If you’ve been around the health and fitness world for any period of time, you’ll know that protein is must if you are looking to maintain a healthy diet, lose weight or build muscle.
According to NZ registered nutritionist Nikki Hart (MSc Nutritional Science), protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. “It is important for both men and women to achieve a good protein intake,” Hart told us. “Protein can be used as an energy source especially if your intake of carbohydrates is low but the main role of protein is growth and repair. Apart from water, protein is the most abundant substance in the body. Your organs, skin, hair, nails, hormones, enzymes and muscles are all made of protein.”
Hart also says that if you are looking to lose weight, protein is a must. “Protein certainly helps you to stay fuller and this may help you lose weight. And it is evident that Western populations are consuming more energy-dense, processed foods and this can dilute the protein quality of the diet.”
So what’s the best way to ensure you are getting enough protein in your daily diet? Hart says that poultry, milk, fish, seafood and beef are great great sources of protein, with most of the average person’s protein intake coming from these sources. If you are vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free or just looking to cut down on your meat or dairy intake, the good news is that drinking a high protein smoothie for breakfast every morning or before you hit the gym can be a great way to meet your daily protein intake.
And YES, it is possible to make a protein rich smoothie without spending hundreds of dollars on expensive protein powders – the key is simply in choosing the right ingredients.