The importance of protein – Matt Roberts
I’ve been helping people with their exercise and nutrition for over 20 years now and one thing I always set a precedent on is helping them find ways of keeping their diet varied and nutritious with a wide range of healthy foods. Sticking to the basics is always something I like to stress and one key principle to any good diet is to find ways to meet your protein needs.
If you didn’t know already, protein is a crucial part of a number of key processes in the body. For example, it helps synthesize important hormones, including ones that make us happy and relaxed, it supports our immune system and boosts our metabolism which helps us lose fat and stay lean for life. And perhaps most importantly it helps to build and repair almost every tissue in our body.
Depending on your goals, the amount of protein a person needs to consume can vary from anything upward of 60 grams per day with some athletes needing well over 100 grams. For the everyday person this equates to roughly 15-20 grams of protein per meal (based on 3-4 meals a day) which in food terms amounts to one average sized chicken breast.
The way our body works means its best to try and eat a portion of protein with every meal and sometimes as snacks throughout the day rather than in one big portion. There are plenty of good whole food options available to us in order to meet our daily needs (think lean meats, fish and eggs). However, for my clients that follow a plant based diet it can sometimes be a struggle to meet their daily requirements as their food options will have significantly less protein than that provided by lean meats and fish. This is where I like to suggest the use of a vegetable based protein powder like Naturya’s Hemp protein. This is a great product that can deliver as much as 20% of a person’s daily protein requirements per serving. In addition to this it’s also a great source of magnesium and iron which can help my clients feel more energized and mentally alert.
As I mentioned before, ideally I want all my clients to be eating protein with every meal but even for the meat eaters this can initially be a struggle and no meal time stands out more in this regard than breakfast. Helping my clients find ways to address this is often a focus for me as this is one of the most beneficial times of the day to have a solid serving of protein (protein consumption at breakfast will help to regulate appetite for the rest of the day).
In theory there’s no reason why a healthy breakfast should look any different from a healthy lunch or dinner where we build a meal around a protein source. In reality, however, many people struggle with this, both from a mindset viewpoint (eating certain foods in the morning can feel too alien) and from a time perspective (most people need something quick and easy). This often means they turn to breakfast choices which end up having very little protein content i.e. toast, cereal and porridge.
This is where a product like Naturya’s Hemp protein fits in perfectly (both for meat eaters and non-meat eaters) as it can be easily added to other ingredients to create a healthy, nutritious and protein providing breakfast smoothie or shake. Naturya’s Hemp is cold pressed and gently milled to provide a fine, protein dense powder with a natural earthy flavor and mixes really well when creating smoothies like the recipe I’ve provided below.
I also like to encourage my clients to experiment with recipes like this and inspire them to use other great products from Naturya’s range that will help to provide even more key nutrients to their diet. For example, by adding Naturya Organic Chia Seeds they can boost their intake of calcium and fibre or they might use Naturya’s Fairtrade and organic Cacao powder for a more indulgent flavor that is full of zinc, magnesium and copper.
Starting with, and building upon the basics will mean you have a great foundation to healthy way of life. Having a good source of protein with every meal is an essential part of this foundation so why not start today and make a nutritious protein providing shake for your breakfast.
Naturya Breakfast Protein Shake
1 x serving (15g) Naturya Hemp Protein Powder
1 x half of an avocado
2 x tablespoons of yogurt (Greek, Coconut or Plant)
1 x banana
1 x cup almond milk
2 x Medjool dates
1 x heaped teaspoon of almond butter
Sprinkle Natuyra Chia Seeds & Goji Berries on top & enjoy!