Why is protein so important?
You’ve likely come across the fact that the human body is made up of trillions of cells. Well, every single one of those little guys requires protein to form properly and to perform its functions happily. In addition to building bodily tissue (including muscle), protein is also involved in the following processes, and more!
- Transporting nutrients and helping them get into the cells.
- DNA regulation.
- Producing chemical messengers, known as neurotransmitters.
- Creating enzymes that facilitate various processes in the body, such as digestion.
- Maintaining fluid and pH balance.
In addition to its fundamental roles within the body, protein as a nutrient is also a very basic but often overlooked tool in helping us achieve our health and wellness goals, whatever they may be.
Why is it important to eat a high protein breakfast?
Particularly in the morning, eating enough protein helps to promote balanced blood sugar levels throughout the rest of the day, and therefore more sustained and lasting energy. It also helps to regulate our appetite and keep us feeling nice and full between meals and snacks. This is largely due to the fact that protein helps to slow down the rate of our digestion (in a good way). The result? We don’t get those blood sugar spikes and crashes that can leave us with brain fog and hankering for a sugary fix. Chronically low intake of protein can also increase our risk of injuries, an impaired immune system, unwanted weight gain and mood changes. No thanks!
How much protein to aim for in your breakfast
So how much should we be eating? Guidelines suggest eating 0.75-1g of protein per kg of body weight each day. Athletes or people who are very active are recommended to eat closer to 1.3g per kg. It’s important to spread this amount across your meals and snacks throughout the day because the body will only absorb a finite amount of protein at once (i.e. each time we eat). We suggest aiming for approximately 20g at breakfast.
Keep reading for some protein-rich breakfast ideas that will get the job done.
High protein breakfast ideas
- 2 eggs on wholemeal seeded toast with avocado and crumbled feta: 20g protein.
- 1 tub Greek yoghurt with mixed nuts and berries: 17g protein.
- Milk-based smoothie with protein powder and fruit: 25g protein.
- Veggie and cheese omelette with seeded toast: 20g protein.
- Smoked salmon breakfast frittata: 24g protein.