In the game of natural health, the food we consume is a pretty basic starting point; basic, but sometimes still confusing. I was recently told that I need to try my darnedest to consume protein at every meal, meaning every 4-5 hours. Why the tip?Â Â Obviously balanced nutrients play their role in more ways than we know, but some benefits of protein includeÂ repairing injury and tissue growth, reversing fatigue, andÂ immune system support.
In my case, an unending stream of light sleeping andÂ insomnia brought about this cue for protein needs. Since low serotonin can lead to sleep disturbances, consuming tryptophan-inclusive proteins can contribute to an increase in your body’s serotonin production, thus improving sleep. Sounds strange right? Having trouble sleeping? Eat a steak! It’s all more scientific than I want to delve into here (plus I’m not a scientist), but that’s the gist of it.
While I would consider my diet healthy overall, consciously including any one nutrient has never been a part of the game for me. This was quite a challenge for someone who 1) grazes from morning to night and doesn’t strictly define meals and 2) barely eats meat and avoids a lot of dairy. What to do?! Of course, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, and this time it’s in the form of an article through Shine, aptly titled 8 veggies, nuts, and grains with more protein than a burger. In the article, I was reassured by Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati that I am, in fact, already consuming a lot of high protein items:
When most people think of protein, images of cheese, eggs and a leg of lamb pop into their heads. Did you know though that every â€“ yes, every Â â€“ whole food contains protein? According to the CDC, adult men need about 56 grams of protein a day, and adult women need about 46 grams a day. But, from your morning banana to your evening salad, youâ€™re getting some. Itâ€™s easier than you think to find plant-based foods that are packed with protein. In fact, many vegetables, nuts, and grains have more grams of protein per calorie than a cheeseburger!
Make sure to check out the list, eat your protein, and reap all those stress-busting health-promoting benefits! Since I’m no longer waking up from the sound of my cat walking quietly on the bedroom carpet, it’s safe to sayÂ I’ll be keeping up this new foodie ritual.
How have you used nutrition as an aim for natural healing? For more natural/alternative opportunities, make sure to visit our healthful offering on the Health & Healing page!