Protein and it's super power for Women.
Updated: Jan 31
When I used to think of protein, I thought of body builders chugging raw eggs smoothies, eating 3x chickens a day with a side serving of a whole garden of broccoli.
It also conjured up images of men straining to lift ridiculous weights. I therefore associated the two and thought hmm..little old me doesn't need much protein in my diet, I don't want to be bulky...? Plus don’t you fart alot?
Now I know how untrue that is and in fact, harmful advice for Women. And bulky is just another type of beautiful, yes?
Protein is the building blocks of our bodies. Literally, we are made of amino acids that form the basis of all the cells in our bodies. Those cells make up the rest of us - including our muscles. Along with all the amazing stuff at a cellular level, protein also helps with:
Maintenance and growth of muscle
Decrease risk of coronary disease.
Lower blood pressure
Adequate bone density and strength (it makes up about 33% of bone mass)
Assists in weight loss and weight management due to increasing feeling of fullness.
Repair of body tissues - particularly important for the postpartum body
Aids in breast milk production
We especially need protein when we are pregnant and postnatally after birth. During pregnancy, you'll need an extra 25g per day of it, a total of about 70-80g per day.
Women who are breastfeeding need nearly twice as much protein as non pregnant, non nursing women.
Of course, our protein needs as women are dependent on a variety of things; Our activity levels, our age, particularly approaching menopause, require different levels of protein in our diet. There is not a 1 size fits all that works for everyone but it recommends consuming 20-35% of your daily calories from protein each day. If you are curious, here is a free protein calculator. If you need extra help, please reach out.
Good sources of protein are:
Dairy products - milk, yoghurt, cheese, cottage cheese
Lean meats and seafood - chicken, turkey, fish, beef, shrimps, pork
Nuts - Highest protein are almonds, pistachios, peanuts and cashews
Quinoa, lentils, beans, seeds
Vegetables - broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, peas, spinach
It is important to note that not all protein sources are created equal. Animal proteins are complete proteins and many grains and vegetables are incomplete proteins. This means those on a vegan or vegetarian diet require great variety in their protein sources, in order to get the essential amino acids not found in animal products.
If you are looking for high protein meal inspiration, here (INSERT LINK) is my downloadable E-book packed with 52 delicious, high protein recipes. Over 20g protein per recipe, my fitness pal links and kid approved no fuss meals.
So the essential macronutrient that is protein plays a pretty important role for us as women in our different life stages. It is one to include in every meal and by doing so, allowing us to thrive. And if a little flatulence is a by product of having the strength to thrive, I *think* I can handle that (maybe my loved ones won’t. Sorry Josh).