Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet, but for anybody who seeks to build lean muscle tissue and achieve peak fitness it is important that it is taken in sufficient quantities.
It is said that protein should comprise at least ten per cent of a healthy diet (more for an active sports person), but that is only half the story. Some proteins are more digestible than others, meaning that all else being equal less of them will need to be consumed than others in order to achieve comparable results.
The requirements of women who follow a healthy fitness regime are similar, but there are specifics to which it can be helpful to pay particular attention. Here are six foods which women should eat in order to obtain maximum muscularity and fitness:
Tuna is a great source of protein which is low in fat and contains useful omega-3 fatty acids. A 100g tin of tuna steak contains about 30g of highly digestible protein but only around 100 calories when taken in water or brine.
- Protein Powder
Available over the counter from any decent Canadian pharmacy or health store, for best results find a powder that is low in fat and which offers at least 20g of protein per serving. Powders made from egg white or whey are especially popular, and some are designed specifically with female athletes or trainers in mind.
Fried chicken is often cited as one of the most fattening and unhealthy foods on the market. But when chicken or turkey breasts are cooked lean, grilled or baked without all the unhealthy and unnecessary accompaniments, they one of the best sources of protein one can eat, and are generally lower in calories and saturated fats than are red meats. Eat one or two medium-sized breasts for your main meal accompanied by a salad or some light vegetables.
- Egg Whites
The white of an egg contains a similar amount of protein and less fat than the yolk, although both have beneficial qualities for people undertaking physical exercise. The authoritative Medical News Today provides a helpful breakdown of their respective nutritional compositions. Make a mega high protein omelet with one or two yolks (to bind and for taste) and the whites of half a dozen eggs.
Milk contains a lot of sugar, which is bad and should be taken in moderation, but it is also a high protein food and good for mixing with powders or using in egg dishes. Train yourself to use skimmed milk rather than semi-skimmed, and certainly avoid full fat. In moderation it is a useful part of any athlete’s diet.
This is a wonderful meat-free source of protein for women, which lowers cholesterol and substantially reduces the risk of developing heart disease or problems later in life. Increasingly popular amongst vegans and vegetarians, it can be purchased from any health food shop or, increasingly, from major supermarkets.