Everything you need to know about protein
Am I getting enough protein?
Chances are, yes you are getting enough protein. In fact, most Americans meet or exceed their needs for this particular macronutrient. Protein should constitute about 15% of the total calories in our diet. Well known sources include eggs, meat and fish but can also be found in plant-based foods like quinoa, hemp seeds and chia seeds.
Are all proteins the same?
No, not all proteins found in foods are the same. Foods from animal sources are considered complete proteins meaning they contain all the essential amino acids our body cannot make and must obtain from foods. On the other hand, plant-based foods containing proteins are mostly considered incomplete (with a few exceptions like quinoa and hempseeds). This means that in order to build a complete protein, we need to eat a variety of protein-containing foods.
Do certain individuals have higher protein needs?
Yes. Athletes in particular may need high protein in order to repair their muscles after intense physical activity. While the average person needs 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight, athletes may require 1-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Talk to a dietitian or MD about assessing your appropriate protein needs.
Why is protein important?
Protein is important for many physiological reasons, one of those being satiety. Protein is a satiating macronutrient and that's why I recommend including it in your first meal of the day to help balance blood sugars in the morning and give you energy right off the bat. It is also important for manufacturing and replacing skin cells, keeping immunity strong and the optimal functioning of our cells and organs.
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Blackberry Protein Smoothie:
Blackberry season, why won't you stay awhile longer. Seasons are inevitably changing, but smoothies will remain in my breakfast rotation until further notice. Nothing beats their convenience and the fact that you can pack in tons of produce that you may not be eating later in the day. Today I am all about this blackberry protein smoothie as a post-workout drink or early morning start to a busy day. Made with Super Elixir Nourishing Vanilla protein, this smoothie boast staying power and the heavenly combo of blackberries with vanilla.
Blackberries: Blackberries are a good low-glycemic source of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.
Chia Seeds: 1 ounce provides 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 18% of your RDA for calcium along with omega-3s and antioxidants.
- 1/2 banana, frozen
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 scoop Super Elixir vanilla protein powder
- 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
- Add ingredients to a high speed blender.
- Blend until it reaches desired consistency. Top with extra blackberries