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Protein is an important building block of cells– you need it to maintain muscles, bones, blood, and body organs, and getting enough can help prevent fatigue and muscle aches and soreness.
Your body’s recommended daily intake of protein goes up during pregnancy and breastfeeding, from about 44 grams a day to about 60 grams a day, though you don’t have to get that exact number of grams every single day, your body can store it.
And unless you’re a vegan, or just retch at the thought of meat, eggs or dairy, you probably won’t have a problem getting enough. Most people in Western Europe, the U.S. and Canada get more than enough. Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish or shellfish have about 17‒30 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving; an egg has 6 grams. So go ahead and have that 8-ounce steak, you’ll have plenty of protein for a day, and then any extra calories from protein then will be stored as fat for your body’s future use.
Legumes like peanuts, lentils, soybeans and garbanzo beans get about one-third of their calories from protein and no saturated fat. Try adding black beans, bean soups, burritos and taco salads to your weekly menu, and snack on edamame, hummus and peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread.
If you’re worried about getting enough protein because you’re extremely queasy, try adding protein powder containing whey, soy protein or casein to a smoothie or other beverage.
|Chickpeas||14 g per cup|
|Cottage cheese||2% fat, 15 g per cup|
|Cow’s milk||about 8 g per cup|
|Lentils||17 g per cup
|Soy milk||about 7 g per cup|
|Hemp milk||about 5 g per cup|
|Almond milk||about 1 g per cup|
|Chicken Egg||6 g per egg|
|Steak||26 grams per 1/4 pound (4 ounces) of meat|
|Chicken breast||21 grams per 1/4 pound (4 ounces) of meat|