Protein does more than help us build muscle...
As the building block of our cells, nearly everything in our body utilizes protein to function properly (think: hormones, enzymes, muscles, organs, hair, skin, and nails). The protein found in your chicken and steak is made up of strings of amino acids. It’s these amino acids that work to build new cells and fix damaged ones in your body. Without enough protein, lean body mass growth and recovery from exercise will falter.
Protein also has a thermic effect, meaning the body expends more energy chewing, digesting, absorbing, and storing it compared to other foods you eat. Protein also has a high satiety factor, meaning it’ll keep you feeling fuller longer. A good rule of thumb is to have a serving (a palm and a half) of protein with every main meal you consume, but most of us need even more in the way of snacks/smaller meals.
Awesome sources of protein include: ground beef, bison, chicken breast/thighs, pork tenderloin, ground turkey, wild-caught fish, center-cut bacon, beef jerky, deli meat, hard boiled eggs, egg whites, collagen peptides, bone broth, black bean/lentil pasta, Greek yogurt, and protein powder.