Foods high in protein are recommended by scientists, because proteins are essential for proper growth and function of the body. Find out all about foods high in protein here. Men and women should take in approximately 56 g and 46 g of amino acids through foods high in protein each day. Protein is a complex compound made up of amino acid chains, one of the most vital macronutrients for our body. Let’s have a look at the functions performed by proteins and different protein sources.
Function of Proteins
Proteins are basic building blocks of animal and plant bodies. Although living bodies manufacture most proteins internally, some amino acids cannot be produced. These proteins have to be extracted from external food sources. Foods high in protein also help to avoid protein deficiency diseases like Kwashiorkor or Marasmus, and poor organ growth. Scientists recommend obtaining protein from natural foods such as those listed below, for instance. There are, however, other ways to obtain these amino acids, such as through supplements, pills or injections, for example.
Eggs and Dairy Products
Eggs obtained from hens and geese are prime sources of complete proteins. They can be eaten raw, boiled, cooked or fried. One egg provides approximately 6 g of protein. Omelets, sandwiches and egg curries are excellent examples of cooked foods high in protein. The amount of milk protein offered by low sodium cheese or Parmesan cheese is 41.6 g/serving. Swiss, Mozzarella and Romano cheese offer 28-30 g/ serving. Processed, liquid, spreadable or soft cheese varieties are deficient in protein and rich in fat. Other dairy products like milk and yogurt also contain amino acids.
Whole Grains and Nuts
Whole grains, along with legumes, are widely used as foods high in protein. Brown rice and beans are sources of complete proteins; while bread, corn, green beans and oats provide incomplete proteins. Certain grains offer complete proteins after being cooked for prolonged periods. Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios and peanuts can, when combined with whole grains, meet daily requirements of proteins. Besides these, soy milk, Soya bean, spinach and lettuce are foods high in protein suitable for vegetarians.
Dried, dehydrated or preserved seeds obtained from different fruits are also foods high in protein. They are especially popular in Eastern Asia, Middle Asia and Africa. A cup of squash seed (approximately 100 g) can offer as much as 74.8 g of protein. Likewise, watermelon seeds offer 28gm/100 g of protein. Seeds are washed with cold water and dried in the sun for 2-3 days before consumption.
Meat and Poultry
Meat, poultry and seafood are foods high in protein and provide high quality complete proteins. Red beef or veal offers 36 g of protein per 100 g, while lean meat offers 30/100 g. Chicken broilers provide 32.8/100 g, and pork chops deliver 30/100 g. Similarly, seafood like Tuna (30/100 g), Salmon (27/100 g), Anchovies (29/100 g), Halibut (27/100 g), Tilapia (26/100 g) and Snapper (26/100 g) provide proteins, iodine and sodium. Some of these are processed into cod oil for kids, whereas animal liver is used for manufacturing liver oil. These liquid protein sources are fed to infants unable to digest meat.