While often overlooked, protein is one of the body’s most vital nutrients. It’s what we’re made of, and makes strong and our bodies efficient. Here are some great suggestions on keeping it coming, in wholesome, quality ways. This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins, but the opinions expressed are my own.
By Danielle, contributing writer
It’s not easy to find a healthy protein these days, as food producers often focus more on quantity than what’s best for health. For instance, whey (milk protein) that comes from conventionally raised cows often lacks nutrients and can be full of unhealthy pesticides and antibiotics. It is important to use quality whey from cows that are pastured, grass-fed and supplemented with organic food.
I’ve looked high and low for high-quality protein powder. I have found everything I was looking for and more in the products from Vital Proteins.
Why We Love It
Vital Protein powders are so much more than just protein supplements. Their products contain essential collagen, and many other whole-health benefits, including:
- No added sugars
- Organic, grass-fed whey
- Amino Acids – These building blocks of all protein and muscles are added to this protein powder.
- Gluten free
- Probiotics – Essential good bacteria for your immune and digestive system.
- Because you can read all the ingredients and they aren’t three pages long:
Whey Protein Concentrate (Milk), Collagen Peptides, Organic Banana, Organic Ceylon Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean Powder, Bacillus Coagulans, Rooster Comb Extract (Hyaluronic Acid)
- Taste – they come in yummy flavors, like this Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey Protein
How to Use Healthy Protein Everyday
Getting enough protein in your diet daily can be tough. This is where healthy protein powder can come to the rescue. Pastured, grass-fed and organic is what you are looking for when searching for healthy animal protein products. It’s not always possible to whip up a grass-fed cheeseburger any time of the day, so you need something else in your arsenal.
Since I know you probably have about 5 minutes to spare a day just like I do, here is a quick list of ideas to use protein powder:
- Make protein balls
- Protein smoothies, shakes, and juices
- Make in individual baggies for on-the-go smoothies with a water bottle
- Bake protein brownies
- Use in pancake or waffle mixes
- Add to baked goods (banana bread would be amazing!)
- Mix a teaspoon in with your hot cocoa or even coffee
How Protein Helps You
Protein is the building block of your cells. It is used to repair and build all your tissues. Most don’t realize that not only is protein essential for your muscles, it’s also essential for your skin, bones, cartilage, and blood. Protein is required by your body to manufacture enzymes, hormones and the chemicals that run your body’s systems.
Amino acids come together to create a complete protein which your body can use to repair and build cells. Amino acids are not made by the body, so must be consumed through food.
Collagen is the protein building block of all your connective tissues, including your bones, muscles, skin, hair, nails, and tendons. Yes, it’s that important. It plays an important role in the replacement of dead skin, hair and nail cells. In fact, around 30% of the protein in our bodies is collagen.
Collagen production declines with age, making it even more important to supplement as we get older. Collagen can also help prevent stretch marks, as well as help with a number of postpartum issues. Vital Proteins has a number of collagen products to supplement for women.
Protein Powerhouse Recipes
Nourish and fuel your body this holiday season with these delicious and easy protein recipes.
The Ultimate Banana Protein Smoothie
- 2 tablespoons of Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey Protein
- 2 small bananas
- 1 1/2 cups of almond milk
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Basically, blend all this greatness up. For an added protein (and taste) boost, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Protein Bites
- 1 cup oatmeal or rolled oats
- 3/4 cup Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey Protein
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
- 2 tablespoons of honey or raw maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond (or other) milk
Combine oatmeal or oats, protein powder, cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in peanut butter, and slowly add milk. Roll into balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated and enjoy within one week.
Do you supplement your whole food diet with protein? What are your go-to recipes?
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