If there's one bandwagon you'll want to hop on as a woman going through peri- to postmenopause, it's the protein one! Here is an overview of what I discuss in my latest YouTube, "Increasing Protein Intake for Women".
The Importance of Protein After 40: As women age, several factors contribute to an increased need for protein. Here are four reasons:
Preserving Muscle Mass: On average, we lose about 3-5% of muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. Protein becomes essential for preserving and building lean muscle, combating age-related muscle loss.
Calorie Burn: Protein requires more energy to digest, leading to a higher calorie burn compared to fats or carbs.
Hormone Regulation: Protein plays a crucial role in regulating various hormones, including the hunger and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Protein has a slower digestion process so it also helps you feel full for a more extended period.
Bone Health: Post-menopause, maintaining strong and healthy bones becomes crucial, and protein contributes significantly to this aspect.
Good Sources of Protein: Protein is made up of 20 amino acids, with nine being essential amino acids that the body cannot produce. Consuming "complete proteins" containing all nine essential amino acids is essential. Examples of good protein sources include:
How to Increase Protein Intake:
Increase Serving Sizes: Simply increase the serving size of lean proteins in your meals. Having a wrap with the typical three slices of deli meat? Double the serving to six slices for more protein without any extra work.
Add Them Up: Combine different proteins to reach at least 30 grams, such as Greek yogurt and protein powder, egg whites with whole eggs, or cottage cheese on the side of a bunless burger.
Swap for Higher Protein Options: Swap regular yogurt for Greek yogurt, rice for quinoa, or chicken broth for bone broth to increase protein intake.
Top It Off with Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds, can add 3-10g of extra protein to your meals.
Have Convenient Options: Keep convenient protein options on hand, such as rotisserie chicken, fully-cooked meatballs, deli meat, canned tuna, grass-fed beef sticks, cottage cheese, and cheese sticks for easy protein sources.
Choose Carbs with Protein: When choosing your carbohydrates, choose ones with higher-protein content like edamame, beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, and chia seeds.
Utilizing Protein Supplements: Check out my Amazon Storefront for my favorites!
Protein Bars: Opt for low-carb protein bars, such as the IQ Bar, for a quick and convenient protein boost.
Protein Powder: Choose from collagen, whey, or vegan protein powder based on your dietary preferences and needs. Ensure 100% Whey Isolate for a dairy option or opt for a pea protein blend for a vegan choice. Collagen is not a complete protein source so does not support overall protein needs or muscle growth as well, but it is good for skin, hair and joints.
EarthChimp Organic Vegan Protein: I recent tried a really good organic vegan protein option called EarthChimp, offering not only a delicious taste but also 1 billion probiotics and 5g of fiber per serving.
In conclusion, increasing protein intake is a powerful step towards supporting overall health, especially for women going through the peri-postmenopause years. With a variety of delicious and convenient options available, there's no reason not to prioritize protein in your daily diet. So, let's embrace the superhero of macronutrients and fuel our bodies to be strong and healthy in midlife!
Looking for guidance and accountability on including protein and other proven methods that support your hormones in peri-postmenopause? Check out the Mid-Life Mom Bod Tune-Upp!
Hope you're feeling FIRED UPP,