It's crucial to include enough protein in your diet, regardless of whether or not you have a fitness goal. However, if you are an active person, you may need to find new ways to fit more protein into your day since this macronutrient plays a key role in supporting muscle recovery and growth.
Here are 5 effortless ways to pump up the protein in your diet:
Use protein-rich toppings to add not only protein, but also additional tastes and textures to your meals. Try walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds on your morning bowl of oatmeal, shredded cheese or plain Greek yogurt on soups or chili, or a sliced hard-boiled egg on your salad.
Instead of having only an apple for a snack, add a smear of your favorite nut butter. Other pairings include cheese with crackers, raw veggies with hummus, or string cheese with grapes.
If you think about it, breakfast is usually a carbohydrate-rich meal. Fruit, oatmeal, cereal, granola, or toast are pretty common foods at the breakfast table. Boost protein at your morning meal by adding peanut butter to your banana, stirring yogurt into your oatmeal, or making a morning smoothie with milk or protein powder.
Swapping in a higher-protein alternative for a food you already eat is foolproof way to boost protein. Choosing 1 cup of quinoa instead of 1 cup of brown rice will add 3 additional grams of protein. Greek yogurt typically has double the amount of protein per serving than that of regular yogurt. Make oatmeal with milk instead of water for an extra 8 grams of protein per serving at breakfast.
Add protein-rich items to foods you wouldn't normally expect. Add in cottage cheese, protein powder, or even pureed black beans into muffin or pancake batters. Other ideas include spreading hummus onto sandwiches instead of mayo or mustard, making guacamole extra creamy by stirring in Greek yogurt, or adding a can of your favorite beans to a veggie soup.
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