It’s been just over a month since the ORA 90 Challenge started. Many of you are still plugging away and are determined to finish the challenge with your head held high.
If you made it this far being consistent then most likely you’ve developed some healthy habits that will stick with you for the long haul. For those struggling a little and are trying to find the rhythm, don’t sweat it, no one said this would be easy! Keep grinding and don’t give up. Take it on step at a time and don’t feel like you need to overhaul your entire life to be successful at this challenge.
Now, if you remember last week, our weekly focus was protein. Eating a protein-rich diet has many health benefits especially when it comes to weight loss. It helps us feel full and eat less, build muscle, recover, as well as many other things that our bodies need to move and function on a daily basis.
Here are five sources of protein you can implement into your daily eating:
A highly nutritious grain native to South America, quinoa is primarily regarded as one of the world’s healthiest foods. Packed full of protein and has about 14g per a 100g serving. Quinoa provides all nine essential amino acids, and high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre. The other great benefit is that quinoa is also gluten-free, easy to digest, and full of vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron to support cell growth and general health.
Without a doubt, quinoa is one of the highest quality and healthiest carbohydrate sources available. However, it is not optimal as a post workout carb because it is not absorbed very rapidly. Once a training session is complete the goal is to send nutrients into cells and refill muscle glycogen as quickly as possible to facilitate the anabolic process. Things like fruit would be a better alternative.
While most fitness enthusiasts will devour the chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, and whey protein to sculpt a perfect body, one often-overlooked high protein sources is cottage cheese. Providing a substantial 30 grams of amino-rich protein, less than four grams of fat, and approximately 250mg of bone-building calcium per cup, cottage cheese is an extremely versatile food that should be on all everyone’s grocery lists.
An excellent source of phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, and also high in vitamins A, B1 and B2, cottage cheese furthermore contains casein protein which is both slowly released into our system to sustain the muscle building process and more readily absorbed than that found in red meat, chicken or fish.
Far from front and centre of most nutrition plans are oysters, and for a good reason: a comparatively poor protein option, they are also deficient in most vitamins. However, with their low-fat composition and high mineral content, in particular calcium, iron, and selenium, a trace mineral that is important for thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism and difficult to achieve through whole food nutrition alone. Oysters are an excellent nutritional option for anyone who is active.
With this in mind the primary benefit of oyster consumption, other than their tantalizing taste, is their high zinc content. Zinc is Important for testosterone production, protein synthesis, immune function, and cell growth. Zinc is seldom achieved in sufficient enough quantities to exert its beneficial effects fully. Having 1-3 medium sized oysters (approximately one 100-gram serving) will cover your zinc needs as well as provide around 10 grams of protein.
Deficiencies in zinc and magnesium are prevalent amongst athletes and the general population who exercise because the frequent and intense training involved in these activities quickly drains reserves of these two vital minerals. The result of insufficient supplies of zinc and magnesium can result in compromised athletic performance, reduction in one’s ability to recover, increased frequency of muscle cramps, and a general feeling of lethargy and fatigue.
The soft fleshy texture and delicately mild sweet flavour of scallops are enjoyed by even those who are not particularly fond of fish or other shellfish. Most people know that fish is healthy for you, but what about other seafood? As it turns out, scallops, in addition to their delectable taste, contain a variety of nutrients that can promote your cardiovascular health, plus protect against colon cancer.
Scallops are an excellent source of an essential nutrient for cardiovascular health, vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is needed by the body to convert homocysteine, a chemical that can directly damage blood vessel walls, into other benign chemicals. Along with being an excellent source of protein eating a 3.5-ounce serving is about 110 calories and 20 grams of protein!
Eggs health benefits include protection against cardiovascular disease, lowering LDL cholesterol, an excellent source of choline, supporting eye health, a solid source of protein, reducing the risk of breast cancer, preventing fatigue, supplying needed energy, promoting strong bones, and supporting neurological health.
Eggs are considered to be one of the best sources of protein available. The overall quality of a protein is assessed by using three different criteria; these are amino acid composition, amino acid bioavailability, and digestibility. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Altogether, there are twenty-one of them, nine of which your body cannot produce on its own and must get from dietary sources. To rate high on the protein assessment, food must be high in the nine aminos that your body cannot create. Eggs are high in all of these, giving them their perfect protein status.
With these five sources of protein in mind, you’ll be able to increase the quality and quantity of your protein intake sufficiently. Remember to experiment with different recipes to find a taste that agrees with you. Many times, people try a new protein source but don’t cook it as it was intended and then they are put off from trying that protein source completely. You want to have as many options as possible at your disposal if you’re the type of person that needs variety in your diet.
There are so many other protein sources out in the world that are not chicken, beef and fish you can choose from. It just takes a little time to do a quick Google search and find a recipe that works for you.