Benefits of Protein

Chicken

Upon first glance at chicken breast nutrition facts, most people notice the high cholesterol content but it does only make up 24% of your daily value so as long as you monitor your intake you can eat chicken breast for fat loss. You should notice that ½ chicken breast has just 142 calories and just 3 grams of fat. Chicken breasts nutrition facts also tell us that there are no carbs, sugar or fiber but there are 27 grams of protein in just a half breast! Chicken breast nutrition facts also tell us that you can get many essential vitamins including E, B6 and B12. You can also get vitamins essential to healthy body functions, including riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pantothenic acid. Minerals, which provide many of the health benefits of chicken breasts, are found in healthy numbers in just one serving. For example, phosphorus and selenium make up more than 20% of your recommended daily value. There are also small, but helpful amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and zinc found in chicken breasts. ½ chicken breast also gives you significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy body. Chicken breasts have many nutrients that can reduce your risk of many types of cancer, thanks to the more than 60% of niacin found in a half breast. Selenium is also another culprit responsible for the health benefits of chicken breast, protecting your immune system, which helps in the fight to keep cancer away. The vitamin B in chicken breasts is a great source of energy, which is a great health benefit for anyone looking to burn more fat each day. Which brings me to protein’s fat burning properties in chicken. A chicken breast half provides you with more than 50%of your daily value of protein, which is what makes chicken breast such an amazing fat burning food. Vitamin B, in its many variations, provides a variety of health benefits of chicken breasts, namely heart health. We can get 26% of our daily value of vitamin B6 from one half of a chicken breast, which keeps blood vessels healthy to ward off heart disease like heart attack and stroke. Keep in mind that these health benefits of chicken breast can only be derived from eating chicken breast without the skin and bone. This way your chicken breast is as lean as possible, providing you with maximum fat burning potential.

Lean Ground Turkey

Some of the great benefits of eating turkey is that it also is a lean protein that contains several minerals and vitamins.  A four-ounce serving of turkey offers about 65% of your daily recommended protein while providing you with nearly half the saturated fat found in red meat. 3-ounce serving of skinless white meat contains 25 grams of protein, barely 3 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat. 
Vitamin B is a great source of niacin and Vitamin B6, two important vitamins necessary for energy production. Niacin helps to convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into usable energy while also assisting in blood sugar regulation. Selenium rich-an important trace mineral like selenium can be found in turkey. Selenium has been linked to cancer prevention. Arginine is an essential amino acid that can also be found in turkey.

Beef

Beef contributes to your daily protein food intake each 3-ounce serving provides half the U.S. Department of Agriculture-recommended daily protein food intake for men and 60 percent of the recommended daily protein food intake for women. Consuming lean meat boosts your intake of iron, a nutrient important for healthy red blood cells. Your red blood cells require hemoglobin an iron-containing pigment protein that gives your blood its color to carry oxygen. If you don’t get enough iron from your diet, you might develop anemia due to an inability to make functional red blood cells. Iron also makes up a component of myoglobin, a protein that stores oxygen in your muscle cells. A 3-ounce serving of 95 percent lean ground beef contains 2 milligrams of iron 11 percent of the RDA iron intake for women and 25 percent of the RDA for men, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. The vitamin B-12 is also found in lean beef also aids in red blood cell production, playing an important role in hemoglobin synthesis. It also affects other tissues, facilitating neurological function and aiding in fat and protein metabolism. It also is a good source of coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant. Coenzyme Q10 protects your cells from harmful free radicals formed as a byproduct of your metabolism and environmental toxins, helping to prevent damage to your cell membranes, proteins and DNA. It also supports your metabolism your mitochondria, the “batteries" that produce energy that power your cells, rely on coenzyme Q10 to function.

