To maintain a fit and healthy body you’re going to need protein. You can go to the gym and lift heavy weights or run hundreds of kilometres every day, but without a protein-rich diet you can kiss goodbye to any serious muscle or performance gains.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to dive into the world of manufactured supplements such as whey protein. Of course, these can help, but supplements are expensive and picking the right ones can be confusing. So, what do you do?
Well, there’s an easier way - just fill your shopping trolley or basket with high protein foods. As well as being far more practical for everyday life, choosing food products allows you to become more creative in the kitchen, too.
Here’s a quick-fire guide to the foods that pack the biggest punch of protein. You can add them all to your box at the bottom.
An obvious choice, but chicken breast has long been associated with muscle building thanks to its high protein content. Its versatility means that it can be used in a number of tasty recipes.
You want to look for lean cuts such as loin when it comes to steak. They have far more protein per gram than those that have a high fat content in or around the beef. Just don’t overcook it, as you’ll remove all of the goodness.
Like chicken, turkey breast is packed with protein. Thinly sliced cuts make for a great sandwich filling, especially when it’s joined by some crunchy, leafy greens and freshly cut avocado.
If you’re living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you can ditch the meat in favour of some plant-based tofu. It’s a great source of protein and works well in curries, baked with a little garlic and olive oil or even in a smoothie.
Used as a base for a wide variety of dishes and recipes, lentils are unsung protein heroes. Pair them with meat, poultry, fish or veggies, and you’ve got a deliciously healthy meal that will also build muscles.
The humble egg gives you a protein boost whenever you need it. You can boil, fry, scramble, poach or place it in lots of dishes whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Why the Greek variety? On average, it has more than double the protein of other yoghurts. It’s also full of healthy bacteria that will help to maintain a healthy gut.
It doesn’t matter if it’s tinned or in steak form, tuna will always deliver a delicious dose of protein. This means you can be creative with how you cook or use it in recipes.
With its omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is much more than a great source of protein. It’s packed full of nutrients that can assist with a balanced diet and it tastes great, too.
Though it may not look like it’ll be top of the athlete’s shopping list, quinoa is an understated protein champion. Containing all nine amino-acids makes it a 'complete' protein and is superb at building muscle.