8 Healthy Protein Sources for Christmas Dinner

And so, it is Christmas…

Christmas is around the corner and people are already planning what to eat for the much-anticipated dinner. Here are some healthy protein sources for Christmas dinner.

For anybody’s fitness goals, Christmas can be a very daunting moment. It is that time of the year where most people will eat with no regrets, at least until the next day when they feel completed bloated.

To maintain muscle mass you must eat enough protein. The list below will show you healthy protein sources for Christmas dinner. You will find out you don’t need to sacrifice your fitness journey because of Christmas.

1. Turkey

Source: Tengyart / Unsplash

Turkey is a staple in many countries when it comes to the main meal. And the best news is that turkey is one of the best protein sources for Christmas dinner.

Two-thirds of a roasted turkey can contain protein and it is also low on fat.

But it is not all good news when it comes to turkey for Christmas dinner. In the United States, many families enjoy stuffing the bird with other ingredients. That can turn the turkey from the list of healthy protein sources for Christmas dinner to “you will regret this decision” quite fast.

Try to keep away from ultra-processed ingredients and you should be fine.

2. Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts in a bowl

Brussels sprouts might not be everybody’s favourite choice, but it thrives during the winter period so countries in the north part of the world are used to utilising these vegetables during Christmas dinner parties.

A cup of cooked Brussel sprouts contains only 56 calories with 4 grams of protein. They are also rich in vitamins C, K, folate, calcium, iron and potassium.

If you feel like trying something new with Brussel sprouts this year, why not give a chance to this recipe of roasted sprouts, turkey bacon and pomegranate?

3. Roast Beef

If you plan on losing weight, but still want to taste meat during Christmas, roast beef might be a good option for you.

85 grams of roast beef contains 257 calories, 26 grams of protein, and only 16 grams of fat. It also is packed with calcium and iron.

4. Quinoa

superfoods quinoa

Quinoa enters our list of healthy protein sources for Christmas dinner because it can substitute other food such as rice, couscous, and even pasta.

A cup of cooked quinoa provides 8-9 grams of protein.

You can also add quinoa to salads or grind it into flour to be used in other recipes. How about stuffing your mushroom with quinoa?

5. Lentils

bowl of lentilsSource: Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

My personal favourite and very common to eat where I am from (especially on New Year’s Eve). Lentils will satisfy meat-lovers, vegetarians and vegans alike.

A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, making it one of the best vegetarian options in our list of healthy protein sources for Christmas.

Lentils can be the protagonist of your dish, be accompanied with rice (or quinoa), mixed in a salad or turned into a soup. You can’t go wrong with lentils.

Related: Healthy Vegetarian Protein Sources for Athletes

6. Nuts

healthy protein sources for christmas dinnerSource: Randy Fath on Unsplash

The only downside of nuts is that no one can survive on nuts alone. They are high in calories, so they should be eaten in small amounts, but the good can outweigh the negative side of eating nuts.

They have anti-inflammatory fats, rich in calcium and vitamins, plus great antioxidants.

Almost any kind of nut you choose to sprinkle over your salad will boost your protein intake and keep your heart healthy.

Try out almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashew, or even pistachios. Peanuts provide the highest amount of protein with 38 grams in a cup.

7. Fish

Source: David Fedulov / Unsplash

Fish are a low-fat high-quality protein food source and a great change of pace if you are used to eating meat every Christmas.

Fishes are filled with omega-3 fatty acids which helps your heart in multiple ways, has vitamins D and B2 and other minerals.

Tuna can be 90% protein, halibut 81% protein, and tilapia 82% protein. Try out this savoury spinach cake with salmon recipe.

8. Tofu

Homemade Tofu Stir Fry with Vegetables and Rice

Tofu is one of the vegetarians’ best friends when it comes to substituting meat in a recipe. Besides being easy to add to recipes, it is a great source of protein.

100 grams of tofu contains 8 grams of protein.

Acting like a sponge, you can make tofu taste anything you want. Perfect, isn’t it?

Read More: Carbs or Protein Are Better for Endurance?

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