As we age, our protein intake requirements increase. Studies have found that protein is “a key nutrient for muscle health” in adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, after age 30 “muscle mass decreases approximately 3-8% per decade.” That is something we should pay attention to. According to the Cleveland Clinic, we should be aiming to eat about 0.8 – 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight each day which means that “an average woman weighing 150 lbs. should aim for 54 to 68 grams of protein each day.” Some experts recommend eating 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight.
To put the amount of protein needed into perspective, 3 oz of roasted chicken breast contains 26 grams of protein. If we want to hit our ideal protein needs, we must be diligent about getting a variety of sources into our diet. Perhaps you don’t want to rely only on animal sources of protein. In that case, we have the perfect plant-based midday snack to up your protein. This snack is also salty and crunchy, so it will satisfy a craving for a less healthy snack, like a bag of chips.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, coming in at about 14.5 grams of protein per cup. They also contain fiber, making them excellent for digestion and gut health.
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon of avocado oil
Cumin to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Bake on parchment paper at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
*Note: the cooking time may vary depending on the elevation of where you live. We recommend checking your chickpeas at the 30-35 minute mark to make sure they are not burning.