At the core of every healthy diet is protein. It’s essential for building muscle, as well as burning fat and helping you maintain healthy eating habits. For anyone trying to lose weight, including a variety of anti-inflammatory proteins in your meals can help give you that extra boost you need to see results.
Try one of these expert-recommended, anti-inflammatory, high-protein foods to help you shed excess belly fat:
If you’re looking to up your protein intake, eggs are one of the best foods you can eat. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids (great for inflammation) and high in protein while being low in calories. Plus, eating the yolk gives you a boost of vitamin D and biotin.
Stacy Goldberg, a nutritionist at savorfull, recommends eating wild Alaskan salmon to decrease inflammation in your body. “Salmon helps you get a flatter belly because it’s high in protein and low in carbs.”
3. Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
If you’re in need of a quick high-protein snack or breakfast, a half-cup of plain whole milk Greek yogurt with a quarter cup of toasted wheat germ, a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or slivered almonds, is a good recipe to try. Colette Heimowitz, a nutritionist at Atkins Nutritionals says it’s packed with healthy fats and protein. “It will keep you satiated throughout the morning so that you avoid sugary cereals,” she says.
“Lean meats are a great way to get protein without excessive fat and carbohydrates,” says Alix Turoff, a New York City nutritionist and trainer. “[Chicken] can be cooked in a multitude of ways, is more affordable than other meat sources and is available at almost every restaurant.”
In just ¼-cup of oats there are 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. The fiber is part soluble, which slows digestions and makes you feel satiated, and insoluble fiber, the kind that helps your digestive system stay regular. “Regular and healthy bowel movements reduce belly bloating and improve digestion,” says Abbey Sharp, RD, of Abbey's Kitchen.
Pulses include dried beans, dried peas, lentils and chickpeas. “They’re plant-based proteins that fill you up, help keep you regular and even help reduce cholesterol thanks to soluble fiber,” says Rachel Swanson, a RDN at Lifespan Medicine.
7. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and sunflower seeds, are packed with protein (about 4 to 7 grams per ounce), fiber and heart-healthy fats. “Nuts and seeds are calorie-dense so it’s important to pay attention to portion size,” Julie Andrews, The Gourmet RD. “All nuts and seeds are great for making pesto and sauces, for blending into smoothies, adding to salads and layering on to yogurt and oatmeal.”