Start the new year right with the decision to live a healthier lifestyle — and that means eating the foods that truly matter to your wellness. One of the most important nutrients is protein. In fact, it is the key essential unit for repairing muscle tissue and building lean muscle mass.
Having a balanced diet means consuming the right mix of essential nutrients, with protein carrying a bigger responsibility in energy production when fats and carbohydrates are low. Protein is composed of amino acids, which should be a staple in your daily diet and is commonly found in the likes of nuts, fish, dairy products, and meat.
To ensure that you are getting the right amount of protein your body needs to feed your muscles, here are 5 foods known to have the highest amount.
1. Lean beef (approx. 23 grams of protein/100 grams)
This muscle building food is rich in essential B-vitamins, iron, amino acids and creatine. Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that supplies energy to muscle cells. Of beef’s total caloric content 79 percent is made up of protein, which means that if you want to build and maintain muscle, you should eat more of this. Note that lean beef is beef with reduced or without the fat.
2. Nuts (approx. 22 grams of protein/100 grams)
Almonds, in particular, are high in magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and calcium. Together with other types of nuts, it is a rich source o fiber and protein. Almonds’ caloric content is mostly composed of fat, but this type of fat is mainly unsaturated, which is its healthy version. These fats are what you need to maintain a healthy weight. This is why nuts easily make you feel full because they contain a significant amount of protein and fat.
3. Chicken breast (approx. 23 grams of protein/100 grams)
Fitness buffs will identify chicken as probably the most popular protein-rich food. Chicken meat, minus the skin, is a significant source of protein, which takes up around 90 percent of its total caloric makeup. Chicken breast contains only 11 percent of fat and has zero carbohydrates, making it a dieters dream. Meal planners place chicken as part of the daily diet to maintain and build muscle mass.
4. Fish (approx. 23 grams of protein/100 grams)
Fish is the go-to meal for all fitness buffs and athletes, placing it at par with chicken breast. Health experts say that fish, particularly salmon and tuna, is the best choice for a high-protein diet because it is low in saturated fats. In addition to a rich protein content, fish is also heart healthy. It contains a high amount of the healthy omega-3 fats and is a rich source of iron and vitamin B.
5. Eggs (appox. 13 grams of protein/100 grams)
Eggs are a controversial choice because for the longest time they have been known to be high in cholesterol. In fact, eggs are a very rich source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. More importantly, recent studies show that they do not have an adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are high in vitamins A, E, K, and B, plus essential amino acids. Athletes know it to be an indidspensable part of one’s daily diet.
Of course, while muscle building requires high amounts of protein in one’s diet, that doesn’t mean that that’s all you should eat. A healthy body is fed with a healthy balance of protein, carbs and fat — plus exercise.