Something Fishy

When it comes to protein intake from natural food sources we are often spoilt for choice. Besides a large variety of dairy products, eggs, nuts, beans and seeds, the most obvious and probably the most well-known source of protein is meat.

Proteins are biochemical compounds that perform a wide range of functions in the human body. However, strength, fitness and muscle-building enthusiasts are chiefly concerned with the role of protein in muscular development. We often hear trainers and experts telling us to increase our protein intake if we want to put on more muscle mass.

Many bodybuilders stick to chicken as the main muscle-building component of their diet, especially the lean meat found in the chicken breast. I had once experimented with a diet of boiled chicken breast and broccoli, but gave up after 3 weeks – the stuff tasted just like how I imagined a peice of dry rubber would, and was most unappealing to the palate.

(Kudos to those hardcore musclemen who are surviving on such a diet. I do admire you for your dedication.)

Others prefer beef, becuase of its high mineral and vitamin (B12) content in addition to its protein value.

For those of you who are looking for  variety and are tired of your regular chicken chops and beef steaks, here is another meat for you to consider: Fish.

As discussed in a previous post your nutritional uptake is dependent upon the efficacy of your digestion. This simply means that stuff which is broken down more easily in your gut will tend to give you higher rates of nutrient absorption.

Fish meat is flaky by nature and you will notice that it doesn’t take nearly as much chewing as chicken or beef for it to be broken down into fine pieces. So this may mean that our body will have an easier time digesting fish as compared to other forms of meat, especially for those of you who have a habit of wolfing down your meals.

Fish is said to be a low-fat source of high-quality protein, and it is also chock full of essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (D and B2), calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.

Most fish are sweet and flavourful when they are well-prepared, and make for a nutritional gastronomic indulgence. Steam or broil your fish with vegetables and herbs for a healthy, well-balanced meal.

Fish is a refreshing alternative to landbound meat, and is definitely a valuable addition to any diet (except for vegans).

So next time when you’re dining or cooking, be sure to try out fish meat as a light and healthful variation of your protein intake. You won’t feel as weighed down from a fish fillet as compared to a traditional steak, and you will still be getting more than your fair share of proteins and other essential nutrients.

For a list of healthy fish recipes, visit http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/oehas/fish/fishrecipes.htm.

~ This post is written by Lionel Ng, part-time Personal Trainer & full-time Fitness Enthusiast. ~

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