What is protein?
You might think protein means animal products, but it can also come from grains, beans, nuts, and other plant sources.
- Meat such as pork and beef
- Goat, cow and sheep milk
- Cheese and yogurt
- Tofu, tempeh, miso and other soy foods
- All nuts, seeds and nut butters
- Dried and canned beans, peas, lentils
- Whole grain such as quinoa, buckwheat and oats
- Protein powders containing hemp, pea, whey, soy or rice protein
Why Include Protein?
- Protein is found in every cell and tissue.
- After water, protein is the second most plentiful substance in the body.
- It is used to build and repair bone, muscles connective tissue, skin, internal organs and blood cells.
- Protein is important for nail and hair growth, preventing unusual hair loss.
- Used in the detoxification system and immune system.
- Assists the body in creating and regulating energy.
- Critical ingredient in making hormones for mood and sleep.
- Involved in the building of RNA and DNA.
- Involved in wound healing.
Protein is an important part of a well balanced meal, and every meal should include a form of protein. Protein can be added with varying levels of effort. For example:
- Keep it simple and assemble a smoothie with a handful of nuts, fruit, avocado and spinach.
- With some prep work and light cooking, make the black bean salad recipe featured on the next page.
- Feeling creative? Try baking fish or chicken and adding a simple sauce made with fresh ingredients like chopped tomatoes, torn basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.