Everybody is a gym freak now. Or almost everybody. Not me (round is a shape, people!!). And what is the one major thing that everybody who exercises cannot, and I mean, CANNOT live without? That’s right! PROTEIN! You might have guessed that from the title itself, but points to you!
What are proteins required for? Proteins are the second most abundant molecules in our body after water. It is one of the three macronutrients essential for proper growth and functioning of the body. Hair and nail health (pointer for you girls) depends on the amount of proteins you eat. Growth and repair of tissue requires proteins. It makes up our entire DNA structure. Enzymes, hormones, joint lubrication, muscle growth. The list is endless! (My editor will not let me write a 10 page article on proteins, sorry guys)
So here are the top 10 protein rich foods that you can make at the ease of your home without having to spend crores of rupees on protein powders and whatnot (my guesstimate might be wrong, but hey, I don’t go to the gym, so I don’t know).
This is the holy grail of the workout fanatics. You can boil them, fry them, poach them, mix it with brownie mix and chuck it in the oven. So many ways to cook eggs! Everybody knows Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He eats, on average, 14 eggs per day! PER DAY! And for good measure too!
One large egg (say about 50 g) gives you just 70 calories. But in that 70 calories, there’s 6 g of proteins. That’s roughly a 10th of the daily protein requirement of a person weighing 60 kilos.
Other nutrients include 5 g of fat (which is essential for protection, cell growth, production of hormones and to keep you warm), 195 g of cholesterol (the good kind – HDL cholesterol), minerals like iron and calcium. And let’s not forget the vitamins! Vitamin A (good for your eyes), vitamin D (bone and teeth health), vitamins B6 and B12 (essential to prevent anaemia). Eggs also have antioxidants (prevents the harmful effects of oxidation reaction by-products in the body) and carotenoids (again, good for the eyes) and choline (helps in brain and memory development).
So, in short, eggs are a pretty good substitute for the expensive protein powders.
Ahh… Peanut butter. I have a friend who literally licks the bottle clean after spooning out how much ever he can. And I’ve gotta say, I get it! Peanut butter is probably one of the tastiest products out there that is ready to eat. A mere 100 g of peanut butter gives you a whopping 588 calories! That is a quarter of the daily requirement of calories for an average male. 100 g of peanut butter contains about 25 g of proteins, a third of the daily requirement of proteins for an average male.
Other nutrients include 50 g of fat (out of which 40 g is the good HDL type of fat), 20 g of carbs and essential minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron. The vitamin count is comparatively less compared to eggs with only vitamin B6 present. One advantage that peanut butter has over eggs is that it is a good source of fibre, which, as you’d probably know, is essential for good bowel movement.
Peanut butter is a good alternative to eggs for those who are vegetarians, and is also a good instant breakfast option for those who don’t get a lot of time to cook in the morning.
Who doesn’t love almonds? Dry roasted, honey roasted, in chocolates… The list is endless. And yummy! My girlfriend eats almonds exclusively in the chocolate form. Which is probably the best form. The gym goers may give me hate for eating chocolate, but I’m pretty sure that they’re craving it too on the inside.
Now let’s get to the nutrition! 100 g of almonds gives you 576 calories! A quarter of the daily requirement of calories for an average male. It also gives you 21 g of proteins, 49 g of fats (out of which 43 g is unsaturated, which is good for our bodies) and 22 g of carbs and 12 g of dietary fibre. It is also a rich source of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. It has zero cholesterol content and a negligible vitamin B6 content.
All in all, almonds make for a tasty snack in between meals and a good source of instant energy.
Broccoli. Not many people like it. And know why that is? Cause they haven’t explored the full range of food that you can make with it. Put it up with chicken roast, or pizza, blanch it and eat it with salt and pepper or just plain grill it with some hoisin dressing. It’s absolutely brilliant to eat. You just need to put in some effort to make it tasty.
And for the nutrition bit? It’s perfect for those trying to lose weight. Why? Because a 100g of broccoli is just about 33 calories. It’s rich in proteins, about 3.8 g. This helps in losing weight but it also gives you some energy so that you’re not drained at the end of the day.
And it has zero fat. ZERO. And zero cholesterol too. It gives you 3.1 g of carbs, which gives you energy with the proteins. And it’s a rich source of minerals like potassium and magnesium. And coming to the vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin C are present in abundance!
So, for 2019, let’s give broccoli another chance and put some effort into making it a part of our regular diet.
Like many people, I did not know what Greek yogurt is until I saw it being used on a cooking show (rhymes with Caster-Hef). And I am a curious soul by nature, so I obviously went and bought some. And by god, did it taste good! It’s thicker than regular yogurt and creamier (for those who want to know how it’s different, click here).
And you might think that thicker and creamier might mean more fat. Wrong! 100 g of Greek yogurt is equal to about 59 calories. Fat is literally negligible, almost 0.4 g. And it gives you 10 g of proteins!
