Column: The power of protein

Commentary by Cory Black

Want a healthy metabolism? Desire healthier hair and smooth skin? Need stronger bones? Essential from everything from skin, bones, muscle and the hormones and enzymes, protein really is the foundation of health and its role often gets a bit overlooked.

Some of its key benefits are its support for a healthy metabolism for more efficient calorie burning throughout the day. We are made up of aminos and it is essential for rebuilding and restoring the body, from bone to muscle to our skin. We get benefits from protein whether we are trying to get stronger, slim down or just feel healthier.

Our body doesn’t store the amino acids we get from protein and we need a fresh supply every day. This is a great example of how all calories are not equal, as a calorie of protein is not treated the same as a carb and fat storage. Protein as well takes longer to break down and digest and helps you feel fuller longer.

As part of a healthy diet, eat a serving of protein with every meal and two to three protein rich snacks through out the day from different sources. Animal proteins such as from eggs, grilled chicken, lean steak, and fish most closely mirror the types of protein our body needs.

Nuts can be a good source for a snack, such as almonds, cashews, peanut butter and almond butter.  Beans and legumes, lentils, black beans, chickpeas and pinto beans can help round out a meal. Greek yogurt and whey protein are healthy dairy sources.

Protein as part of our nutrition made popular when it comes to the latest fad diet or protein shake system, but always has been a foundation of good health. Not just for a leaner you, protein is vital for a healthier you.