When it comes to fitness, building muscle, and nutrition, protein is key for all of these things. However, I realize that most people think that they have to eat a bunch of meat in order to get the protein needed. I know there are folks out there that don’t eat meat and then think they can’t get involved in a fitness program that builds muscle. Well, I’m here to let you know that this isn’t the case. There are plenty of non-meat foods that are high in protein and go well on a nutrition plan that focuses on building muscle.
Protein is incredibly important for your body and it’s one of the basic building blocks for all life. Every single cell in your body uses protein to survive. This is why no matter what kind of protein it is, your body can use it for it’s nutrition needs. You need protein in order to repair and rebuild muscle and that’s why it’s key in any fitness program.
Another important thing to note about protein is that they are made up of chains of amino acids and these are the key to your cells being healthy and having the ability to repair themselves when damaged. The three main amino acids you’ll find in protein include essential amino acids, conditional amino acids, and nonessential amino acids. The conditional ones are needed when you get sick, the nonessentials are made by your body from all of the essential amino acids that are in the protein that you eat. Your body does not make its own essesntial amino acids. This is why you need them in your nutrition plan.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the top non-meat foods that are very high in protein and are ones that you might want to add to your diet if you haven’t already.
Many people never think of adding this to their nutrition plan, however, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to be able to use it and enjoy it in your food. Tofu is made from soybeans and is often used as a substitute to meat. It is a huge source of protein an it can be cooked in a variety of different ways and you can use different spices to create a great tasting dish without meat. Tofu is great for building muscle and 100 grams gives you 15% of your daily protein and 35% of your daily calcium requirement.
These sea creatures don’t often get added to many menus, but they should be considered because they are packed full of proteins. In fact 100 grams of oysters give you 9 grams of protein and they also are full of vitamin B12 which creates energy and can even lower your cholesterol. Also, some believe that eating oysters can help to protect you against some types of cancer.
If you love cheeses but not all the fat in it, then cottage cheese is the ideal substitute. Cottage cheese is filled with protein and just one cup of it will give you more than 10% of your daily protein needs. Cottage cheese also contains vitamin B12 and calcium. It’s great to eat alone, add fruit or veggies to it or add it to your salad.
The reason why Greek yogurt is on this list is because regular yogurt usually has more sugar in it and Greek yogurt has more proteins and nutrition in it than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is great for those who are trying to burn off fat and increase their muscle mass. Greek yogurt is thicker and it’s great when you add cereal, oats, nuts, and fruits to it. It also makes great smoothies. You get 10 grams of protein in 100 grams of this yogurt.
For too long eggs have been given a bad rap and it’s time we give them the credit they deserve. Eggs are the ideal way in which you can boost your intake of protein. Eggs are designed naturally to contain the nutrition that all living things need to live because they contain all the nutrients that a chick need to grow and we can get all that same goodness when we eat eggs. No matter how you prepare them, you’ll get plenty of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Just 100 grams of eggs you get 13 grams of protein.
Love cheese and don’t want to cut it out of your diet because of the fat content? Well, you don’t have to if you add Swiss cheese to your nutrition plan. Swiss cheese has a huge amount of protein in it and it can give you nearly 50% of your daily requirements of protein in just one 100 gram serving. You simply can’t go wrong with Swiss cheese.
Any good nutrition plan needs to include some fish and the best of this category would have to be salmon. It is truly one of the best fish in the sea for nutrition. It also contains high amounts of fatty acids and omega 3 and these are great for both your bones and your skin. Salmon is also super high in protein content and is a great meat substitute. Salmon is also great for your heart, reduces cholesterol lowering your chance of getting a heart attack. The fatty acids also help your brain and enables you to remember things better and help you function better on a daily basis.
Many people overlook these great little seeds and tend to eat sunflower seeds instead. However, if you do, you’re missing out on a great tasting healthy snack that can also help to build muscle. These great little seeds are full of magnesium, zinc, and other important dietary metals. You’ll also be surprised to find out that one good sized serving gives you 38% of your daily protein requirements. They also tend to help you sleep better if you eat some before retiring because they contain melatonin.
Almonds and Beans
Last but not least on my list would be almonds and all kinds of beans. Almonds to start with are a wonderful source of protein and they can give you up to 50% of the protein required on a daily basis when you eat 100 gram portions. Almonds make great snacks as well as great additions to salads and other food dishes.
All beans will help boost your level of protein so eat your favorite beans at lunch and dinner as main dishes or side dishes. However you like eating them make sure to keep them as a stable in your nutrition plan.