By Kimberly Adler-Morelli
Some weightlifters take protein supplements to bulk up their muscles. But why does the average person need protein in their diet? Because this nutrient does a lot for your body. It’s in almost everything: muscles, tendons, enzymes, hormones, skin and even hair. It also fuels your body and carries oxygen in your blood.
Most people should get 10% to 35% of their daily calories from protein. The good news? No pills or powders needed — it can all be from what’s on your plate.
Foods rich in protein include:
- Lean beef or pork
- Dairy products (think cottage cheese or yogurt)
- Nuts and nut butters
- Legumes (beans and peas)
- Grains (like wheat, rice, oats or corn)
If you’re looking for an on-the-go protein boost, power bars are a good choice. You can whip them up from easy-to-find ingredients that pack a protein punch. And you can’t go wrong with peanut butter: Versatile. Tasty. And a protein powerhouse.
Peanut butter cereal bars
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup peanut butter (or swap out for another nut butter)
- 2 cups rice cereal or unsweetened cereal flakes
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
Bring honey to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low and stir in peanut butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Remove from heat. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and press the mixture into the pan. When cool, cut into 16 bars.
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