A focus on nutrition and recovery along with a great workout routine is something you need to keep in mind to improve your overall physique. Here we will discuss one of the essential components of a healthy diet, which also plays an important role in muscle building and recovery – PROTEIN.
Protein performs multiple important functions in your body. This amazing macronutrient helps in building muscles, cells, and tissues, as well as making hormones and antibodies.
Protein is an essential component of a healthy and balanced diet, especially for those who aspire for a well-built physique. Body builders are recommended to consume at least 1.2-1.7g protein per 1kg of body weight per day, higher than the 0.8-1g requirement for others.
This extra amount of protein is known to help the muscles to recover and grow after rigorous workouts.
Your daily protein requirements can be achieved by a healthy and balanced diet. However, a toned body requires some extra effort.
Let me enlist 10 great foods that are rich sources of protein and should always be included in your diet if you want to feel and look fit as a fiddle.
10 Protein-Rich Foods
Whey and Casein protein
Both Whey and Casein proteins are found in dairy products, constituting 20% and 80% of the protein found in milk respectively. Whey is the superior protein when it comes to muscle building as it gets absorbed very quickly and causes a spike in blood amino-acid levels. It is also rich in glutamine, which can fuel working muscles during exercise.
In contrast to Whey, Casein gets absorbed gradually but increases the blood amino-acid levels. These two properties together optimize the balance between muscle breakdown and muscle building. One of the best dietary sources of Whey protein is Ricotta cheese, while Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are rich in Casein.
Eggs are known to be an amazing source of protein, due to its high bioavailability and other health benefits. Eggs are extremely popular, cost effective and a convenient source of protein. They provide sufficient amount of Vitamin D and cholesterol, which help support muscle building. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is to consume both the white portion as well as the yolk. The latter is known to contain almost half of the protein value.
Taking eggs during breakfast makes you feel full and you eat lesser calories during the day. This helps in checking your weight naturally. If you rely on other weight loss supplements, make sure they are safe.
Considered to be a bodybuilding staple, boneless and skinless chicken breast delivers more protein than any other poultry cuts. A six-ounce chicken breast provides a hefty 54 grams of protein and around 4 grams of Leucine. Another advantage is that you can cook and prepare this essential protein source in very less time.
This is one of the most popular plant-based proteins and also contains glutamine and branched-chain amino acids, required for muscle building. A cup of peas contains 9 grams of protein and is also available in supplement form, as it is mild in both taste and texture. Peas are also a good source of fiber to help keep cravings for junk food at length.
Fish and Seafood
Besides being rich sources of protein, fish and seafood are typically low in fat. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which reduce joint stiffness and inflammation. It is ideal to pair salmons with fibrous vegetables, such as asparagus or broccoli, for a low-carbohydrate and high-protein meal.
This is an ancient grain famous for its protein content. Quinoa, also packed with essential amino acids, is a key source for muscle building. It is more beneficial when compared to its closest competitor- brown rice, as it contains 3 more grams of protein per cup. Containing high-quality proteins, Quinoa offers some great health benefits.
Beef is an incomparable food source for muscle building. It supplies with abundant protein levels and key amino acids like Leucine. In addition to it, it comes packed with other muscle building nutrients such as zinc and creatine. Grass-fed beef is more beneficial when compared with conventional beef, for it contains more omega-3 days. Beef protein isolate is now available for those who want to consume it in protein powder form.
Another healthy source of plant-based proteins that contain essential amino acids. Soy protein is commonly found in tofu, edamame beans and is also available in the form of supplements. This is an excellent protein source for vegetarians. It is very effective in building muscles but contains Leucine in lower amounts. Soy milk for instance can be easily prepared at home, making up for your protein requirements.
Consumption of dry lentils is a sure shot way to beef up your intake of protein, fiber and a range of vital minerals. You need to invest a bare minimum of 20 minutes in preparing this nutritious food.
A mixture of a handful of nuts like peanuts, cashews, and almonds supply protein and healthy unsaturated form to your diet. It’s recommended to try the unsalted form if you are conscious about the sodium intake.
Aspiring for a healthy body which is also well-chiselled like a Roman sculpture requires you to add proteins in your diet. There’s nothing better than including these excellent sources.
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