Today (27th February) is National Protein Day in America and we thought it was a good time to focus on this key nutrient and to bring you a simple recipe to help support your daily protein intake.
Protein is one of our key macronutrients (along with carbohydrates and fats) and comes from a variety of sources, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, legumes and dairy foods.
Including protein with every meal and snack is a vital element of a healthy diet as it helps to support our blood sugar by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates eaten in the same meal. Protein is also vital for building all of our cells, hormones and neurotransmitters and a myriad of other functions in the body.
A protein smoothie or ‘shake’ can be a useful way of increasing protein content and can be particularly useful as a quick and easy breakfast or lunch or as a post-exercise drink (to help support muscle repair).
Whilst there are many different protein powders now available for use in drinks, particularly from the exercise and bodybuilding industries, we are focusing on natural proteins in our recipe and of course including ingredients that help to support our digestive system generally and our gut microbiota in particular – both the friendly bacteria themselves and the food they eat (prebiotics).
- 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or coconut yoghurt)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 handfuls of fresh or frozen strawberries or other berries
- 1-2 handfuls spinach
- ½ banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp seeds (some combination of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, chia)
- ½-1 cup milk of choice – cow, goat, sheep, almond, coconut, oat (vary the amount depending on desired consistency)
- Optional: honey or maple syrup to sweeten
- Throw everything in a blender and whizz to the desired consistency
- Store any leftover smoothie in the fridge ready to be shaken and drunk tomorrow