When it comes to building and maintaining a healthy meal routine, it becomes all-too-easy to find favorites … and fall into rut! After all, as humans we’re hard wired to crave stability and routine.
But who says meal time has to be bland? There are so many flavorful ingredients to add a pop of flavor into meal and snack time, even for those looking for high protein ideas. There are many reasons why you may be seeking high protein foods. Perhaps you’re training for a marathon and need to keep your energy up. Or maybe you’re looking for ways to jazz up the office sack lunch!
No matter what your health goals are, it’s important to get enough protein in your diet. It builds muscle, supports healthy skin and hair, repairs tissue, aids in digestion, and regulates hormones. While some people may believe animal-based protein is more beneficial to your body,plant protein provides plenty of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants as well! Plant protein also protects against heart disease, cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, amongst other benefits.
When it comes to choosing a healthy snack, almonds are a tasty option, but are almonds a good source of protein? Let’s find out!
Protein is an important component of mealtime, but you may not be sure what protein is and that’s okay! We’re breaking it down below.
Did you know that at least10,000 different proteins exist within your body? Believe it! Protein is found within hair, skin, muscles and every body part or tissue in some way, shape, or form. Protein is made up of over 20amino acids, which are molecules that combine to make up protein. Think of amino acids like building blocks!
Our bodies don’t store amino acids, so we need to make them from scratch or through modification. There are 9 amino acids that are “essential” to healthy body function and must come from food.
The body needs protein to promote fullness, reduce high blood pressure risk, support injury recovery, and help keep the immune system functioning.
There are3 types of protein: non-essential, conditionally essential, and essential amino acids (which we just learned about).
Non-essential proteins can be obtained through food and made throughout the body. In contrast, there are 6 conditionally-essential amino acids. They’re classified as “conditional” because healthy bodies can generate them under normal physiologic conditions (and don’t rely solely on food to obtain them!)
According to theDietary Reference Intake report for macronutrients, an average adult should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. That means that the average man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day, and the average woman should eat about 46 grams.
While you technically could eat an all-protein diet, it wouldn’t be good for you. Typically, just 10-35 percent of your calories should come from protein. So for example, if your body requires 2,000 calories per day, 200-700 of those calories should come from protein.
When filling your refrigerator or pantry with healthy, high protein foods, consider this your cheat sheet!High protein meats are beef, chicken, salmon, and eggs. Meanwhile, pantry staples like pasta and peanut butter are excellent sources of protein. And surprisingly, dairy-based cottage cheese is high in protein as well.
In addition, nuts and seeds, and lentils and legumes are all excellent sources of protein. 1 cup of nuts/seeds provide around 27 grams of protein, while 1 cup of boiled lentils/legumes, like beans, contain around 18 grams of protein. While other staples, like fruits and vegetables, are key to integrate into your diet, it’s important to note that they’re not particularly high in protein when compared to meats, grains, dairy, nuts/seeds, and lentils/legumes.
Almonds are a tremendous little superfood that are crunchy, flavorful, and filled with protein! A typical serving of almonds is ¼ cup, or around 23 almonds, and contains around 6 grams of protein. While certainly satisfying on their own, there are many ways to enjoy almonds within meals as well as a protein-rich ingredient.
We’re sharing a few favorite recipes with yummy almonds in them!
How can you get your children to eat healthy for breakfast? Throw some crunchy almonds and Cheerios in of course! This berry and almond parfait is a great addition to your breakfast rotation. With just vanilla yogurt, smooth natural almond butter, Cheerios, strawberries, and raspberries, this recipe is simple to the max for busy mornings.
For extra crunch, we’d recommend chopping upDaily Crunch Snacks Original Sprouted almonds and sprinkling on top. Almond butter AND sprouted almonds? A protein-packed, nutty combo. :)
Sometimes, you’re just craving something nutritious and straightforward. That’s when this almond thai quinoa salad is an awesome option! Quinoa and almonds pack a one-two punch of protein and are both plant-based!
One cup of cooked quinoa provides about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. The best part is that ingredients can either be made on the spot or beforehand to enjoy all week long for lunch, dinner, or a hearty snack! Don’t forget the almond butter, lime juice, coconut aminos, and water-based sauce … Mmm-mm!
Have you heard ofbento box? This Japanese-based concept is a single-serving, packed meal and allows you to get as creative as you want with food combos! Bento boxes usually feature rice or noodles as the main dish, with a protein or two like fish, eggs, or meat. These two ingredients are accompanied by pickled and cooked vegetables, plus a bit of fruit, which creates a well-balanced meal.
If you’re looking to shake things up for snack or lunch time, why not add sprouted almonds to your bento box? After all, they pair well with … just about anything! IncludeNashville Hot sprouted almonds in a bento box alongside dishes like cooked chicken, broccoli, and apples for a spicy variety of flavor.
While you may not be able to jet set off to Italy today, you can have a delightful Italian treat to enjoy! In Italy, the day is defined bycoffee rituals: a cappuccino with breakfast, a caffè macchiato – or two – as an afternoon pick-me-up, and espresso after dinner.
And you know what goes well with an espresso? An almond-based treat! Not too sweet and not too savory, biscotti is crunchy and perfect for dipping into your after-dinner espresso. With just sugar, eggs, sprouted almonds, almond extract, baking soda, and flour, a batch of these biscottis can be whipped up in a jiffy.Salute!
What’s better than a vegan treat that’s loaded with chocolate, chips, mixed nuts, and dried fruit? Cookies that includeDaily Crunch Snacks of course! For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, this sweet and salty recipe is perfect. It’s naturally dairy-free and eggless and can easily be made gluten-free by swapping all-purpose flour for a gluten-free option, like almond or oat flour.
From start to finish, these cookies take under 30 minutes to make, and the delicious, protein-rich nut medley will help keep you or your kiddos full until your next meal.
Looking for ways to spice up your meal prep game? Try these recipes for meal prep to eat healthy, nutritious make-head meals all week long.