“We need protein!” It is pretty fair to say that most people who follow a healthy lifestyle and workout a lot utter that cry quite often. It doesn’t matter if you are a vegan or vegetarian either; protein is essential to those of us looking to maintain a lean, muscular body or those looking to add muscle size.
The body breaks down protein into essential amino acids that help with a huge number of processes within the body. Along with maintaining muscles and helping with muscle repair protein is also important to produce enzymes and hormones, helps with muscle contractions, resists diseases, and produces energy among other things.
So obviously we need it and the way to get it is by consuming protein rich foods. Of course many of us don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen so we look for ways to save time and shortcut our preparation time. Hopefully this list will help!
Easy Prep Protein Rich Foods
- Tuna – This is always the top of the list for easy to prepare and high protein foods. A can of tuna packs a whopping 42 grams of protein on average. Use a can opener, drain the water, and you are ready to go. You can add some low fat mayo and sliced pickles to go with whole wheat bread for a sandwich or on crackers. Or you can make tuna salad by mixing it with spinach or lettuce. Tuna can be quickly mixed in with other ingredients to make a creamy, meat sauce to cover over whole grain pasta. The great thing is you don’t have to cook the tuna!
- Eggs – So simple and so fast! Eggs can be cooked up into a quick omelet with some veggies and cheese or scrambled by themselves in just a few minutes. Also if you have about thirty minutes you can hard-boil a dozen eggs and have them available for breakfast or lunch with peeling them being the only serious step.
- Cottage Cheese – There is nothing quicker to prepare the low fat cottage cheese. You just open the container and dive right in to one of the best protein rich foods around. For those people who like a little more flavor you just have to mix in some honey. Or you can slice in fresh fruit like a banana or grapes for some healthy carb additions.
- Nuts – Nuts are one of those protein rich foods people easily forget about, but you shouldn’t. They make a great addition to snacks when you need to get a little protein in. Mix in some dried fruit like raisins with cashews and almonds for a protein rich trail mix that is great to munch on and takes minutes to prepare.
- Shakes – Protein shakes have to top the list of protein rich foods. Some people don’t always seem to think of a shake as food but the reply to that is, “You’re doing it wrong.” Shakes can be delicious and filling when you add more things into them. There is a reason places like Juice Shack are always so busy. They mix up great tasting, nutrient filled shakes in minutes. You can do it at home too with a blender, frozen fruits, fresh fruits, milk, and protein powder. Just don’t forget to close the lid before you hit the power!