And cholesterol is 0.005 g, or 5 mg. It is rich in carbs, 3.6 g per 100 mg. It’s an excellent source of vitamin B12 and calcium.
So go to the nearest supermarket and buy that pack of Greek yogurt, all you gym freaks and eat without feeling guilty!
Now, when I say tuna, many of you would think I’m talking about canned tuna. I’m not. I’m talking about fresh tuna. The preservatives and salt that goes into curing the tuna are not good for our body at all.
100 g of fresh tuna gives 29 g of proteins. It has almost negligible fat content and zero carbs. It is a rich source of minerals like potassium and magnesium, and its rich in vitamins such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Tuna requires some effort and work in the kitchen, but you can’t deny that it’s not without its merits. Plus, its vey good for your liver, so for the ones who “party” all night, this one’s for you!
Ah, the mighty chicken. The staple non-vegetarian item that almost everybody eats. The biggest poultry item to be produced. The variety of items that can be made from chicken is too many to count. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to make and even the simplest dishes are almost always tasty. And I’m pretty sure that, if necessary, we can survive on chicken alone and not get bored of it.
Coming to the nutrition aspect of chicken breast, 100 g gives 165 calories and 31 g of proteins. It gives zero carbs and 3.6 g of fat, out of which 2 g is the healthy fat (namely HDL fat). It is a good source of only vitamin B6, and has negligible amounts of minerals and other vitamins.Read our article on TOP 5 POST WORKOUT FOODS if you are a gym goer.
The humble, yet mighty chicken, is the David of foodstuffs. It appears to be simple and unassuming, but it’s one of the most important items of our daily diet, if treated right. And by treated right, I mean not deep fried, as is the tendency to do for everything nowadays.
I’m not a beef eater, rules and discrimination notwithstanding, I just haven’t gotten the opportunity to try it out. But what is lean meat? It is just the muscle part of the whole cut. Lean meat has more protein, vitamins and minerals than a regular cut of beef. Fatty tissue and skin is removed and given to the ever-present dogs loitering near the butcher’s shop. Well, at least someone grew fat (i.e., the dog).
100 g of ground lean beef gives about 250 calories. It has almost the same protein content as chicken breast, 26 g. It is similar to chicken breast in that it doesn’t have any carbs either. But it has a higher fat content at 15 g every 100 g of meat, out of which 6 g is saturated fats, which aren’t good for our bodies. It has a high amount of cholesterol too, about 90 mg. It is a good source of iron and of vitamins B6 and B12 too.
Experts have mixed views about the benefits of beef, but one thing that they all concur on is that moderation is of tantamount importance. So go easy on the beef burgers and steak dinners, which might not be all that good for your body after all.
Imagine you’re on a road trip and you pass by a huge field of sunflowers. The way they all would be facing to get the most of the sunrays. Would you have ever thought that let’s eat its seeds? I’d wager not. But somebody did, and lo and behold, one of the most popular snacks was born.
Sunflower seeds are usually eaten dried or roasted. And they pack a punch in terms of nutrition. 100 g of sunflower seeds give about 584 calories. That is again a quarter of the daily requirement of calories of an average healthy male. And it gives 21 g of proteins, which is about a third of the required daily intake of proteins of a healthy male.
It has a high fat content at 51 g, but don’t get scared by this. It is mainly made up of the good type of fats, i.e. unsaturated fats, 42 whole grams of it. It has zero cholesterol content and is an excellent source of fibre and carbs. It is a good source of essential minerals like magnesium, iron and potassium.
So, go ahead and open a pack of sunflower seeds and have it as a snack in between meals, as it fills up your stomach and gives a good boost of energy too.
Salmon! It’s not known as the king of fishes for nothing. It’s tasty eaten however you want. Be it raw in sushi, pan fried, smoked, baked, roasted, sous vide. The methods to cook it are endless.
100 g of salmon gives about 178 calories of energy. It’s an excellent source of proteins giving 24 g of proteins every 100 g.
It also gives about 8 g of fats, out of which roughly 5.6 g is unsaturated and is healthy. It is a good source of cholesterol, giving 63 mg every 100 g. It doesn’t have any carbs or fibre. It is a good source of potassium too and it is rich in vitamin B12 and B6.
So go ahead and get the salmon. It doesn’t take a lot of time to cook and is an excellent dinner menu selection. Maybe impress your significant other, or even your parents (who are more likely to be surprised) with your cooking skills.
There you have it. The top 10 protein rich foods and their nutritive information! Many of these can be eaten as snacks between meals and many of them are excellent dinner meals. But they must all be eaten as part of a balanced diet and not in isolation. Proteins are good for muscle growth, but in concordance with other nutrients eaten in the right quantities. Here’s to healthy eating and saving money than relying on protein powders and supplements!!