Not all protein rich foods they can be consumed regularly, since many of them provide other nutrients that it is not advisable to abuse, as is the case of saturated fats, for example. We consider that the protein of a food is of quality or of high biological value if it has all essential amino acids, while if it has small amounts it is classified as of lower quality. Among the first are those of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy products, and in the second group those of plant origin, such as legumes or nuts.
Egg and milk proteins are used as a reference, while to obtain an optimal protein quality in those of plant origin it is necessary to combine them. A clear example is cereals and potatoes, deficient in lysine, which can be mixed with legumes, deficient in methionine, so that the combination provides us with all the amino acids. From the Spanish Heart Foundation they remind that the recommended daily intake for a healthy person is 0.8-1 gram for each kilogram of weight per day.
It is essential, therefore, to ensure protein consumption within healthy limits and these foods are the most recommended to achieve it in a healthy way:
It is one of the foods richest in protein, with 36 grams out of 100. It also contains very important bioactive components for the body such as flavonoids and isoflavonoids, vital for tissue oxygenation, as well as polyphenols (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), phytosterols ( reduces cholesterol levels) and saponins, with immunological capacity.
It is the fish that contains the most protein, about 31.5 grams per 100. 20% of them are also of high biological value and it is a white fish, so it is free of fat and is highly recommended for diets of weightloss.
Although we have associated them all our lives with nuts, peanuts are actually legumes as they are the seed of a leguminous bush and grow underground. It is a food very rich in protein, with 27 grams of every 100, and also provides vitamin B3 and folic acid.
Another legume full of protein, with 24 grams per 100 of food. It is also an excellent source of iron and other minerals, such as potassium, copper, phosphorus and zinc. It also provides up to 90% of the recommended amount of folic acid.
What are proteins and what are they for?
The main function of proteins, as the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) reminds us, is to form and repair body structures, since they are the main component of the body’s cells. They are made up of amino acids that serve, in turn, to synthesize proteins with a plastic or structural function, synthesize enzymes and hormones with a regulatory function, synthesize antibodies with an immune function, and also as a secondary energy source.
exist 20 amino acids that are part of proteins or the peptides that compose them. Among them, eight are distinguished that are essential for an adult person: threonine, tryptophan, valine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine and phenylalanine. All are essential for the functioning of the organism and they cannot be synthesized by our body, so we have to get them through the diet. Proteins are vital, therefore, for our body and very important from a nutritional point of view because they are responsible for distributing hydrogen.
What to eat to increase muscle mass?
Only if we consume a extra protein combined with proper exercise we can gain weight in the form of muscle mass. In addition to the favorite high-protein food of the majority, chicken, there are many other options that can help us increase muscle. Dairy products are a good example and we can add low-fat yogurt or cheese as a complement to daily meals or at any time of the day.
Eggs are other great allies, since they contain an average of 7 grams of excellent quality protein and are so versatile that they can be combined with almost anything, both sweet and savory. It is also a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The Spinach, for its part, develops muscles thanks to ecdysteronea steroid hormone that has been known since the 1980s.
Legumes cannot be missing from this list because of their complex carbohydrates, perfect for gaining muscle mass, as well as their minerals that help muscles develop. Oatmeal, perfect for breakfast, is the energy cereal par excellence and dried fruits, as well as fresh fruits – banana, orange, red fruits, tangerine or kiwi – are also a great food to increase muscle.
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