We are all becoming increasingly aware of how important it is to get our daily dose of protein in our diet. Vegetarians are consciously compensating for the lack of a minimum amount of protein in their diet through supplements or a meticulously constructed protein-rich diet.
However, did you know that protein works best for your body when included in your breakfast and lunch instead of your dinner? Increasing protein portions in daytime meals provides a steady amount of these essential building blocks to our body.
The health benefits of a daily intake of protein in our diet cannot be understated. While healthy ageing tops the list of advantages, there are numerous other health benefits you get when you fulfill your body’s daily requirement of protein:
- Helps in weight management
- Prevents chronic diseases, preserves lean body mass and bone health
- Boosts the effects of exercise by helping the body build muscle more effectively
- Helps in building strong and healthy bones
- Builds a stronger immune system
- Improves the nervous system
- Maintains fluid equilibrium in the body (which is important to maintain ph level in the body and proper functioning of muscles and nerve cells)
- Helps in building collagen which is essential for healthy cells, tissues and skin
- Assists in cell and tissue regeneration
An ideal protein inclusion in your diet would be 20 to 30 grams in each meal for breakfast and lunch. An example of a balanced meal with adequate protein (along with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains) would include:
One egg, a piece of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter, a glass of milk.
Other good breakfast protein sources include almonds and yogurt. Some high-protein Indian breakfast recipes are egg parantha, oats idli, scrambled eggs with chicken sausages, soya uttapam and chickpea fritters.
Chicken (or any other meat) sandwich with a glass of milk, cheese, rice. Other rich sources of protein are quinoa, tofu, fish, beans. You can also add a variety of seeds like hemp, chia and flax to your salads for a protein- rich meal.
It is important to be aware that eating a balanced meal daily is the recipe for health and wellness. Proteins play a vital role in the proper functioning of our bodies. Literally every function of our cells and organs is controlled by proteins. A word of caution: An excessively high protein diet that compromises on essential carbohydrates and minerals can be equally harmful as a protein deficiency.
One should also remember that all the different kinds of proteins are manufactured within our body from smaller molecules which comes from some of the foods we eat. Since none of our body proteins are ready-made in our body, it is essential to include the daily recommended protein in our diet.