High Protein Power Snacks

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Protein has an incredible number of functions in the human body. Lets take a look…

  • Forms your hair & nails from Keratin
  • Boosts immunity by creating antibodies (these bad boys circulate in your blood to protect you from viruses)
  • Build muscle fibers in the form of Myoglobin & Elastin
  • Form Hemoglobin – a protein that binds with Iron and carries oxygen around you body
  • Form Enzymes. These are responsible for making just about everything in your body happen (Breakdown food to be absorbed, to regulate the entry of nutrients through cell walls, and the removal of waste-products; to grow, develop, move, reproduce…you get the point).
    • Did you know… about half of the dietary protein you eat every day is used to make enzymes. These enzymes also need specific vitamin and minerals to function – another reason to eat nutrient dense foods.
  • A part of your DNA in the nucleus of every cell in your body!

Now that’s all great, but often what makes the biggest impact is the difference we can actually feel. When we eat protein, it gives us energy and helps keep us full longer because it takes longer to digest. Thankfully, we can find protein in many foods including:

  • meat -think chicken, beef, pork, etc.
  • seafood – fish, scallops, shrimp, muscles, etc.
  • legumes – beans & peas
  • grains – quinoa, millet, rice, wheat, spelt etc.
  • Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Even some fruits & vegetables!

The Institute of Medicine recommends .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, here is a way of estimating what your specific protein requirements are depending on your activity level:

Activity level

Protein needs (grams)
Sedentary Weight in pounds X .4

Active

Weight in pounds. X .6
Competitive athlete Weight in pounds X .75
Light body-builder Weight in pounds X .85

Women who are breastfeeding need almost two times as much protein as non-pregnant, non-nursing women. Protein is an important component of breast milk, consuming plenty of protein can help maximize your milk supply, which will help your infant’s growth and development.

The recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of protein for pregnant and nursing women is 71 grams per day, while the RDA for non-pregnant, non-nursing women is 46 grams of protein each day. Daily RDAs are determined using 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, a 145-pound breastfeeding woman would need about 73 grams of protein each day.

Choosing healthy, safe high-protein foods at each meal or snack can help you meet your protein needs during lactation, pregnancy, and general day to day.

 

Here are some great snacks that you can make ahead so they are always available. (Bonus: many are one handed making then even better for nursing!)

You can also keep it super simple and stick with some classics:

  • Ants on a log – celery with peanut (or any nut) butter and raisins
  • Apple with almonds (or nut butter)
  • hard boiled eggs
  • hummus and veggies
  • veggies dipped in nut butter

What are your favourite high protein snacks? My boys go nuts for hummus and veggies – i’ve even been known to make this for dinner on super hot nights when the last thing you want is more heat in the house!

Veggies & Hummus

We also love my PB & J Energy Bites to travel or a pick me up during a long hike!

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