of cottage cheese can be on the high side, so ensure you compare ingredients on different brands before buying.
Ounce for ounce, Swiss cheese provides more protein than other commonly available varieties in the supermarket, making it a muscle-friendly option for your sandwiches and burgers. Low-fat versions have a protein-to-fat ratio of around 8-to-1.
Nuts such as pistachios are a practical protein choice if you’re on the move. Roughly 50 pistachio nuts will provide 6g of protein (the same as 1 medium egg), plus sodium and potassium, the electrolytes lost in sweat during exercise.
An added bonus of pistachios is you can also add them to stuff like yoghurt, porridge, smoothies or savoury meals like rice and couscous.
Dairy foods are packed with protein and contain bone-building calcium, too. Chocolate milk is the age-old recovery food after exercise since it contains energy-replenishing carbohydrates and a blend of both slow and fast release whey and casein proteins.
You can get the same recovery-boosting effects from a milk-based fruit smoothie. Easy to make, easy to digest, and a sure-fire way to get the right protein.
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