If you’re trying to shed weight, make sure you have put the right proteins on your menu. Foods that are high in protein take longer to digest and metabolize which means your end up burning more calories trying to process them. Not only that, it also keeps you fuller for longer. Try these protein hits for maximum weight loss benefits.
Protein per egg: 6 grams
Although not a vegetable, eggs are one of your most reliable protein options. With 6 grams of protein per egg, they are the perfect food all year round. Egg protein feeds your muscles, boosts your metabolism and keeps your hunger under control, helping weight loss. Plus, eggs contain a number of health-beneficial and flat-belly nutrients including choline, a major fat-burning nutrient that also plays an important role in brain health.
Protein per cup: 8 grams
There are over 1,400 quinoa products currently on the market. This ancient grain is higher in protein than most other grains, comprising a large amount of heart-healthy unsaturated fats and is also a great source of fiber, a nutrient that can help you feel fuller, longer. In addition, the mild-tasting grain is also a rich source of the amino acid L-arginine, which has been shown to promote muscle over fat gain in animal studies.
- Hemp Seed
Protein in 2 tablespoons: 7 grams
The hemp seed is increasingly gaining recognition as an extremely beneficial nutrient. Studies suggest that hemp seeds can fight heart disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome, likely because they’re rich in protein, fiber and omega-3s.
- Ezekiel Bread
Protein in 2 slices: 8 grams
Made with sprouted grains, wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, Ezekiel Bread contains 18 amino acids including all of the nine essential amino acids. That’s something most other bread products can’t claim.
Protein per cup: 9.3 grams
Quinoa isn’t the only ancient grain that’s loaded with nutritional value. Amaranth, a naturally gluten-free seed, is a good source of digestion-aiding fiber, as well as calcium and biceps-building iron.
- Chia Seeds
Protein in 2 tablespoons: 5 grams
Though chia seeds aren’t packed with much protein, they do contain all nine essential amino acids, which means they’re easily converted by the body into muscle. Thanks to the seeds’ blood-sugar stabilizing ratio of satiating protein, fats and fiber, they’re the perfect addition to your diet, and can help you lose inches. Plus, the specific type of omega-3s found in chia seeds, can decrease the risk of heart disease, according to a Pennsylvania State University study.
Protein in ½ cup (cooked): 3 grams
Every half-cup serving of this gluten-free seed packs three grams of protein, two grams of belly-flattening fiber (more than you’ll find in oatmeal) and half the day’s magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to muscle development and carb metabolism. What’s more, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, higher magnesium intake was linked to lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin, indicators of fat and weight gain.
Protein in 2 tablespoons: 2.2 grams
Finally, garbanzo beans are high in lysine, and tahini is a rich source of the amino acid methionine. When consumed separately, these foods are incomplete proteins, but when combined together to make hummus, the two create a complete protein.