Protein is a vital nutrient that is found in almost every cell in your body. In the absence of kidney disease, increasing protein intake might help you heal skin and muscle injuries from surgery, illness or moderate activity. Anyone with kidney disease should talk to her doctor before boosting protein intake, as the digestion of this macronutrient makes the kidneys work a little bit harder. Increasing the protein levels in your blood is as easy as eating more protein -- but choosing the right types of protein is vital to your overall health and wellness.
Video of the Day
Figure out your basic protein requirements. For the average, healthy adult, Harvard School of Public Health suggests about 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. To arrive at this number, take your weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 and multiply by 0.8. The result is the grams of protein your body needs daily to function.
Tailor your protein requirement to your individual needs. You can discuss this with your doctor if you have any questions, but those with diabetes, kidney disease or chronic illness should discuss dietary changes before making them. For instance, athletes and people trying to lose weight might increase their daily protein intake to build lean muscle mass.
Consider your diet carefully. The majority of proteins in the diet should come from lean sources such as fish, skinless poultry and beans. Non-animal proteins, such as nuts and legumes, provide fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are excellent, low-fat protein choices. Cuts of red meat or pork should be lean -- choose cuts such as sirloin and avoid cuts such as rump roast, which are concentrated in saturated fat.
Introduce your palate to other sources of healthy proteins -- the vegetable and dairy kind. Soy and tofu proteins should be chosen over red meat for heart health. Firm tofu can go on the grill and will have the consistency of moist chicken. Protein drinks made from whey and casein, the milk proteins, provide all the healing protein with none of the milk fats.
Enjoy seafood twice a week, according to Popsugar. Seafood is an iodine-rich source of lean protein, but watch out for mercury and heavy metals. A rule of thumb -- the bigger the fish is, the older it is, so it will contain more environmental pollutants. Stick to smaller sea creatures, such as shrimp, clams, catfish and flounder, and avoid those usually high in toxins, such as mackerel and imported tuna steaks.