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Power of  Protein

Salmon
Image by Mark DeYoung
Almonds
Protein is the body's most important building block.
Get the REAL Break Down on Protein

The word protein comes from the Greek word proteos, meaning the "first one" or the "most important one". Unfortunately, experts have found that up to 38% of adult Males and 41% of adult females are deficient in protein! 

From a structural standpoint, amino acids are needed to fuel and support the musculoskeletal system as well as on a tissue and cellular level. It is important to note that amino acids act as a major building block for almost every biological process in the body. For instance; amino acids are also the building blocks of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. For this reason, individuals who are deficient in protein are also deficient in neurotransmitters that can drive hunger and cravings leading to weight gain and can even impact mood and sleep. Amino acids are also a major component of antibodies needed for immune function so it is ideal to ensure proper protein intake to support immune function.

As a dietitan, when people ask how to lose weight, curb sugar cravings, stop snacking, etc, the first thing I tell them is to aim for 100gm of protein a day, and chances are a lot of the other stuff will resolve on its own.

Choosing a Protein Powder

The type of protein powder you choose depends on your dietary needs, health goals, and personal preferences, such as:

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Glass of Milk
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Plant-Based

These can also be suitable for people following a dairy-free diet or those who have trouble digesting dairy or lactose.

Whey

Whey is a milk-based protein that’s quickly and easily digested and absorbed.

Casein
 
Casein is a protein in milk that is digested and absorbed more slowly, which can help you feel full longer, which helps reduce your appetite.
Egg White

Egg white protein is a great alternative to whey or casein for those allergic to dairy.

Collagen

Collagen is a component of muscle, and supplementing with it may help stimulate muscle growth.  Its also great for skin and nails.

Glass of Milk

Protein Guidelines

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In lamens terms, this is the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick — not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.  I recommend a range of 0.8-1.4 grams or protein per kilogram of body weight.

Example:  A 150 pound woman / 2.2 = 68.2kg
                  68.2 x 0.8 = 54.5 gm of protein needed for basic needs.
                  68.2 x 1.4 = 95gm of protein.

A 150# woman would need a range of 55-98gm of protein.  Personally, here I would recommend the upper 25% of this range, which would give a range of 75-95gm of protein per day.

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CHOICE
PROTEIN POWDER

Where you’re trying to meet the protein range above or build lean muscle mass, supplements can be an easy way to increase your protein intake.  There is a lot of information out there, and the vast number of protein supplements on the market can make the task of choosing one daunting, however, it also means that there are likely several options that will work for you, no matter your dietary preferences or restrictions.

CLICK THROUGH TO VIEW FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN CHOOSING A PROTEIN POWDER 

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Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is plant pollen that’s picked up by honeybees and brought back to the hive to be packed and used as a food source for the colony. As it turns out, the characteristics and nutrition of bee pollen depend on the plant from which it was gathered.

 

Composition

  • Protein: nearly half of its protein content is in the form of free amino acids, which means it can immediately be used by the body. 

  • Rich source of vitamins especially high in B-complex

  • High in antioxidants which are important for protecting the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals

  • Contains a number of enzymes makin git beneficial for promoting metabolism and digestion.

Health Benefits

Bee pollen contains various vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids derived from various plant pollens. It is high in flavonoids (antioxidants), high in protein, and contains more than 96 essential nutrients.​​

  • Reduces inflammation with it's high concentration of flavonoids and phenolic compounds

  • Acts as an antioxidant

  • Protects against liver toxicity

  • Boosts the immune system

  • Relieves menopausal symptoms

  • Helps relieve stress due to its high concentration of B vitamins

  • Promotes healing and allergy defense​​

 

Storage

It is best to buy bee pollen in smaller quantities since it loses its potency fairly quickly at room temperature. Pollen is best stored in a refrigerator. But a cool, dark place is also okay. For longer storage periods, Freezing the pollen is a good option.

 

How to Enjoy

Ground pollen can be mixed with honey, cottage cheese or yogurt in a 1:1 to 1:4 ratio — this creates a mixed pollen solution that can be ingested throughout the day. If you’re trying to combat a nutrient deficiency, allergies, inflammation, stress or illness, take one teaspoon of mixed pollen three times a day.

It is recommended to begin slowly by starting with ¼ teaspoon daily, and gradually increasing your dosage to 1-2 tablespoons.

[If you are allergic to bees or honey, please be caution and talk to your doctor before consuming bee pollen.]

Almonds

REAL Challenge

Try one intentional healthy protein ADD each day for a full week. Assess how it impacts your hunger cues. 

 

Add greek yogurt or beans to meals.  

Add chopped almonds on a salad.

Switch out rice for quinoa. 

Add toasted pecans to oatmeal.

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