People of all ages need protein in their diet to live a happy, healthy life. But did you know that as we age, our nutritional needs change? So, here’s why you should add more protein to your daily meals.
1. Stay Healthy
As we get older, our bodies process nutrients more slowly, and with less efficiency. This means you may need more protein than you did when you were younger. A protein-rich diet will help with maintaining muscle mass, muscle strength and bone health. All of which are important for keeping active and staying independent.
2. Speed Up Your Recovery
Aging can also mean a few extra bumps or bruises, or trips to the hospital. Amino acids found in natural sources of protein help tissue regeneration, as well as healing damaged muscle. Whether you’re healing from a sprained ankle or a major surgery, eating lots of protein can help speed up your recovery.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Staying active can be difficult for older adults. Although exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight, a high-protein diet can help too. Protein keeps us fuller for longer, meaning we reach for snacks less. Eating extra protein can also speed up our metabolism, helping us burn fat faster.
Tips For Adding Protein to Your Diet
If I eat one high-protein meal a week, that’s enough, right? Well, not quite! Our bodies can’t store protein for later. So, eating protein every day is the easiest way to be at your best.
For breakfast try:
- Eggs, poached, scrambled, or boiled
- Dairy, a glass of milk or a bowl of cereal
- Greek yoghurt with oats and honey
For a protein-packed lunch:
- Nuts or chickpeas in a fresh salad
- Chicken or turkey on a sandwich or in a bread roll
For a delicious, protein-filled dinner:
- Lean meat such as beef, lamb, or pork with veggies
- Fish or crustaceans such as salmon, prawns, or mussels with a salad
Supplements such as protein shakes can be helpful, but they don’t provide the same nutrients found in fresh food. High-protein meats and veggies are usually also rich in good fats and essential vitamins to support a balanced diet.
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