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PROTEIN

PACKED SNACKS

By Art Waters, MS, NSCA-CSCS, NASM-CES

Whether you are looking to lose weight, pack on muscle or simply practice a healthy lifestyle, you should regularly consume quality protein rich foods. They help us feel full for longer, regulate our blood sugar, and provide the building blocks for many cells in our bodies. Since our lives tend to be busy, it may seem difficult to regularly prepare traditional foods such as chicken, beef or fish. The good news is there are many healthy snack alternatives that provide protein, which take little or no preparation. Listed below are protein rich snacks that are good when you are on the go! EGGS received a bad rap for many years because of their high level of cholesterol. However, there has been research that has since suggested that eating 1-2 eggs per day will not increase your risk of heart disease. Eggs have 6-7 grams of protein per large egg and contain all of the essential amino acids required by humans. Eggs are filled with vitamins including, A (reduces common eye disorders ), D (important for bone growth), E/ Tocopherol (protects from free-radicals ), B1/Thiamine (helps convert carbohydrates into energy), B2/Riboflavin (helps in red blood cell production), B6 (helps your immune system by creating antibodies), Folate (helps create new healthy cells), B12 (key in normal functioning of brain and nervous system, and B5/Pantothenic Acid (helps break down carbohydrates). Eggs contain many minerals such as Iron (carrier of oxygen throughout the body), Phosphorus (helps build strong bones and teeth), and Selenium (rids the body of free radicals). Prepare hard-boiled eggs for a transportable snack as follows: Fill pot with water until it reaches 1 inch above eggs, boil, once boiling remove immediately from heat, cover and let sit for 15 min, put eggs in ice water until cooled. You may consider buying cage-free or free-range eggs. GREEK YOGURT is a thick and rich cousin of traditional yogurt. It contains 12-20 grams of protein per serving and is lower in sodium than traditional yogurt. It is a good source of potassium (needed for nerve and muscle cells to function properly), calcium (strong 56 | TheVillageJournal.com

bones and teeth) and live/active cultures (provide good bacteria for the digestive tract, which helps the immune system). Be sure to get the non-fat or low-fat versions. Some brands to consider are Fage, Chobani and Voskos. STRING CHEESE is very easy to transport and requires no preparation. Each stick has 6-10 grams of protein and is a good source of calcium. Look for fat-free or low-fat cheese. COTTAGE CHEESE contains casein, a milk protein, which your body digests at a slower rate than other proteins so it will make you feel full for longer. It packs 14 grams of protein per ½ cup and is also a good source of calcium. Individuals looking to add muscle mass should consider eating a serving before bed because much of muscle repair occurs during sleep and casein releases a slow steady dose of protein while your body is rebuilding. Consider the fat-free and low-fat types. NUTS, such as raw walnuts and almonds, are a good non-dairy source of protein (5-8 grams per serving), omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats that help keep normal heart rhythms), fiber (helps lower cholesterol, keeps you full, cleanses your digestive system), Vitamin E, Plant sterols (can help lower cholesterol), L-Arganine (helps the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots), and manganese (helps create connective tissue and destroy free radicals). Be sure to utilize portion control, especially if you are looking to lose weight because nuts are very calorically dense. LEGUMES, like lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, etc., are another good nondairy source of protein (6-10grams per ½ cup cooked). They are high in fiber, low in fat, good source of thiamin, folate, iron, magnesium (helps keep blood pressure normal, bones strong and heart in a normal rhythm), phosphorus, zinc (helps boost immune system), copper (helps generate hemoglobin-the molecule in red blood

Volume 8 Issue 4  

The Village Journal

Volume 8 Issue 4  

The Village Journal

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