Protein is even more important for those of us a little bit older
As we age, protein becomes a very important part of our diet. From age 25, we lose muscle mass quite rapidly.
The loss ranges from 2–3 per cent, decreasing our resting metabolic rate.
This might be a cause of weight gain as we age.
Weight gain and loss of muscle mass can be bypassed when we eat a high-protein diet and lift weights.
Muscle mass and resting metabolic rate are key to eliminating weight gain as we age — also giving us a healthy, lean physique.
The key part of adding more protein is dispersing it throughout your meals. Our bodies can only process so much at once, and giving ourselves protein ignitions keeps our metabolism active and preserves that precious muscle.
Not all high protein sources derive from animals. Plenty of low-caloric, highly nutritious sources are plant-based and can work with any dietary plan.
Check out the foods below and see how you can integrate these options within your meal plans:
One: Lentils, beans and pulses
I put this one as number one on the list because most people are good at finding protein sources but shy away from the high fibre, protein and nutrient value lentils, pulses, and beans bring.
I believe it’s most likely because plant-based proteins do not contain the 20 essential amino acids as animal sources do.
But, attaining a complete protein meal combines a few sources.
For instance, when you combine rice and beans, you get 20 amino acids (depending on the source of plant protein you eat).
The fibre that beans contain will help regulate your appetite; believe me, they are filling!
Fibre also feeds the gut’s good bacteria, binds with them and helps flush out toxins and waste from your body.
That function helps to reduce cholesterol and body weight at the same time.
Eggs have seen me through many moments of distress, requiring clean, low-calorie and transportable protein when I’m on the road.
You get 7–9 grams of protein in one egg while adding iron, vitamins B12 and D, and choline, which helps aid brain and cognitive health.
Beef is known as a negative protein source, but the cut of beef you buy makes the difference.
Aim for lean cuts of beef without the added fat, and eat beef only a couple of times per week.
Although beef is high in iron and selenium, it’s a valuable nutrient to combine with green vegetables and steamed rice. Always combine animal protein with fibre.
Try beef jerky if you want something for a gym bag (or your handbag). It’s just as high in protein but watches the salt and additive content. Remember always to read your labels before you make an informed choice.
If you are on a budget due to the excessive price of produce (especially meat), look no further than quinoa.
It’s easy to prepare and store safely in the fridge so that you can eat it regularly. Then, add it to all meals — there is no limit here.
Quinoa is high in protein and whole grain and provides all the amino acids in one mouthful.
Quinoa contains fibre, which helps lower heart disease and flush out cholesterol from the body. Your gut bacteria get to feast on it as well!
Key take away
Add a few high protein sources into your diet and pay close attention to your concentration, mindset, mood and energy levels.
It’s those important characteristics that can completely change your outlook on life.
Here’s to better health at 40 and beyond.
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