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Tasty Garden Goodness by Candy Webb│ Keeping Grocery Costs Down with Protein-Rich Foods

Protein is necessary for life. Seconded only by water, it is the essential nutrient we need to power our cells, energize our bodies for activity, and remain fit daily. We can’t do without it, but how can we stay healthy and afford the protein-filled foods we need with inflation on the rise? 

Foods high in protein help curb hunger, keep us full longer and allow us to maintain an ideal weight. Consuming enough protein builds lean muscle and cartilage and helps maintain glowing skin and nails. It lowers blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels. Without protein, you can suffer from a weakened immune system, develop high blood pressure or scaly skin, and even lose your hair. 

Responsible for the repair and growth of the human body, the protein we eat needs to keep us going all day. A moderately active 6-foot, 170-pound male will need close to 70 grams daily. A 5-and-a-half foot, 155-pound woman needs roughly 55 grams. That’s about two chicken breasts (72 grams) for a male each day and 10 ounces of salmon (58 grams) for a woman. Now, that’s a lot of meat to consume and a lot of grocery dollars too. How can we make a better choice and save money?

It’s true when most people think of protein, their thoughts move toward animal types – eggs, beef, salmon, and chicken. These are all excellent choices for a protein-rich diet; however, there are less expensive, even healthier choices, and wait for it, snacking too!

That’s right, don’t just eat, have more snacks when you do! Think protein-rich goodies in small amounts like kale chips, almond slices, pumpkin seeds, roasted edamame, crunchy chickpeas, hummus and veggies, apples and peanut butter, and even chia pudding. You can munch on these throughout the day, adding to your protein intake while snacking smartly.    

Choose breakfasts as small as overnight oatmeal or cottage cheese and as big as avocado toast topped with a fried egg. Add a raspberry yogurt smoothie on the side if you wish. Dishes like sautéed spinach, lentil salad, black bean quinoa, and three bean no meat chili will help aid in protein add-ons for lunch and dinner alike. 

These dishes and snacks are packed with protein, healthier, and less expensive than their meat alternatives. Your budget will benefit by purchasing small amounts of each of the fresh ingredients needed for meal creation. Prepare and consume small portions throughout your day, stay satisfied, and keep more dollars in your wallet. You’ll love the new protein-rich you!

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