Protein is the foundation of every healthy diet! While fats and carbs both provide your body with energy, it’s protein that fuels your muscles, boosts your metabolism, and keeps your digestive system working hard all day long. If you’re looking for the best hearty protein choices to add to your diet, here are our recommendations of the healthiest options to try:
Red meat is, without a doubt, the best source of a lot of important nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, and many more. It delivers a hefty dose of minerals that are critical for healthy bones and muscles, making it very likely the best of the hearty protein choices. No longer reviled for its high saturated fat content, beef is the king of red meat, and makes a delicious addition to any meal. Pork is a good, cheaper alternative to enjoy in a variety of dishes.
Eggs are packed with high-quality protein, both in the egg white and in the higher-fat egg yolk. The choline in eggs play a critical role in your cognitive health, and the fatty content of the eggs are both great for your weight loss and guaranteed to keep you full for hours to come. Plus, they’re also much lower in calories than the other proteins on our list, and you can eat a lot of them without overloading on fats or calories.
Chicken and turkey are both amazing sources of important nutrients—not just protein, but also tryptophan, serotonin, and critical minerals. You’ll find that they’re also very filling proteins, plus one of the most versatile on the planet. If you’re looking for healthy and hearty protein choices, you’re definitely going to want to eat more chicken and turkey.
Seafood isn’t your typical protein—scallops, shrimp, crab, lobster, and other shellfish tend to be pricier and more difficult to cook—but it’s still definitely worth adding to your menu! Seafood is rich in protein, very low in fats, and contain a hefty dose of important minerals, including zinc, iodine, and magnesium.
Pound for pound, fish is very likely the most nutritious and best-balanced of all the protein choices. It’s rich in amino acids for building muscles, but most fatty fish—such as sardines, salmon, and tuna—are loaded with fatty acids that are critical for healthy joints, brain, and immune system. Try to eat fish at least once or twice a week; it’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet!
Brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, and most of the other whole grains on the planet are excellent sources of protein. Not only do they provide a nice carb boost, but they’re also loaded with dietary fiber that will slow down your digestive rate. You’ll stay full for longer thanks to the excellent balance of nutrients contained in the grains. However, be warned: whole grains don’t contain complete proteins, so you’ll need to eat them with other protein sources in order to get the amino acids your body needs for muscle-building.
If you’re looking for an excellent protein, look no farther than beans, lentils, chickpeas, soy beans, and all of the other foods in the legume family. They’re loaded with low-fat protein, and contain a ton of fiber that will help to improve your digestion. Mixing legumes with whole grains makes for an excellent meal, one rich in complete proteins. You’ll find that it’s much easier to keep your meals balanced when you have legumes on the side, in your salads, or mixed into your main dishes.