Protein: The Building Blocks of Life

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Proteins are the building blocks of life; every cell of the human body contains protein! The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day. The daily recommended intake of protein for healthy adults is 10-35% of your total calorie intake.

Millions of people around the world do not get enough protein each day. Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, and heart or respiratory system troubles. Your body needs protein in order to repair cells and build new ones!

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, one ounce of most protein-rich foods contain 7 grams of protein. An ounce equals: 1 oz of meat fish or poultry, 1 large egg, ¼ cup tofu, ½ cup cooked beans or lentils, and 1 Tbsp peanut butter.

Fish and meat are known for being high in protein, but here are some great sources of protein if you are looking for some vegetarian options:

  • Quinoa (8 grams of protein per cup)
  • Edamame (9 grams of protein per cup)
  • Tofu (16 grams of protein per cup)
  • Beans (12-15 grams of protein per cup depending on type of bean)
  • Nuts (22-36 grams of protein per cup depending on type of nut)
  • Chickpeas (16 grams of protein per cup)
  • Chia seeds (38 grams of protein per cup)
  • Hemp seeds (11 grams of protein per tablespoon)
  • Raw lentils (47 grams of protein per cup)
  • Sesame seeds (25 grams of protein per cup)

Not all sources of protein are created equal and it is important to make sure that you are getting enough protein to meet your dietary needs. What are some of your favorite sources of protein?

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