Building muscle is about more than just maximizing muscle protein synthesis. Your food choices can not only accomplish that, but also can also increase your energy levels for longer workouts, decrease inflammation for faster muscle recovery and shred fat. Hard to believe, but incorporating these superfoods into your regular diet can do just that. Superfoods are best described as the most powerful, vitamin-rich, antioxidant-rich, phytonutrient-rich foods that far exceed basic nutritional content. Here is a list of some of the major players you may want to consider adding to your diet.
A boiled or poached egg contains 6.28 grams of protein. Eggs also contain the amino acid leucine, which is essential for muscle synthesis. In addition, eggs are a good source of energy boosting B vitamins.
Chicken and Turkey
A medium chicken breast without skin contains about 35.5 grams of protein. Skinless chicken is an excellent low-fat protein source and is versatile enough that it can be prepared in a variety of ways. A cup of chopped turkey contains 37 grams of protein, while a turkey drumstick contains 27 grams. Like chicken, turkey is a low-fat protein source that is adaptable to different meals and recipes.
Salmon and Tuna
Salmon is a class A superfood, rich in Omega-3s that help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Omega-3s have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes, lower bad cholesterol, decrease triglycerides, and help lower blood pressure. Medically, it is proven that omega-3 fatty acids can have a profound effect on cancer cells and kill tumors Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Tuna fish is another great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein containing 7 grams of protein per ounce. It can help reduce inflammation and improve muscle size and strength.
Quinoa has an exceptional nutritional profile due to its high protein, balanced amino acid profile, fiber content, range of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and absence of gluten.
Edamame beans are immature soybeans and are often used in Asian cooking. Fresh or frozen edamame beans contain 6 grams of protein per ½ cup. Add them to a stir-fry with chicken for a protein packed meal.
A cup of dry roasted almonds without salt contains nearly 29 grams of protein. Nuts also provide fiber keeping you fuller longer, and B vitamins for energy during training. One cup of peanuts contains nearly 41 grams of protein, and a cup of chopped, shelled walnut halves is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. All are helpful in enhancing exercise performance and protecting against physical stress during exercise.
Yogurt, cottage cheese and milk are high in protein, calcium and can help with hydration after exercise. Add nuts, potassium rich bananas and other fruit to yogurt and cottage cheese for a powerful nutrient packed boost.
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