Eat protein enriched foods.
Eating enough protein is so important for the health of our bodies, from our muscles
to our bones, our hair, our nails, and skin.
The protein is in turn made up
of 20 amino acids, protein's building blocks. Nine of these, called essential
amino acids, must be obtained from our diets.
The food we eat provides
two main types of protein:
" Complete protein has abundant amounts
of the nine essential amino acids. Eggs, whole milk, chicken, fish, beef and soy
are all sources of complete protein. Just one serving of chicken or beef (the
size of a deck of cards) meets half of your daily protein needs!
proteins contain some, but not all, the amino acids our bodies eat. Examples of
incomplete proteins include beans (3/4 complete), rice (2/3 complete), and whole
wheat (1/2 complete). Most foods, including dairy products, vegetables, and grains,
contain at least some protein.
good news is that you can get all the amino acids you need by pairing up sources
of incomplete protein. The illustration below shows you how to match up so-called
complimentary foods so that they equal a complete source of protein.
are some common ways people pair up food groups to provide every type of essential
Legume + whole grain = rice and beans
Legume + dairy product
= chili and cheese
Whole grain + diary product = pasta with cheese
product + nuts/seeds = yogurt with sunflower seeds
you get your protein, be aware of what other things come along with it. Many protein-rich
foods are also high in saturated fats and cholesterol, while others have added
health benefits like omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants.