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What are the top sources of protein for a balanced diet?

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Carbohydrates, fats and protein; all three are key to a balanced and healthy diet. Think of them as the ‘big three’ that you need to consume a good amount of regularly.

They’re classed as ‘macronutrients’ and one of the reasons they’re so important is that they give you energy*. Your body draws on stored carbohydrates and fat when energy levels are low, but your body doesn’t store protein. So it’s especially important you consume top sources of protein regularly to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet. Of course, to do that you need to know your protein options.

Where does protein come from?

Protein comes from a variety of sources, including meat milk, fish, soy and eggs, plus beans, legumes and nut butters. Another good source of protein is dairy milk as it’s a complete protein (contains all the essential amino acids for your body).

But what if you’re vegetarian, vegan or lactose intolerant?

If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant or don’t like the taste of dairy milk, replacing milk with a protein source is something to be mindful of. Almond milk can help with this. A 200ml serving of our Almond Breeze® Original or Unsweetened contains 1 gram of protein. When directly compared to other milk alternatives, that’s significantly more than rice and coconut milk (at 0.2 grams) and oat milk (at 0.6 grams)^.

Your almond drink can give you an even bigger protein boost when you opt for our Almond Breeze® Nutri+ Protein, which contains five times more protein than a regular almond drink.

Even though almond milk is a good source of protein, it’s important to complement whichever almond drink you choose with lots of other great ways to get your daily protein, as part of a balanced diet. Here are a few ideas!

How to get your top protein sources at meal times

BREAKFAST – Porridge has lots of nutritional benefits and a small boost of protein is one of them. Another great thing about porridge is that you can add more tasty things to it. It’s easy to take our porridge recipe and add some extra protein to it, from our honey flavoured almonds (chopped) to our Almond Breeze® Nutri+ Protein.

For those that aren’t vegan, eggs are also a brilliant source of protein with one medium sized egg containing 6 grams of the stuff. There are lots of quick ways to cook eggs up too, from scrambled to a healthy omelette. For an extra protein boost, consider throwing in some mushrooms or a good drop of our Nutri+ Protein almond drink.

LUNCH – A fresh and light salad is the perfect midday meal, especially when you can sprinkle our snack almonds all over them! Full of healthy fats and (yes, you guessed it) lots of protein.

Our delicious Honey Roasted Avocado Salad is so simple to make – seven ingredients tossed into a salad bowl with our snack almonds, a drizzle of vinaigrette and you’re done. If you want a more ambitious lunch, try our Summer Rainbow Salad – it includes yummy noodle-like strands of sweet potato and a honey and orange dressing that’s to die for.

If you love some bread at lunchtime, look no further than healthy protein-filled Ezekiel bread with houmous. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) contain a good 7.3 grams of protein (per 100 grams). Our Smokehouse Almond Hummus uses 425 grams of chickpeas so is packed full of protein. If houmous isn’t your thing, why not try our almond butter instead? It’s super tasty and another great way to top up on protein.

SNACK INSPIRATION – In-between meals the temptation is there to snack, and we say, ‘Go for it!’ Just make sure that snack is light, healthy and preferably full of protein. Here at Blue Diamond we’ve got the likes of our irresistible Flavoured Snack Almonds. Our Roasted Sea Salt Flavour alone provides a mighty 20.5 grams of protein per 100 grams!

We’ve got more tempting options too like our Almond Fusions. That’s our homegrown almonds combined with other wonderfully wild ingredients. Take our Coconut Trail Mix flavour for instance – raisins, cashews, cranberries, dates and even chocolate chunks. Want to know our other extraordinary flavours? Check out the range here.

DINNER – At this time of day it’s totally normal to crave for a dinner that’s really satisfying. We’ve lots of recipes that offer you that while also being healthy and bursting with protein. First up is our Vegan Carbonara that’s loaded with proteinpacked cashew nuts and mushrooms. You can even try that trick of adding some of our Nutri+ Protein almond drink for added ‘oomph’.

We’ve got good news for our meat-eating fans, chicken breast is an especially protein rich food. One chicken breast without the skin contains 53 grams of protein, and to load up the flavour take a look at recipes like Thai Green Chicken Curry.

DESSERT – Chia seeds offer an easy way to add more protein to lots of recipes. One of those recipes is our Chia Pudding. It uses Almond Breeze® and water combined with chia seeds, vanilla and cocoa to make a creamy and rich sweet treat. You’re welcome.

^Based on a direct comparison of Almond Breeze® Original and Unsweetened with Alpro Coconut Original and Alpro Oat Original.

Information from Goodness+ is not intended to be used for medical purposes or as a substitute for professional medical or health advice.

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