Increase protein with these 6 lunch ideas
Proteins are called the “building blocks” of life. Our body needs a healthy dose of protein every day to stay away from illnesses and diseases. Research shows that 10%-35% of the calories in our daily diet should be made up of protein. It’s recommended for an average adult to consume 0.8 to 1 gm of protein for every kg of body weight.
It’s necessary to maintain a good amount of protein in your diet. However, too much protein is not healthy – as it will get stored as fat. When you eat more protein, your body actually needs more time to digest than carbohydrates. More than 2 gm of protein per day is considered excessive for your body.
Why is protein necessary for your diet?
- Proteins help in repairing damaged cells and regenerating new ones.
- Proteins help carry oxygen in your blood throughout the body.
- Proteins, when digested, break down into amino acids, which in turn help your body.
- Not having protein can damage the tissues and lead to muscle loss.
What are the sources of high-protein food?
- Nuts and seeds
- Pulses and lentils
- Paneer (cottage cheese)
- Tofu (from soy milk)
- Skinless chicken or turkey
- Egg whites
6 healthy and quick protein-rich lunch ideas to supercharge your body
1.Baked chicken breast
Chicken breast is one of the healthiest options available for weight loss. It comes packed with protein, and since it’s not fried, it is also low in cholesterol. The recipe can be customized and the vegetables can be replaced as per the availability of your local ingredients. The chicken can be cooked in the oven with a blend of all the required spices. Check out the recipe here.
2. Scrambled cottage cheese
Also called “Paneer Bhurji”, it’s one of the easiest Indian recipes to get your daily dose of protein. The paneer can be homemade or store-bought, as per your requirements. It’s a healthy starter, and it can be used as stuffing for your sandwich or wrap. It just requires the right mix of onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and spices. Get the authentic recipe here. Paneer can be replaced with tofu for a vegan option.
3. Slow-cooked shredded chicken
The chicken is slow-cooked in a cooker to ensure you get juicy and tender meat at the end. It is a one-of-a-kind lunch idea that comes with a variety of options to mix and match. The shredded pieces can be used to prepare a tasty salad, or they can be stuffed for sandwiches—the possibilities are endless! It’s recommended not to use frozen meat in the cooker as it could take a lot more time to thaw. The cooked chicken can be stored in airtight containers and used for a week.
4. One-pot lentils
One-pot meals are the go-to option for busy, working professionals as well as people who need to get the goodness of a nourishing meal without breaking a sweat. The recipe is immunity-boosting, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free. Lentils are a well-known source of zinc and vitamin B6. All the ingredients can be cooked in one pot, ensuring minimal cooking and cleaning time.
5. Tofu stir fry
Tofu (also called bean curd) is made from soy milk and is a rich source of amino acids, vitamin A, manganese, and iron. Tofu is the most sought-after substitute for vegan lovers and vegetarians, as it provides a whole protein source without any cholesterol or saturated fats. Check out this effortless and simple lunch idea that leaves you with the satisfaction of eating a hearty meal without compromising on the nutritional value. It can be combined with any locally available fresh vegetable and served with rice.
6. Egg muffin sandwiches
Eggs are always the most versatile ingredient when it comes to preparing high-protein recipes. They can be prepared in a variety of ways—scrambled, benedict, poached etc. People on their fitness journeys swear by eggs for the proteins they offer. A large egg contains 6 gm of protein, and it can be eaten every day. Here is the recipe for a swift way to consume eggs.