Protein is one of the most essential elements required by the human body. It is needed by every cell in the body and is mainly used for repairing and building of everything from muscles and bones to hair and fingernails. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are compounds containing four elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Most proteins are made up of about 20 amino acids. It is recommended by nutritionists that one should aim to get at least 10-15% of their energy from proteins. So just by incorporating protein laden foods into one’s diet, one can easily meet this requirement. Here are some of the best foods that are known to be rich in protein.
One of the most easily available sources of protein is eggs. Around 6g of protein is present in a medium sized egg. It is of the highest biological value which means that all the 20 amino acids are present in it, in the most digestible form. Among these 20 amino acids there are 8 essential ones which cannot be synthesized in our body and are only obtained from our diet.
Milk and dairy foods are richly packed with proteins. Though the biological value of the protein present is a little less than that in an egg, a cup of milk has about 8g of protein which is enough to render support to the recovery process.
Fish and Seafood
While being typically low in fat, fish and other forms of seafood are rich sources of protein. Proteins found in most seafood have all the essential amino acids present in them in decent proportions as needed by the human body.
Eating soya protein foods like tofu and soya-based drinks help in recovery for those intolerant to dairy products. Added to this, soy based protein also helps to lower the level of cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Soya is one of the few plants which have got equal or higher quality of protein compared to foods which are animal based.
One of the most practical choices of protein, especially if you are on the move, are pistachios. Around 50 pistachios are known to provide you with 6g of protein and also electrolytes that are lost due to sweating during exercise, such as sodium and potassium.
Branched-chain amino acids are one of the key components of high quality protein. They play the most important role in supporting muscle-recovery. Pork is one of the richest sources of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid which makes up one-third of the muscle protein and helps in stimulating repair post exercise, hence pork is one of the best additions to the post exercise meal or snack.
Turkey is one of the most common sources of lean protein. It is recommended to discard the skin which is unnecessarily rich in saturated fat. Turkey meat is loaded with protein which also has all the essential amino acids present in correct proportions.