Protein Foods to Energize Your Day
Protein is an essential nutrient in the body. It is the basis of your skin, muscles, and bones. It is a vital component in every cell in the body. Protein is unique in that the body does not store it for future use. When protein has been used up, it needs to be replenished as a resource. Protein is essential for energy throughout the day. When you are deficient in protein, you will feel tired and sluggish.
When you’re looking for a good source of energy for the day, protein should be your choice. While carbohydrates and sugars will give you an energy high but that is a temporary feeling. You will just as quickly get a sugar crash and will feel even worse. The unfortunate side effect of eating a high amount of carbohydrates or sugars is that your body will simply crave more of the same, creating a vicious cycle of highs and lows.
Eating protein foods will help to break this cycle. First off, protein helps you to feel full and satiated much longer than carbs and sugars will. Your hunger pangs are staved off for a longer period of time. Second, you will be able to break the cycle of craving more and more carbs and going through the subsequent highs and lows. Your body simply does not crave the carbs and sugars when you are feeding it protein. And finally, you will find yourself more energized for the day as you add small frequent portions of protein foods throughout your day. Here are some good protein foods that will energize your day.
Yogurt – Yogurt is an excellent protein food that you can enjoy throughout the day. Try to stay away from the sugar added flavored yogurts as much as possible. A great tasting and satisfying yogurt is Greek yogurt. It is full of flavor and is a bit thicker than traditional yogurt. Make a yogurt parfait for breakfast by layering Greek yogurt with fresh berries and top with a small portion of granola. Use Greek yogurt as the basis of a smoothie. Greek yogurt also makes a good end-of-the-day treat, especially when mixed with a crunchy granola.
Eggs – Eggs are protein foods that can be used in a variety of ways to give you energy throughout the day. You can start your day with an omelet filled with cheese (another protein food) and a variety of vegetables. You’ve heard it many times before, but a good breakfast will give the right start for the rest of the day. Having energy early in the morning will help keep you focused and motivated. You can also hard boil a half dozen or so eggs at the beginning of the week and eat them throughout the day as a snack. Don’t forget to add chopped or sliced eggs to your salads for a protein food punch (especially when you add some of the other protein foods listed below). For dinner, try an egg quiche occasionally.
Soy Nuts – Soy nuts are small in size but pack a powerful protein foods punch. They come roasted and even in a variety of seasoned flavors. Keep a baggie of soy nuts in your purse, in your car or in your desk at work, and take them out when you are drooping in energy levels. You can also add them to that protein packed salad.
Hummus – Hummus is an excellent protein food made from chick peas. It is great as a dip for a mid-day snack. You can dip any number of fresh vegetables in hummus such as broccoli, sugar snap peas and jicama. Triangles of pita bread are also great dipped in hummus. Try spreading a thin layer of hummus as a condiment in a sandwich wrap for a new flavorful taste.
Tuna/Salmon – Tuna a wonderful protein food that can be added to your day for added energy. Canned or pouched tuna makes a great filling for a pita pocket. You can also add it to that ever increasing protein packed salad. While most people think of canned tuna when they think of tuna, fresh tuna is wonderful. You can grill it as a tuna steak. If you’ve never tried sushi, tuna is a fantastic ingredient in rolls or as a sashimi. Salmon is another great sushi item. Salmon can also be added to your breakfast. Try smoked salmon with a thin layer of cream cheese and some capers for a very satisfying breakfast.
Cheese – Protein foods are best when they come in a variety, and there is a huge variety in cheeses! Try checking out your local grocery store that has a cheese bar to try some new varieties. When you find a few new ones you like, stock up and use them for energy throughout the day. You can add cheese to your eggs in the morning. Have a wedge of a newly found cheese with an apple for a snack. Or have some with a variety of nuts for an even higher protein energy snack. And don’t forget our protein packed salad: Add some grated cheese on top.
Lean meats - When you think protein foods, meats usually come to mind. It’s important to choose lean meats when you are looking to add energy to your day. Fatty meats will only add sluggishness with all the extra unnecessary fat. There is nothing wrong with adding a lean meat to your breakfast, lunch or dinner. You don’t have to add a bunch of carbs to a lean hamburger or buffalo burger. Try going “protein style” and wrap your burger in lettuce instead of a bun. You’ll feel much more energized!
Protein supplements – Protein supplements are another great way to add protein foods to your day. Sometimes you just need something quick and easy. Whether it’s a ready-made shake or a protein powder that you make in to a smoothie, protein supplements can be a convenient way to energize you day for breakfast, lunch or a protein packed snack. In addition, you can also try a ready-to-drink protein shot from Protica. This protein shot is known as Profect and is available in several delicious, fruity flavors. It provides you with the protein your body needs and has hardly any calories.