Why is protein important?
Protein is essential for our bodies and enables it to undertake a number of tasks that keep us functioning at our best. Protein is used to repair the damage impacting the body every day. It repairs muscles and also builds enzymes, helps regulate hormones as well as provides a helping hand to antibodies used by our immune system. Plus, for a healthy and alert brain, we need to deliver protein to it.
Plus, protein is especially important for younger children, because their bodies are still growing and protein repairs and prepares.
Obviously, there are negative impacts from not eating enough protein, including a sluggish metabolism, moodiness, low energy and an inability to focus. With protein as an essential contributor to our bodies and mental agility, it makes sense to add more protein to our own, and our family’s diet, wherever we can.
How to add protein to your family’s diet?
There are three main meals per day, and two smaller ones for snacking, as opportunities to get protein into our bodies. It’s essential that at every meal protein is included to give the body the best chance of success.
Protein can be found in lean meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, peas and beans. It makes good sense to include a variety of these sources, if you can, to avoid boredom. Additionally, including a variety of proteins means that other essential nutrients and minerals will be delivered to organs and muscles.
Dieticians suggest protein be included at snack times because it ensures a steady supply of energy to muscles and brain. A small protein snack will increase attention and mental performance while also decreasing the need for unhealthy snacks.
A surprising source of protein are beans and peas, which are a nutritious way of getting protein into your diet without meat. Chick peas are a high source of protein, low in cholesterol and saturated fat they make an excellent addition to any meal, particularly lunch and dinner and are a worthy afternoon snack.
Another healthy, nut, dairy and egg free protein alternative is the fava bean, high in protein, vitamins and nutrients – they keep the body functioning as its peak and regulate core functions. Fava beans are also known as broad beans and are high in dietary fibre. These beans are excellent additions to salads, can be mashed together as a potato replacement or, when roasted, can be an excellent addition to the lunch box.
Both chic peas and fava beans help satiety and improve focus, perfect for adults and children alike, who need focussed attention every day.