With January bringing with it new year’s resolutions, diets and workout routines, it is often difficult to come to terms with what nutrients we require in order to maintain and enhance a healthy lifestyle. A diet rich in protein is an essential part of a this as this allows the body to grow and repair; if you’re starting 2021 with increased levels of exercise, high-protein foods will allow your muscles to heal and grow post-workout. Although your body is usually good at telling you you’re not getting enough of something, perhaps through a change in mood, weakness, fatigue, hunger or common illness, staying ahead of the game and keeping track of the nutrients you are consuming is definitely the best option.
A minimum of 10% of your daily calories should come from a variety of protein sources, and the NHS recommend 50g of protein per day, however, this amount of protein we need varies from person to person and changes during a lifetime. The NHS provides good general guidance on how much protein to consume, but it must be noted that this does not take into account those who participate in heavy exercise such as weight-training, or those who aim to build a bit more muscle. If you’re a healthy weight and seek to build muscle, aim for a daily protein intake of 1.2-1.4g of protein per KG of bodyweight.
If you’re trying out a vegan diet for the first time, you may find yourself stuck on what new protein sources to opt for, and how much them you need. Here’s an idea of a balanced meal plan to meet the daily protein intake recommendation as a vegan:
Breakfast: 40g oats, 200ml soya milk, 10g pumpkin seeds, banana = 15g protein.
Lunch: 3-bean soup, slice of seeded bread = 15g protein.
Dinner: 140g of tofu and mixed veg stir fry = 18g protein.
If you decide to follow a vegetarian diet, you can add eggs and dairy to your diet of nuts, legumes and beans - this is also a great way of meeting your protein goals. For the days you decide not to go totally meatless, you can incorporate some lean meats and fish into your diet as additional protein sources:
Breakfast: 2 medium eggs, half an avocado and a slice of seeded bread = 17g protein.
Lunch: 40g of halloumi with 40g of pomegranate seeds, serve with rocket and desired salad toppings such as pumpkin seeds (10g) = 20g protein.
Dinner: 120g of prawns and mixed veg stir fry = 17g of protein.
For most, 50g of protein is a realistic and healthy goal; if you’re working out intensely and wish to build muscle, up your intake to reflect this. At Healthy Nibbles, we’ve made it that little bit easier for you to get your protein-fix with our brand-new Protein Box, packed with delicious, high-protein sweet and savoury treats. Whether you’re looking for pre- or post-workout fuel or an easier way to help you hit your desired macros, this box is the perfect addition to any snack cupboard for a clean and healthy 2021. Always make sure you’re incorporating a wide range of foods and nutrients to ensure a well-balanced and healthy diet.