5 Big Reasons to Eat Protein
It is very important we eat food with protein in every meal and do regular exercise to build and maintain muscle mass, particularly when ageing! See our top 5 reasons why below!
Improves your quality of life when ageing
Protein helps build and maintain muscle mass. As you age your body naturally decreases in muscle mass. Low muscles mass increases your risk of falls and fractures which can lead to loss of mobility and independence which in turn affect your mental health!
Helps reduce the risk of diseases
Having a lower less of muscle mass is linked with having insulin resistance, which is a condition that increases your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Eating protein and exercising regularly will help build muscle mass and in turn reduce insulin resistance and risk of disease.
Boosts your metabolism
It takes more work for your body to break down protein than any other food group. This means your body is using more energy and burning fat faster (while doing nothing).
Helps with weight loss
Along with its metabolism boosting powers, protein also keeps you fuller for longer, meaning you will eat less and have fewer cravings for foods high in sugar, fat and salt!
Recovers your body after exercise
Protein will help your muscles recover and reduce fatigue post workout! It is also important to fuel your body with nourishing food after exercise to keep your energy levels up!
Best Sources of Protein
Try to incorporate at least one of these foods in every meal and snack:
- Lean meat and poultry
- Dairy foods
- Chickpeas, beans and lentils
- Nuts and seeds
Remember, protein can easily be sourced from vegetarian foods! It can be as simple as adding a can of lentils or chickpeas into a vege curry or bake, sprinkling nuts and seeds over your cereal or porridge, having a glass of milk on the side of your toast, replacing meat with tofu in a stir-fry!
Check out this week’s healthy recipe containing black beans as the protein source! Beans are a great source of protein and fibre, as well as being very cheap and delicious!
Serves: 2 Time: 60mins
- 2 wholegrain wraps
- 1 small – medium sized sweet potato
- ½ can black beans
- 2 handful of spinach
- 2 handfuls of grated cheese
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ red onion
- ½ lime juice
- ¼ bunch coriander
- Preheat oven to 180oC (fan-forced).
- Peel and cut sweet potato into small cubes (2 cm x 2 cm).
- Sprinkle paprika, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper over sweet potato, season with salt & pepper, drizzle with olive oil and mix together.
- Place on baking tray and bake for 40 mins.
- Salsa: finely dice tomato, red onion and coriander, mix in lime juice, season with salt & pepper.
- When finished cooking, mash the sweet potato.
- Heat a pan on medium heat, place 1 wrap on pan, drizzle with olive oil and brush over evenly, flip wrap so the olive oil brushed side is on the pan, cook for 5 mins.
- Smear mashed sweet potato over wrap, add beans, spinach and cheese.
- Cover with second wrap, brush over with olive oil.
- Flip quesadilla and cook for further 3-5mins (keep an eye on heat so your wrap does not burn).
Serve with Fresh salsa and smashed avocado!