As a college student on a budget, I have found that my protein intake has significantly reduced over the last couple of years. I realized I wasn’t getting enough protein when my workout fatigue took days, sometimes a week, to subside. My muscles were rebuilding and repairing very slowly with the limited amount of protein I was consuming. To fix this, I started doing some research and learned just how vital protein is to our bodies.
So, what does protein do for our bodies anyways? Protein is the driving force in the maintenance and repair of our cells. Quite simply, protein rebuilds and fuels our cells, giving us energy to power our bodies. In addition to rebuilding and repairing our muscles, protein also helps our bodies to oxygenate, digest food and regulate hormones.
Because our bodies do not store protein, it is essential that we consume protein daily to help our bodies to stay in shape. Protein enables our bodies to recover quickly after exercise or injury, build and maintain lean muscle, maintain a healthy weight and suppress hunger. Some common examples of foods high in protein include eggs, almonds, peanuts, chicken breasts, oats, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, milk, broccoli, lean beef, tuna, quinoa, lentils, Ezekiel bread, pumpkin seeds, turkey breast, fish and brussel sprouts.