We’ve all heard about how protein is considered the building blocks of life, which is why it is important that we have regular intake of this nutrient. Protein is present in our cells and therefore, we should eat foods that are rich in protein. This way, our body can repair cells and even generate new ones.
When it comes to protein though, most of us turn to meats, such as pork, veal, and beef. But a meat-based meal isn’t the only source of protein. As a matter of fact, there are other better sources – and they are green. Legumes, such as beans and peas are among the richest in protein, along with minerals like iron and zinc.
Why Eat More Protein
Our bodies use proteins daily, so that we can keep going. From our skin to our hair to our immune system antibodies to our digestive enzymes, proteins are broken down every day and therefore should be replaced. Without enough protein in our body, this can result in the following problems:
- Low energy levels
- Slow metabolism
- Mood swings or moodiness
- Pain in the muscles, bones, and joints
- Slow healing of wounds
- Changes in blood sugar levels that could lead to diabetes
- Poor concentration
Protein is also needed to build muscle mass and this nutrient can affect weight loss progress. It is recommended that you eat 56 grams of protein every day if you’re a man and 46 grams if you’re a woman.
Best Protein Sources and They’re Not Meat
This may come as a surprise, especially if you’re used to getting protein from meat, but a study proved that legumes are better than pork and veal. Legumes, such as beans and peas, are more satisfying than pork, which makes them the ideal choice for people who want to lose weight. The study involved 43 men who ate three meals with three patties made from legumes and meat. It was later discovered that whenever they consumed patties whose main components are beans or peas, they ate 12% fewer calories during their next meal.
The secret behind this discovery is the higher content of fiber in legumes compared to meats. This contributed to the increased level of satiety upon eating the greens. But what’s really interesting is that the researchers suggested that a person can eat a meal with high fiber content, but with less protein and yet achieve the same feeling of fullness.