Steak

Four ounces of steak can supply approximately 64% of a person’s daily requirement for protein. Steak can be a very good source of B vitamins, which are essential in the conversion of potentially dangerous homocysteine into harmless molecules. The components of steak can help strengthen bones and teeth. The consumption of steak can help stave off fatigue. Creatine present in steak helps promote muscle growth. Carnitine is also present in steak, which helps support the normal metabolism of fat. Foods high in Vitamin B12 are identified to lower risks for colon cancer. Steak is a good source of zinc and selenium. Selenium is identified to be a major component in the production of glutathione peroxidase, a naturally occurring antioxidant that decreases the severity of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma, and selenium is abundant in steak. Zinc is known to protect blood vessel walls from damage and it is also needed for strengthening the immune system and hastening wound healing. Steak is a rich source of phosphorus, which is an element necessary for strong teeth and bones. Safety precaution in eating steak is that it potentially increase cholesterol levels, so don’t use as the only source of protein.

Bison/Buffalo

Buffalo (bison) is a superb alternative to industrially produced meat from domestic livestock. Nutritionally, you get more protein and nutrients with fewer calories and less fat. People are rapidly discovering the deliciously healthy taste of bison.  Buffalo meat tastes similar to fine beef, with just a slightly sweeter and richer flavor. Bison is naturally flavorful and tender and can be prepared much the same as beef. Bison provides nutrient dense, low fat, low cholesterol meat with as many Omega-3s per serving as salmon. It contains the highest-know levels of the fat-blocker and anti-carcinogen, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Research on CLA is showing evidence that CLA has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders. It also has high concentrations of selenium, a natural trace element that acts as a mood elevator. The original “happy meal". Bison fits the dietary recommendations of the American Heart and American Diabetes associations. It is also a rich source of the vitamin beta-carotene, a vital antioxidant which reduces the risk of cancer by preventing cell degeneration.

Salmon

Is a good source of fatty acids like Omega-3 in the form of triglyceride, as well as vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin A and some members of the B vitamin family. It also contains minerals like selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and iron. One fascinating new area of health benefits involves the protein and amino acid content of salmon. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. One particular bioactive peptide called calcitonin has been of special interest in these studies. The reason is because a human form of calcitonin is made by the thyroid gland, and we know that it is a key hormone for helping regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in the bone and surrounding tissue. As researchers learn more about salmon peptides including sCT we expect to see more potential health benefits discovered related to inflammation of the digestive track as well as the joints.

Tilapia

Tilapia is a delicious, lean white fish that has a wide variety of associated health benefits, including its ability to help reduce weight, boost overall metabolism, speed up repair and growth throughout the body, build strong bones, reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, lower triglyceride levels, prevent arthritis, protect against cognitive decline, prevent various types of cancer, reduce signs of aging, boost the health of your hair, and strengthen your immune system. Tilapia is highly valued as a seafood source due to its many beneficial qualities, which are attributed to its wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including significant amounts of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. Studies have directly linked selenium intake to a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer, as well as various heart conditions. Antioxidants like selenium are famed for their ability to reduce free radical activity in the body, thereby lowering the chances of oxidative stress on all the organ systems, and the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones. Potassium and omega-3 fatty acids found in tilapia have been connected to boosting brain power and increasing neurological function. Selenium plays a vital role in the regulation of the thyroid gland, which controls many of our hormonal functions. Proper functioning of the thyroid gland guarantees a well-balance metabolism and proper organ function and chemical reactions throughout the body.

Cod

The most known health benefit of cod is that it is an excellent source of protein, while being low on calories at the same time. Cod can be very useful for people suffering from atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Eating cod fish regularly can lower risk of heart diseases and heart attack. Cod fosters cardiovascular health, as the omega-3 fatty acids contained in it are a good source of blood thinning. Cod is also a rich source of Vitamin B12 and B6. Both the vitamins are beneficial in keeping the homocysteine levels low in the body. Homocysteine is a molecule which is capable of damaging the walls of blood vessels in the body. High levels of homocysteine increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Cod also bring down the cholesterol levels, because it contains Niacin, which is another B vitamin. This vitamin plays a significant role in controlling the cholesterol levels in the body. The risk of arrhythmia or sudden death is significantly reduced by consuming the Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, both of which are present in cod liver oil. Studies have also put forward strong claims to establish that the omega 3 fatty acids present in cod can effectively help with depression. Continued consumption of cod liver oil can greatly help in mood swings.  A regular dose of cod liver oil helps fight rickets in children, which is a bone softening condition. It also prevents ear infections in children. It has been witnessed that babies of mothers who regularly consume cod liver oil are less prone to type-1 diabetes.

