There are a lot of small changes you can make to your diet to ensure you get enough protein.
Making sure protein is present in your diet is pretty important, as Harvard Medical School suggests that protein is essential for building hair, blood, enzymes, and antibodies. But making sure you actually get enough protein a day is even trickier, as easy protein shakes and protein bars tend to not provide the amount of daily protein we actually need.
But eating enough protein throughout the day does not have to be a hard task, as foods like yogurt, eggs, and quinoa are great ways to make sure you reach your daily protein goals. But it's important to not go overboard, as registered dietitian nutritionist Joy Bauer told INSIDER that too much protein can have negative impacts on the body.
"Overdoing your protein intake (with excessive amounts) could mean extra calories and that could lead to weight gain—the exact opposite of what you're aiming for. It could also be taxing on the kidneys," explained Bauer, MS, RDN.
To successfully sneak more protein in your diet, we spoke to other nutritionists and dietitians about some of the protein-boosting foods you need to add to your diet. Below are some of the items they recommend consuming regularly.
Eat two eggs for breakfast each morning.
Cook them however you want, but try to eat the whites and yolks.
"Eating two eggs for breakfast will provide you with over 12 grams of satiating protein," registered dietitian Jillian Kubala told INSIDER. To make sure you are getting all those nutritional benefits from your eggs, Kubala recommended eating the whole egg instead of just the whites, as the yolks are packed with nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
Sip some collagen.
You can add it to most beverages.
"Collagen peptides provide a clean source of protein that your body can easily absorb," Kubala added. Collagen peptides can be added to both hot and cold beverages like smoothies and coffee, she suggested.
Switch to Greek yogurt.
Less sugar and more protein? Win.
"If you regularly eat yogurt, consider making the switch to Greek yogurt," said IdealShape nutritionist and trainer Kami Price. Not only is Greek yogurt higher in protein, but it usually has less sugar too, she said.
Add protein powder to your daily oatmeal.
It's an easy protein-booster.
"Have oatmeal for breakfast, and mix in a scoop of your favorite protein powder." Price added. This is a quick and delicious way to start your day, she said.
Add protein-boosting foods to your smoothies.
Try until you find the perfect combo.
"Smoothies are another great way to increase your protein intake," said registered dietitian Kelsey Conrow. Try adding silken tofu, Greek yogurt, or a scoop of peanut butter paired with your favorite fruit and liquid base, she recommended.
Start eating quinoa regularly.
It's very versatile.
"Most grains contain a small amount of protein, but quinoa is unique in that it contains more than eight grams per cup," said Frida Harju-Westman, an in-house nutritionist at health app Lifesum. Quinoa is also amazingly versatile, she added and can be added to everything from a soup to a salad, or as an alternative to oatmeal in the morning.
Eat grains like Kamut.
It's healthier than wheat.
"Kamut is a type of ancient grain (a bit like quinoa), but healthier than everyday wheat," suggested Harju-Westman. This grain also has 30% more protein than everyday wheat, she added, and also functions as a great source of fiber and magnesium.
Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over your salads or oatmeal.
Roast them with seasonings for extra flavor.
"Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds each day will provide you with the recommended daily nutrients such as proteins, amino acids, minerals, fibers, vitamins, and complex carbs," Harju-Westman explained. These seeds can be roasted for 30 minutes and added into your lunch salad or sprinkled onto your morning oats, she said.
Incorporate canned fish into your diet.
It's quick and easy.
"Always keep canned tuna or salmon on hand," explained registered dietitian Rebecca Elbaum. These no-cook proteins are great additions to salads, pasta, zucchini noodles, or stuffed into an avocado, she said.
Have canned beans on hand.
They're a quick kitchen staple.
"Canned beans are a staple in my kitchen," Elbaum added. "They are a great fiber and protein boost for salads, pasta, quick quesadillas and even added to eggs," she said.
Spread nut butter on your toast.
You can even top it with other protein-boosting foods.
"Spread nut butter, such as peanut butter and almond butter, onto toast and fruit for an extra serving of protein and heart-healthy fats," suggested Jen Oikarinen, a registered dietitian at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix.