Monday, December 17, 2018
by Jennifer Roberts, MS, RD, and Julia Jordan
BJC | When asked to name a food or nutrient that they look to for health benefits, participants in a recent survey named protein most often. Are they right? And if so, are you getting enough protein?
What does protein do?
Protein provides us with the building blocks for every cell in our bodies — from muscle to skin to the immune system. So, clearly, we need protein. Whether taking in more protein helps with things like weight loss or heart disease is still up for debate.
How much protein do we need?
For the average person, the recommended amount of protein per day is 0.8g per kg (or about 0.4g per pound) of body weight. Growing children and pregnant women need slightly more. Endurance and strength athletes also typically need more protein — in the range of about 1.2-1.7g per kg (0.5-0.8 g per pound) to support their activities. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need about 60g of protein per day, or up to 120g if you’re participating in heavy strength-training activities.
But you can get too much of a good thing. Exceeding these recommended ranges won’t likely provide any benefit and may contribute to health problems. The good news? According to a recent study, most Americans are getting enough protein, and very few are getting too little or too much.
Where do we get protein?
Protein is found in a variety of foods, including both plant and animal sources. Meats, chicken, fish, milk and eggs are all sources of protein that most of us are familiar with. Beyond these traditional sources, plant foods such as beans, nuts and seeds, and whole grains also contribute protein. So, if you’re getting on board with the plant-forward trend, don’t worry. You still have lots of options to keep up your protein intake.
Give yourself the gift of wellness — drink tea
Did you know that tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world (next to water) and can be found in almost 80 percent of all U.S. households? That’s just one reason why this month’s Morrison superfood is tea.
In unsweetened form, tea offers a flavorful alternative to plain water that contributes no sugar and almost no calories. Tea also provides abundant health benefits — for example, the polyphenols found in green tea are flavanols commonly known as catechins.
All tea springs from a singular plant species: Camellia sinensis. The four varieties of tea include black, oolong, green and white tea. The leaves of the plant are withered, oxidized and dried to different levels to produce the varying colors, flavors and caffeine content present in the different tea varieties.
About 8 ounces of tea contains 50 mg of caffeine, while the same amount of coffee contains 65-175 mg, depending on the strength.
Throughout December, try a tea sample in your BJC café and look for tea mugs for sale in most cafes — so you can give the gift of wellness to yourself and to someone else.
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