Swai

Swai, like tuna and salmon, is a somewhat fatty fish. A 4-ounce fillet has 100 total calories, with 45 calories coming from fat. Of 5 grams of fat, 3 grams is heart-healthy unsaturated fats, while 2 grams is saturated fats.  Swai fillet also has 15 milligrams of cholesterol and 300 milligrams of sodium, approximately 5 percent and 12 percent of your daily allowance. Swai fillet has 15 grams of protein, about 30 percent of the amount you need every day. Every part of your body contains protein, and as protein is constantly being broken down, you need to eat enough protein to keep your body healthy. Protein can also help you maintain a healthy weight; since your body digests it slowly, protein helps you maintain fullness and keep hunger under control. Although nearly half the calories in Swai comes from fat, the fat in fish, according to the “Doctors Book of Food Remedies" is exceptionally rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other heart-healthy fats. These fats keep your blood flowing freely, preventing clots from forming and thus protecting you against clotting-related health risks, such as major heart attack and strokes.

Egg Whites

Kanter noted that egg whites are good sources of riboflavin and selenium. Additionally, each egg white contains 54 milligrams of potassium, an essential mineral of which most Americans do not get enough, and 55 mg of sodium. Sodium gets a bad rap, but a moderate amount of it (about 1,500 mg per day, according to the Institute of Medicine) is essential for body functioning. Egg whites are a low-calorie food, with just 17 calories — opposed to 71 per whole egg. They contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, making them a popular choice for those watching their cholesterol levels or suffering from diabetes or heart disease. Egg whites do not contain carbohydrates or sugar.  Scientists at Clemson University discovered that a peptide called RVPSL (a component of protein) found in egg whites “reduces blood pressure about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a high-blood-pressure drug.” It blocks angiotensin-converting enzymes, which are produced by the body and increase blood pressure.

Benefits of Carbohydrates

White Potatoes

Potatoes are a very popular food source. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even baked potatoes are typically loaded down with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. Such treatment can make even baked potatoes a potential contributor to a heart attack. But take away the extra fat and deep frying, and a baked potato is an exceptionally healthful low calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Our food ranking system qualified potatoes as a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals. Vitamin B6 plays a critically important role in methylation, a chemical process in which methyl groups are transferred from one molecule to another. Many essential chemical events in the body are made possible by methylation, for example, genes can be switched on and turned off in this way. This is particularly important in cancer prevention since one of the genes that can be switched on and off is the tumor suppressor gene.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are considered low on the glycemic index scale, and recent research suggests they may reduce episodes of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in people with diabetes. The fiber in sweet potatoes makes a big difference too. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium sweet potato provides about 6 grams of fiber (skin on). Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults are meeting the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium. One medium sweet potato provides about 542 milligrams. Because of its high fiber content, sweet potatoes help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Sweet potatoes are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boost. Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in sweet potatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.

Jasmine Rice

The health benefits of rice include its ability to provide fast and instant energy, regulate and improve bowel movements, stabilize blood sugar levels, and slow down the aging process, while also providing an essential source of vitamin B1 to the human body. Other benefits include its ability to boost skin health, increase the metabolism, aid in digestion, reduce high blood pressure, help weight loss efforts, improve the immune system and provide protection against dysentery, cancer, and heart disease. Eating rice is extremely beneficial for your health, simply because it does not contain harmful fats, cholesterol or sodium. So, it is considered one of the best foods for those suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension. Fiber has natural antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin-A, phenolic and flavonoid compounds, which also act as or stimulate antioxidants to scour the body for free radicals. Rice bran oil is known to have antioxidant properties that promote cardiovascular strength by reducing cholesterol levels in the body.

Brown Rice

The difference between brown rice and white rice is not just color! A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. Eating a serving of whole grains, such as brown rice, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows, and Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways. The women’s intake of fiber from fruits, vegetables and refined grains was not associated with a lessening in CVD progression.

