We all have grown up believing the importance of ‘dal-chawal’; the sad faces of our mothers every time we missed out on rice or roti, made us totally buy the importance of carbs in our life. In India, we miss out on the importance of protein in our diets with over-emphasis on rice/roti. Carbohydrates fuel us but protein builds our body mass- this is why including protein as a major part of our diet is important. Protein diet is more than a nutritional fad and more of a real diet plan that works on making you leaner, stronger and healthier.
The benefits of a high-protein diet
- Weight loss/ Healthy weight maintenance: Wondering why all bodybuilders are munching on protein bars all day? Protein keeps you fuller for longer, keeps unwanted cravings at bay and helps burn fat by building lean mass. If you can combine workout with protein diet, you can transform your body within a shorter period of time.
- Healthy hair and nails: Every part of our body is made of protein including hair and nails. If you want healthy and strong hair and nails, a high protein diet can help you achieve that.
- Quicker workout recovery: A glass of protein smoothie right after workout can help you recover from your workout in no time. Your protein diet speeds up the repair process of your muscles and keeps your body going for the rest of the day without any fatigue.
- Healthy functioning of vital organs: Without enough protein in your body, your vital organs start drawing its energy from the existing muscles of your body. This weakens the body muscles as there is no adequate amount of protein to support their healthy functioning. A healthy protein diet can prevent such a situation and keeps supplementing your body with the amount of protein for the overall well being of your body.
How to include more protein in your diet?
The hardest thing about protein diet is cutting on carbs. Also, Indians run out of protein options with limited or no meat and egg consumption. However, it is not impossible to achieve. Including a bowl of dal in every meal and reducing the portion size of rice/roti can be a change to begin with. You can include high-protein food like tofu, paneer, and veggies like broccoli and peas. If you are a nonvegetarian, then it’s easier with a portion of chicken breast in every other meal. You can also have eggs for breakfast- nothing is better than protein-rich start to the day. If you have a busy schedule and you have a tough time preparing your own meals, keep a protein shake handy. These days there are brands that are also offering vegan protein shake options. Protein shakes offer a good amount of protein in one serving and helps you make up for the lack of protein in your diet.
It is important to consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep your fiber intake up while on a protein diet. Your liver works harder than usual when you are on a high protein diet and good amount of fruits, veggies and herbs can help you cleanse your system easily while also nourishing your body with minerals and vitamins.
I am on a journey to cut down on carbs and include more protein in my diet. I am still researching and trying to find new ways to trick myself into eating more protein. What about you?
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