Protein rich foods high in protein will have balanced amino acids. The amino acids in high protein foods are the building blocks of your body and are vitally important to your health.
Balanced amino acids are important for building and repairing your muscles, skin and organ tissue. They help you fight infections and carry the necessary oxygen throughout your bloodstream. In fact, next to water, protein is the most prominent element in the human body.
Why You Need Foods Rich in Protein
There are 22 different amino acids found in the list of complete high protein foods.
A healthy body can naturally manufacture more than half of the 22 amino acids. However, there are nine essential amino acids that your body can’t synthesize. That's why these nine are called the essential amino acids – you have to get them from the food you eat.
So it's important to eat the very best quality protein foods in a high protein diet.
High protein foods, like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products and soy, are considered complete high protein sources, because they have all nine essential amino acids.
Plant foods, like whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and some vegetables are incomplete protein sources since they're each lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids. But plant foods eaten in combination, like rice and beans, provide a complete profile of protein rich foods.
Best Protein Sources
Fish and other seafood are excellent sources of complete good quality protein. Seafood is lower in fat, especially unhealthy saturated fat, than red meat. Salmon, tuna, sardines and herring also provide higher amounts of the heart healthy omega 3 fish oils.
Just make sure your fish entrée is baked or broiled and not dipped in corn batter and deep-fried.
Chicken and turkey are other excellent complete high protein foods. Choose leaner white meat rather dark meat, which is much higher in fat. Since poultry skin is loaded with saturated fat, always remove the skin before cooking or before eating.
Consider using ground lean turkey in burgers, tacos and pasta sauces.
Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are also very good food sources of complete protein. Dairy foods are rich in calcium too, which helps prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones and teeth. To avoid saturated fat, always choose skim or low fat dairy foods.
Eggs are probably the least expensive form of complete protein. According to the American Heart Association, it’s safe for a normal healthy adult to eat an average of one egg a day.
Beans and Grains
Individual beans and grains are very good sources with incomplete plant protein content.
But when they're both eaten in a day, they provide a complete amino acid profile that’s high in fiber without the saturated fats found in red meat. Soy protein found in tofu and powdered form has been shown to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you want to eat beef or pork, be sure to choose the leaner cuts. Lean broiled beef has only slightly more saturated fat than skinless chicken. Pork tenderloin is considered by many to be white meat and is some 30% leaner than it was twenty years ago.
For a quick protein boost when on the go, consider trying protein based meal replacement drinks or bars. Just be sure they have at least six grams of protein and are low in sugar and fat.
Your body can't store protein. So be sure to use a wide variety of foods high in protein from the best protein sources in order to guarantee that you fulfill all of your daily protein needs.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy