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5 Big Reasons to Eat Protein

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Written by Live Life Get Active
Category: Nutrition

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
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Dairy foods
  • Chickpeas, beans and lentils
  • Tofu
  • 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!

Weekly Recipe

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

Quesadilla:

  • 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

Salsa:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ lime juice
  • ¼ bunch coriander

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC (fan-forced).
  2. Peel and cut sweet potato into small cubes.
  3. Sprinkle paprika, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper, season with salt & pepper, drizzle with olive oil and mix together.
  4. Place on baking tray and bake for 40mins.
  5. Salsa: finely dice tomato, red onion and coriander, mix in lime juice, season with salt & pepper.
  6. When finished cooking, mash the sweet potato.
  7. 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.
  8. Smear mashed sweet potato over wrap, add beans, spinach and cheese.
  9. Cover with second wrap, brush over with olive oil.
  10. Flip quesadilla and cook for further 3-5mins (keep an eye on heat so your wrap does not burn).
  11. Serve with Fresh salsa and smashed avocado!

Sources:

https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/229/2/R67.xml

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/96/9/2898/2834715

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/does-metabolism-matter-in-weight-loss

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892287/

Live Life Get Active is building a fitter, healthier and happier Australia and we want people to have fun along the way. With the help of Local Government and Corporate Australia we provide FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.