Rub your fingers together and feel your skin. Run your fingers through your hair. Stand on the balls of your feet and your calves flex – it’s all made up of protein, from your hair to the tips of your toes, every muscle fiber and even your blood, contain protein. If you want to build muscle, you need to turn to the substance that you are dominantly made up of and consume more of that.
You may have heard the common description of protein being the building blocks of the body. That’s because it is the most simplified and accurate portrayal of the role of proteins in the body. Protein is responsible for repairing damaged body tissues by patching them up and making them look as good as new. It supports the growth of our bones, and increases the padding of our muscles, as well as the necessary changes as we grow. Protein supports and regulates every bodily function; so naturally, protein should be a part of every meal to sustain us.
If you want to build muscle you must understand that exercise and diet go hand in hand for all things fitness. Hours of weightlifting will mean nothing if you don’t sustain your physical activity with enough protein. You might even lose some muscle if you are not mindful of what you eat. However, you cannot eat your way to a toned physique either. Cardiovascular exercise and adequate weight training is paramount for muscle development. Also to note, excessive protein intake is harmful to your body, just like anything in excess can be a bad thing, this is no different.
Here is a list of the best protein sources that are both delicious and healthy.
CHICKEN: A piece of chicken that is about the size of your palm is about three ounces and contains around 21-22 grams of protein. Chicken breast contains the most protein and less fat. Also to note, removing the skin before cooking automatically cuts the calories by almost half.
SHRIMP: Low in fat and calories and just four ounces of shrimp yields about 22-23 grams of protein. It is also an excellent source of selenium and vitamin B12.
YOGURT: Yogurt can do you a world of benefits; first, one cup of yogurt can provide 50% of your recommended daily calcium intake. Opt for the low-fat versions and this treat will be guilt free. It keeps you feeling full longer, effectively preventing you from overeating. One cup has about 11-13 grams of protein.
EGGS: Jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B12, B6, D, E, iron and phosphorous, eggs are probably the healthiest proteins that we eat. Just three ounces of cooked egg can give you seven grams of protein. Cut back on the calories and fat by boiling or poach instead of frying the eggs.
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