Quality protein is essential for maintaining, repairing and growing muscle tissue, a fact often espoused by body builders and athletes. However, few people discuss its importance in maintaining healthy cellular structures, blood cell production, immune system health, enzyme and hormone production, and keeping our metabolism running at a high rate.

For a strong and healthy body and speedy metabolism, it is ideal to consume some protein at each meal and snack throughout your day. This practice will keep your blood sugar more level and hunger pangs to a minimum, helping to both grow muscle tissue and/or lose body fat, if those are your goals.

Protein can be found in most foods. We are most familiar with meat, however there are  many good quality high protein sources which include eggs, dairy products (whey protein powders, cheeses and yogurt) nuts and seeds (hemp, chia, pumpkin and seed butters), some grains (notably rice protein powders and quinoa), and legumes (all beans, pea protein powders).

Protein powders, found in the Wellness Department, provide your body with easy-to-consume and digestible protein. They can be mixed with water, almond or rice milks, and can be added to smoothies and baked goods. Protein powders require little to no preparation, making them a handy addition to your healthy diet when you don’t have the time or the will to cook!

Mary’s pick:

Mary staff pick 2014 Whey-web

Ergogenics New Zealand Whey Protein Concentrate

This whey concentrate provides me with 24 grams of absorbable protein to help fuel my metabolism and muscle growth. The fact that it comes from grass fed dairy cattle is an extra and important bonus! Add it to crepe and pancake batter to boost your protein in the morning, as well as to your healthful smoothies and post-workout drinks. Delicious.