When we hear the word ‘protein’, we almost always picture a buff, muscular man brimming with energy.
There’s definitely more to proteins; they are vital nutrients necessary for physical growth and function. Your physical growth from infancy to adulthood has a lot to do with the consumption of proteins. It should therefore be an integral part of your diet.
Proteins are usually available in natural foods. Some of these natural foods carry several nutrients and can be classified as high-quality proteins. However, there are many dietary supplements also available in the market that can help fulfill your body’s protein needs.
What are High-Quality Proteins?
Also referred to as ‘complete proteins’, high-quality proteins are determined by qualities like their biological and digestive values. These proteins contain all the amino acids necessary for your physical growth.
Why are High-Quality Proteins Necessary?
As you would have learned in elementary schools, proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are key to developing your muscles. They’re basically responsible for the building, maintenance, and repair of your body and its parts.
Studies show that the consumption of proteins can help maintain your strength and muscle mass while getting rid of your fat. It also helps keep your blood pressure in check, keeps cardio-vascular ailments at bay, and regulates your mood.
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, however, physicians recommend consuming more for optimal body function. As an adult, you definitely need proteins for tissue repair.
Proteins are made up of amino acids that join together to form long chains. You can think of a protein as a string of beads in which each bead is an amino acid.
What’s on the Menu?
High-quality proteins are available in plant and animal products. A common misconception is that vegetarians/vegans can never get ripped muscles. Now, that’s definitely not true. The desire to become fit can be fulfilled by plant-based proteins just as much as animal-based proteins. Listed below are a few foods that contain the high-quality proteins you are looking for.
Animal-Based High-Quality Proteins
1. Meat – These are admittedly the most commonly consumed sources of high-quality proteins. Poultry and red meat – including the likes of lean beef and turkey are excellent for muscle development.
2. Fish – Tuna, shrimp, and salmon, amongst many other kinds of seafood, are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of protein-rich seafood is also a sure-fire way of gaining muscles while avoiding fat.
3. Eggs – Whole eggs remain one of the most nutritious foods to consume. Egg-whites are pure proteins, with a single egg carrying about 6-7 grams of proteins.
4. Dairy – Products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are also rich in protein. Make sure to consume no added sugar with your yogurt, and opt for low or zero fat milk to avoid fat or calories.
Plant-Based High-Quality Proteins
1. Quinoa – Referred to as a superfood, it is the go-to protein for people who desire weight loss. It contains 9 essential amino acids.
2. Soy – Soy is of the very few complete plant-based proteins. Soy milk could be an alternative for people who follow a plant-based diet.
3. Broccoli – One of the healthiest vegetables containing several vitamins, broccoli is an excellent source of protein. It also helps fight cancer.
4. Brussels sprouts – A relative of broccoli, brussels sprouts are rich in proteins and fiber. They are also low in calories.
So, there you have it. Skipping proteins would lead you straight to the doctor, so make sure you include sufficient amounts of protein in your diet.
Popeye would be proud of you!