Protein is an essential nutrient that our body needs to build and repair tissues, make enzymes and
hormones, and support a healthy immune system. Animal-based protein sources are considered to
be complete proteins, which means they contain all the essential amino acids that our body needs.
In this article, we’ll explore the best animal-based protein sources, their nutrition information, and the
benefits they offer.
1. Lean Beef:
Lean beef is a great source of high-quality protein that can provide a range of essential nutrients. Here is some information about lean beef’s nutrition and benefits:
100 grams of cooked lean beef (ground, 95% lean meat / 5% fat) provides approximately:
- Calories: 149 kcal
- Protein: 26.1 grams
- Fat: 4.3 grams (of which only 1.7 grams are saturated)
- Iron: 2.7 mg (15% of the daily value)
- Zinc: 4.4 mg (40% of the daily value)
- Vitamin B12: 2.4 mcg (100% of the daily value)
- Selenium: 15.5 mcg (28% of the daily value)
1. Protein: Lean beef is an excellent source of high-quality protein. Which is essential for building and repairing muscles, tissues, and cells in the body.
2. Iron: Lean beef is also a good source of iron, which is necessary for healthy blood cells and energy production.
3. Zinc: Lean beef is a great source of zinc, which is important for a healthy immune system, wound healing, and DNA synthesis.
4. Vitamin B12: Lean beef is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin B12. Which is essential for healthy nerve function and the production of red blood cells.
5. Satiety: Lean beef can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce hunger, which can aid in weight management.
It’s worth noting that while lean beef can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, it’s important to consume it in moderation and choose lean cuts to avoid excessive intake of saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
Chicken is a popular and widely consumed protein source that is low in fat and high in protein. It is an excellent source of essential amino acids, which are important for building and repairing muscles and tissues in the body.
Cooked chicken breast: One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving
- Calories: 140
- Protein: 26 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 73 mg
- Sodium: 325 mg
- Potassium: 321 mg
In addition to being a great source of protein, chicken also provides several other nutrients that are important for overall health, including:
- Vitamin B6: important for brain development and function
- Niacin: important for maintaining healthy skin and nerves
- Phosphorus: important for healthy bones and teeth
- Selenium: an antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage
Eating chicken can also have several health benefits, including:
1. Promoting muscle growth and repair: chicken is high in protein, which is important for building and repairing muscles and tissues in the body.
2. Supporting bone health: chicken contains phosphorus and calcium, which are important for healthy bones and teeth.
3. Boosting the immune system: chicken contains a nutrient called niacin, which helps support the immune system and promotes healthy skin.
4. Promoting heart health: chicken is a good source of vitamin B6, which helps reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to heart disease.
Overall, chicken is a healthy and nutritious protein source that can be a great addition to a well-balanced diet. It is low in fat, high in protein, and contains several important nutrients that can promote overall health and well-being.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and is highly recommended as part of a healthy diet. Here’s some information on the nutrition and benefits of eating fish:
Fish is a low-fat, high-quality protein source that is rich in essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and selenium. The specific nutritional profile of fish can vary depending on the species, but in general, fish is a good source of:
- Protein: A 3-ounce serving of cooked fish provides about 20 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for those looking to increase their protein intake.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have numerous health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving brain function.
- Vitamin D: Fish is one of the few food sources of vitamin D, which is important for bone health, immune function, and overall health.
- Selenium: Fish is also a good source of selenium, which is an essential mineral that plays a role in antioxidant function and thyroid health.
Eating fish has been associated with a number of health benefits, including:
- Improved heart health: The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering triglyceride levels, reducing inflammation, and improving cholesterol levels.
- Brain function: The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may also improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
- Reduced risk of depression: Some studies have suggested that eating fish may help reduce the risk of depression and improve mood.
- Improved eye health: The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may also help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in older adults.
Overall, fish is an excellent source of protein and essential nutrients that can offer numerous health benefits. It’s recommended that adults eat at least 2 servings of fish per week to ensure adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients.
Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, as well as a variety of other nutrients. Here is some information about the nutrition and benefits of eggs:
One large egg (50 grams) contains:
- Calories: 78
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0.6 grams
- Cholesterol: 186 milligrams
- Sodium: 62 milligrams
- Vitamins: A, B2, B6, B12, D, E, K,
- Minerals: iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc
1. High-Quality Protein: Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source. The protein in eggs is also easily absorbed and used by the body.
2. Weight Loss: Eggs are a low-calorie, high-protein food that can help you feel full and satisfied, which can lead to eating fewer calories overall.
3. Eye Health: Eggs are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that can help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
4. Brain Function: Eggs are a good source of choline, which is important for brain health and development.
5. Heart Health: Contrary to past beliefs, recent research suggests that moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease in healthy individuals.
Overall, eggs are a nutritious and versatile food that can be a great addition to a healthy diet. However, if you have high cholesterol or other health concerns, you should talk to your doctor about how many eggs you can safely consume.
5. Dairy Products:
Dairy products are an excellent source of protein, especially for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. The following are some of the most common dairy products that are high in protein:
1. Milk: Milk is an excellent source of protein, with one cup (240 ml) of whole milk containing 8 grams of protein. Low-fat and skim milk are also good sources of protein, with one cup containing 8.4 grams and 8.3 grams of protein, respectively.
2. Cheese: Cheese is another excellent source of protein. The amount of protein in cheese varies depending on the type of cheese, but on average, one ounce (28 grams) of cheese contains 6 to 7 grams of protein.
3. Yogurt: Yogurt is a good source of protein, with one cup (245 grams) of plain, low-fat yogurt containing 12 grams of protein. Greek yogurt is even higher in protein, with one cup (245 grams) containing 23 grams of protein.
Benefits of Dairy Products:
1. Builds and Maintains Muscle: Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass. Consuming dairy products, which are high in protein, can help support muscle growth and repair.
2. Helps in Weight Management: High-protein dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk can help you feel fuller for longer, which may reduce your overall calorie intake and support weight management.
3. Good for Bone Health: Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that is essential for healthy bones. Consuming dairy products regularly can help prevent osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
4. Promotes Healthy Teeth: Dairy products contain calcium and phosphorus, which are essential minerals for healthy teeth. Consuming dairy products can help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.
Overall, dairy products are a convenient and delicious way to increase your protein intake and reap the numerous health benefits they offer. However, it’s important to choose low-fat or fat-free options to avoid consuming too much saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Turkey is a lean source of protein that can provide many benefits to the body. Here is some nutrition information and benefits of turkey:
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of turkey breast provides:
- Calories: 111
- Protein: 24 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sodium: 55 milligrams
Turkey is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin B6: Important for brain development and function, as well as the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.
- Niacin: Helps to convert food into energy and also helps to keep the skin, nervous system, and digestive system healthy.
- Selenium: An antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
- Phosphorus: Important for bone health and also plays a role in the production of energy in cells.
1. Promotes muscle growth: Turkey is a rich source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.
2. Boosts immune system: Turkey is rich in selenium, which has been shown to boost the immune system and protect the body from harmful toxins.
3. Helps with weight loss: Turkey is a lean source of protein, which can help to keep you feeling full for longer periods and may help with weight loss.
4. Reduces risk of heart disease: Turkey is a low-fat source of protein, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. Good for brain function: Turkey is a good source of vitamin B6, which is essential for brain development and function.
6. Supports healthy skin: Turkey contains niacin, which helps to keep the skin healthy and may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Overall, turkey is a nutritious and delicious source of protein that can provide many benefits to the body.