I’ve never been one to eat much protein and after becoming vegetarian about 8 years back, I ate even less of it. What I found is that when you don’t eat enough, you start eating everything in sight in order to fill the void your body is trying to fill, only to find you never actually fill up! Protein is a must, the body needs it to be strong and healthy. Your body uses it to repair tissue (which is why it is so important athletes and body builders get plenty of it). The body also uses it to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals the body needs in order to maintain proper functioning. Protein is also necessary in order to strengthen bones, muscles, cartilage, blood, and even the skin. Being a beauty blogger, I can’t tell you how important it is for healthy, strong, shiny hair too!
When you don’t get enough protein, the body’s metabolism slows down and is sluggish. You find it harder to lose weight. Your immune system is weakened. You may even experience mood swings, joint or muscle pain, and have a harder time concentrating. Women should instead be aiming to get 46 grams of protein a day, (or about .5 x your body weight) and men should be getting about 56. If you’re not getting much protein in your diet, it might be time to explore some more nutritious options to help your body stay strong and healthy.
Luckily, being a non-meat eater, I’m not out of options when it comes to getting my protein. Apart from meat, dairy, and eggs, Protein can be found in many plant-based foods, even in spinach! I eat a diet full of beans, legumes, lentils, tofu, quinoa, oatmeal, hummus, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds. I also love to start my day out with a protein shake or smoothie and add some protein-rich superfoods such as unsweetened cocoa powder, flax seed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, and spirulina. In fact, if like me, you’ve never been much of a big meat-eater, to begin with, there are still lots of ways you can still get that 46 grams of protein in a day!
A yummy protein powder I have been drinking and loving lately is Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein and Native Fuel Whey powders. Ascent Native Fuel is made with native whey, the new benchmark in whey protein purity. Native whey is the least processed protein available today because it’s filtered directly from high-quality milk. Native whey also contains naturally higher levels of leucine, the key amino acid for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.