Proteins are building blocks of every living organism which are necessary for growth and maintenance of cells. These macronutrients are composed of 20 different amino acids. Proteins are found in various stages like enzymes, antibodies, hair, nails, bones, haemoglobin, neurotransmitters and so on.
While our body can manufacture non-essential amino acids, there is a set of essential amino acids that our body cannot synthesize. These set of essential amino acids are obtained from plant or animal sources. Protein in the form of enzymes, hormones and antibodies promote healthy metabolic and physiological processes and boosts our nervous system.
Deficiency in protein can lead to muscle atrophy and impaired functioning. It is very essential to have the best protein diet for building healthy muscles. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for adult men.
Poultry like chicken and turkey have high protein content and less saturated fat as compared to red meat. White meat like chicken and turkey are even a good source of phosphorus and tryptophan. Turkey contains 41 grams of protein per serving, while chicken contains 25 grams of protein per serving.
Fish is one of the healthiest and rich sources of protein. It not only provides the body with essential fatty acids that lowers inflammation, but it is also the leanest meat which has high protein content. It contains less saturated fat and zero carbohydrates.
Salmon and tuna are the highest protein yielding fishes. Three ounce of tuna contains 130 calories and 25 grams of protein. Salmon contains 24 grams of protein per 3 ounce.
Nuts are a rich source of protein and monounsaturated fats. It is also believed the regular consumption of peanuts can help to lower the risk of heart attack. Peanuts, peanut butter and almonds are high in protein and contain 9 grams of protein per 1/4th cup.
A ¼th cup of almonds contain 8 grams of protein. Around 30 grams of peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein, but it is important to have it in moderation as it is high in fat.
5. Cottage cheese or paneer
This popular Indian food contains 16 grams of protein per ½ cup. It is advisable to purchase cottage cheese which is made with low fat or skimmed milk. But the best cottage cheese is the one which is home made.
6. Whey protein
Whey protein is an ideal protein supplement, especially for gym goers and bodybuilders. It is the richest source of protein with the highest biological value. It is also rich in branched chain amino acids and is best to consume after a heavy workout, as the body absorbs it really fast post workout.
Milk contains a considerable amount of protein, which when consumed with whey, doubles the protein value in the body. Milk contains almost all the important nutrients needed by the body, thus it is essential to consume milk on a daily basis.
Beans are a great vegetable source of protein. Beans are rich in protein and fiber, making it an ideal food for losing weight. The fiber content in beans keeps you satiated for a longer period of time.
Beans like kidney beans, tofu beans and baked beans are a great source of protein. Kidney beans provide 15 grams of protein per 200 grams. Even baked beans are rich in protein and contain 15 grams of protein per serving.
This dairy food is a great source of protein, with 1 cup of non-fat yoghurt containing 13 grams of protein. One cup of skimmed milk yoghurt contains 9 grams of protein. Include a cup of fresh yoghurt daily in your diet.
Apricots are beautiful orange coloured fruits rich in vitamin A and C, riboflavin and antioxidants. It is also rich in fiber content and beta carotene which makes it an ideal fruit for summers.
Apart from these nutrients, apricot is also rich in protein. Raw protein yields 2.50 grams of protein per serving while dry apricots contain 1.5 grams of protein per serving.