If you’re serious about working out and have set yourself some strict fitness goals, you may find yourself considering protein powders. It might come as a suggestion from your trainer or friends, but you need to remember that while protein powders may help some people reach their goals sooner, others may experience allergic reactions. This doesn’t mean you can’t reach your workout goals, just that you might want to try a safer approach. If you need to up your protein intake, for any reason, there are ways to do it with your diet as well. Here are six food items that are rich in protein and can help in gaining muscle mass:
Eggs are an easily-available and affordable source of protein. They are not only rich in protein but also in amino acid leucine, which helps in the recovery of muscles after a rigorous workout. While some people may think the yolk is bad for the heart, it has been found in studies that whole eggs act as a protein-synthesising powerhouse. They further state that the muscle-building response is 40% higher in a person who eats whole eggs post-workout than those who consume just the egg whites. A single egg contains around 6 grams of protein.
Fish like salmon and tuna are rich sources of protein. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which help in reducing the level of insulin in the bloodstream. This is a good thing as insulin promotes the storage of fat, thus making it difficult to gain muscle mass. About 100 grams of salmon gives you 20 grams of protein.
Similarly, tuna is very rich in protein and is very lean (no fat) as well. You can find tuna in packaged cans, about 141 grams of it contains 30 grams of protein.
3. Soybeans and soy products
Soy is the best option for vegetarians for building muscle mass as it is the protein-rich plant food. Food items like tofu, tempeh, and vegetarian meat are made out of soy. Soybeans also help in maintaining cardiovascular health while continuously supplying protein to the body. You must not consume processed soy products though - opt for fermented or sprouted form of soy. About 100 grams of soybeans gives 36 grams of protein.
Lentils are widely available in every Indian household. They are high in fibre, low in fat, and packed with protein. They are cheaper than other sources of protein, can be stored for a longer period of time and super easy to cook. After all, it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare lentils. You can either consume it as a standalone dish or can mix it with brown rice. One cup of cooked lentils can give you 18 grams of protein.
5. Chicken breast
Chicken breast is an ideal muscle-building food. It is cost-effective, easy to cook and is rich in protein. Chicken breast is also high in selenium, which protects the cells of the body from free radical damage that is usually seen during a workout. About 100 grams of chicken breast gives 32 grams of protein.
You can call quinoa a power seed as it is rich in nine essential amino acids, proteins, fibre, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B and E, potassium, iron and much more. It is not only nutritious but also delicious. You can make quinoa salads or quinoa rice and consume it on a daily basis. About 100 grams of cooked quinoa contains five grams of protein.
For more information, read our article on Bodybuilding food list.
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