Protein is one of the three macronutrients essential to our body. Protein is vital for muscle growth and acts as building blocks for the tissues. The main components of protein are amino acids which are readily available via meat products such as chicken, lean meat, etc. Hence, it is considered difficult to find vegetarian food options rich in protein as not every plant or dairy-based protein rich Indian food contain all the necessary amino acids.
Well, not anymore! Once you have read this article, you will understand the foods rich in protein sources are available everywhere easily. You just need to pick the right ones. Most bodybuilders or fitness enthusiasts rely on protein supplements such as whey protein. The trend is rising because the knowledge of protein-rich diet is minimal in India and most fitness enthusiasts are vegetarians or vegans.
Besides finding the high protein sources, you also need to find the right time to consume it. The best time to eat a protein-rich diet is during the breakfast.
Why Protein Foods for Breakfast?
Dieticians, as well as our forefathers, have always pressed on eating a heavy diet in the morning. Breakfast is the best time to consume and process the protein from a high protein rich diet. Our metabolism rate is higher in the morning, and we need the right amount of endurance throughout the day. Also, most of us work out in the morning, and it is essential to eat a high protein diet one or two hours before sweating out at the gym.
There’s a reason why most of us start our day with eggs. Eggs are a vital source of protein and Vitamin D. A protein-rich breakfast in the morning can help us stay healthy, slim, and energized throughout the day. Remember, you can only build muscles when you consume a protein-rich diet while cutting down on the calorie intake and carbs.
Importance of High Protein Foods for Muscle Building
Protein is the primary nutrient for muscle building. While most of us know this fact, very few are aware of the reason behind it. Well, protein is a class of nitrogenous organic compounds with large molecules made up of the long chain of amino acids.
These essential compounds are vital for every living organism and work as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc. Protein also works as enzymes and antibodies making it an essential macronutrient among other nutrients crucial to body growth.
Hence, consuming foods rich in protein is very important for best muscle growth. Amino acids, which act as the building blocks of your muscles, also help in repairing and building muscle tissue after an extensive workout regime.
Composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen; a protein-rich diet is enough to get your body in an anabolic state which is essential for muscle growth.
Best Protein Foods for Body Building
You must choose protein foods according to your dietary lifestyle and workout schedules. As most of us prefer working out in the morning, it is wise to go for a healthy breakfast rich in protein foods for bodybuilding.
Here are some of the best protein foods for muscle building:
If you observe the diets of sports athletes or fitness enthusiasts, you will find that their daily food intake includes eggs throughout the day. Eggs are considered the most natural and tastiest way to consume protein daily.
While most fitness enthusiasts opt only for egg whites to cut down on the calories, many others go for whole eggs. The yolk contains healthy fats and fat-soluble Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. The healthy fats and cholesterol present in the yolk also improves the production of testosterone which is good for male athletes.
Well, if you are cool with non-vegetarian foods, then you must opt for beef as your best source of protein. Meat is an excellent source of protein if you are looking for a lean muscle growth. While lean beef or red meat provides the highest form of protein, we can also opt for lamb or chicken as per the availability.
Eating beef can be risky in the country and availability is often scarce. Rather than looking for any controversy, we can just opt for other meat sources such as chicken, lamb, etc. for protein content. The meat produced from lamb also provides your RDA of essential Vitamin B12 and niacin. It also contains zinc and selenium, both of which are rare minerals for muscle recovery.
On the other hand, a chicken breast will offer the much needed omega-3 fatty acids which are excellent if you are looking for a lean body with optimum muscle growth.
Other excellent sources of protein are fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and fat-soluble Vitamin D. Besides offering a right amount of protein content; these aquatic species are also excellent for brain health.
Consuming fish will also result in reduced risk of many deadly diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and heart diseases. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are considered the healthiest protein sources. You can also opt for tuna and cod as per availability.
Milk is a whole food diet as it consists almost every single nutrient essential to our body. However, it is the least considered option for protein as most fitness enthusiasts link it with the fat content. However, milk is an excellent source of protein such as casein and whey. A liter of milk contains 32 grams of protein which is ample if you constitute it with egg protein.
Most fitness enthusiasts who are not lactose intolerant opt for milk as a daily supplement with either cereals or oats for that matter. Opt for organic milk or find someone who has a cow in the area. It’s wise to opt for the fresh cow’s milk from the nearest place rather than the purified one from a grocery shop.
Soy protein is a boon in disguise for vegans. While they can get their optimum amount of protein from organic supplements, soy comes out as the natural source of protein. Today, you can have soy in different forms, and if chosen well, you can also prepare great recipes using them.
Soy protein is also excellent for heart health and controls body cholesterol levels. This protein is even considered best for women as it maintains healthy estrogens levels.
Does Protein Help in Weight Loss?
While every one of us values protein for muscle growth, very few considered it best for weight loss as well. Gaining weight is a process where we eat a lot of fatty foods and don’t work out enough to burn those extra calories. If you substitute these fatty foods with the high protein rich diet, then you are maintaining your healthy fat content as well as restricting your body from getting fat.
If you blend in a proper workout regime to go with the protein-rich diet, you can also burn the excess fat and build a lean muscle figure. Blend in some eggs, nuts, and green leafy vegetables in your regular diet or go for red meat if you like it and get set for that ultimate physique you always needed.