When you’re looking to bulk up in the gym, or simply keep up a healthy diet, protein is essential as it supports muscle growth and repair. Sports nutrition drinks, in particular protein shakes, have become incredibly popular in recent years, with around £260m spent on them last year. But while there is no denying the convenience of a shake, it’s quite possible to get a protein hit through your diet alone. Here are five recipes you might want to try if you’re looking to get a delicious yet healthy protein hit:
Chicken and sweet potato
When it comes to foods that are naturally high in protein, one of the best options is chicken breast – you’re looking at around 20g of protein per 100g. Marinate it with some oil and herbs, try stuffing with couscous, feta cheese and kalamata olives or maybe combine with some capers, shallots and seasoning to make burger patties. If you’re looking for a side dish then opt for sweet potato. As well as being an excellent source of high-quality carbohydrates, sweet potatoes are packed full of fibre as well as vitamins A, C and B6.
Wholemeal pasta and tuna
A favourite with those looking for a healthy, protein-packed dish has to be tuna. You’re looking at about 30g of protein per 100g of tuna. An affordable and effective way to introduce more protein into your diet, tuna goes perfectly with whole wheat pasta to create a delicious meal. Rustling up a basic tomato sauce with garlic, onion, oregano, tinned tomatoes, some olive oil and basil is easy. Throw in some chilli powder or flakes if you’d like a bit of a kick.
There are about 20g of protein per 100g of salmon and although salmon steaks can be expensive, it’s a great way to treat yourself and let’s not forget about the punch salmon packs when it comes to vitamins B6 and B12. A soy sauce and ginger marinade is sure to be a winner, while you could go down the route of tomatoes, carrot and fresh parsley with a cayenne pepper and paprika kick.
Get a lean, top round beef steak on the table this evening if you want to pack roughly 25g of protein per 100g of meat into your diet. This cut is particularly popular with bodybuilders due to its high protein/low fat balance. Fill up your plate with some steamed veg to have a meal fit for a king.
The humble omelette
While it might not take the grand prize on this year’s Masterchef competition, there is no denying the majesty of an omelette. And one of the best things about it – it’s quick. Real quick. You can knock up a delicious, protein-filled version in minutes. From a protein point of view you’re looking at about 6g per egg, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Throw in some avocado and perhaps some tuna too. Enjoy!