Why is protein important?
Protein is an essential nutrient which helps form the structural component of body tissues and is used to make enzymes, antibodies to help us fight infection as well as DNA (the building blocks to life). It’s needed to make up muscle tissue which in turn helps to keep our bodies active, strong, and healthy.
Most protein is stored in the body as muscle, generally accounting for around 40-45% of our body’s total pool, so it makes sense that if you increase activity, perhaps to improve health and fitness or body composition, you also need to consider protein as an important food group in your diet.
Protein is found in dairy, meat, eggs, fish, beans and nuts. A sensible approach to meeting your daily protein requirements is to include a combination of these foods within your diet every day. Check out this great summer salad to satisfy your protein needs.
Tip: great for lunches or eating on the go when packet into individual containers. Maybe take with you on your next picnic or beach trip. 🙂
Layered Protein Salad
1can (15oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1can (15oz) garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1cup cooked (cold) corn kernels
1cup cooked brown rice (cold)
1pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 avocado, cubed
1cup salad dressing of choice
Combine beans, corn and rice in a medium bowl. Toss with dressing.
Place bean, corn rice mixture in the bottom of a large glass bowl or individual containers. Add tomatoes, avocado to top. Garnish with sprouts.