Most people know protein as an important component for muscle growth, but it is necessary for much more than that. Protein is kind of like the master building block for the body and supports many vital functions including the immune system, digestion, blood sugar regulation, and more.
When choosing sources of animal protein, it’s important to opt for grass-fed and pasture-raised as often as possible. Why? Well, for one, animals raised in those environments have access to more complete and natural diets. Maybe you’ve noticed on egg cartons the words “vegetarian fed” or seen the difference in eggs produced by vegetarian vs grass-fed chickens. The vegetarian eggs are pale yellow and mild in flavor in comparison to the natural eggs which are vibrant orange and taste wonderful. Part of the reason for this is that chickens are omnivores and meant to consume bugs in addition to grasses, etc. Animals given a full spectrum of nutrients provide more nutrition to us!
Here are some of protein’s roles:
• increases satiety
• building blocks of enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, etc.
• building blocks of muscles, organs, skin, etc.
Appropriate sources of protein include:
• beans and legumes
• eggs from pasture-raised chickens
• nitrate-/nitrite-free meat from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals
• sprouted grains
• seeds like quinoa
• full-fat yogurt/cottage cheese