Quinoa

Quinoa is an edible seed that has become very trendy among health-conscious people. It is loaded with many important nutrients. It contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits. Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains, with one source finding 17-27 grams of fiber per cup. Quinoa is naturally free of gluten and using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of a gluten-free diet. It is high in protein compared to most plant foods. It also contains all the essential amino acids that we need. The glycemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low. However, it is still relatively high in carbohydrates. Quinoa is very high in minerals, and can improve metabolic health. This includes lower blood sugar and triglyceride levels. It appears to be very high in antioxidants, which are increased even further after the seeds are sprouted. Quinoa is high in fiber, protein and has a low glycemic index. These properties have all been linked to weight loss and improved health.

Oatmeal

Fiber describes the portion of plant materials in the diet which humans cannot digest. It is an important component in maintaining gastrointestinal (GI) health by regulating transit time through the GI tract and adding bulk, increasing a feeling of fullness and preventing constipation. There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber absorbs water and becomes a viscous gel as it moves through the GI tract and is fermented by bacteria. Insoluble fiber does not absorb water, acts as a bulking agent, and is not fermented by bacteria. Oatmeal contains both types and has the largest proportion of soluble fiber of any grain in the form of beta-glucan. The soluble fiber in oatmeal has been shown to decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” by 10-15%, particularly when consumed as part of a low-fat diet.  Studies show fiber can also decrease risk of high blood pressure and reduces risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. The water-soluble properties of beta-glucan help control blood sugar by slowing down digestion time, which can help diabetics achieve better glycemic control and prevent insulin resistance. A high fiber diet has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat 25-30 grams of fiber per day most Americans only eat about half that amount! One cup of oatmeal contains about 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber (about half soluble and half insoluble), and 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oatmeal is rich in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.

Benefits of Veggies

Asparagus

It is a rich source of folate and vitamin K. folate helps to get rid of the problem of anemia. Vitamin K is found to play a role in regulating the process of blood coagulation. If you are worried that you might give birth to a baby with birth defects, then you can overcome those fears by consuming asparagus regularly while you are pregnant. Asparagus also helps to improve the health of the heart. Some people respond poor to chemo-therapy. You can improve the condition by asking them to consume asparagus. Gastrointestinal tract and colon problems respond well if you consume asparagus regularly. It is also considered to act on brain and help to relieve the symptoms of depression. Apart from curing the fertility problems and menstrual cramps, asparagus offers another benefit for woman. It helps to increase the milk production in nursing woman. The diuretic effect of asparagus helps to fight kidney related problems, water retention and more. Hence, it is of great value for pregnant women to avoid water retention. It also helps to prevent birth defects such as low birth weight babies.

Broccoli

Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth. Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure. One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold. Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. One cup of broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions. Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It also is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and color vision. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Green Beans

Green beans can help reduce the risk of heart disease due to their high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids are polyphenolic antioxidants that are commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Recent studies have shown green bean consumption to be beneficial for preventing pre-cancerous polyps that commonly lead to colon cancer. Secondly, the high fiber content of green beans can also positively impact your digestive system. Natural regulators of diabetes are rare, and the connection of beans and similar plants to the control or early prevention of diabetes is great news for many people. They also contain antioxidants and they are beneficial compounds in our body that seek out dangerous free radicals and eliminate them from our system before they can cause illness or tissue damage.

Brussel Sprouts

You’ll find nearly 100 studies in PubMed (the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C.) that are focused on Brussels sprouts, and over half of those studies involve the health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable in relationship to cancer. This connection between Brussels sprouts and cancer prevention should not be surprising since Brussels sprouts provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body’s detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of Brussels sprouts: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Spinach

The hunger and satiety research on spinach involves the ability of thylakoid-rich extracts from spinach to delay stomach emptying, decrease levels of hunger-related hormones like ghrelin, and increase levels of satiety-related hormones like glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). The blood sugar research is an offshoot of this GLP-1 research, since prescription drugs that mimic the activity of GLP-1 (called GLP-1 agonists) are currently used to help treat type 2 diabetes. While it would not be accurate to equate routine intake of fresh spinach with use of a prescription drug or with the use of a food extract (like a thylakoid extract), it would also be wrong to ignore the potential connections here between the nutrient composition of spinach and our experience of hunger and satiety, as well as our body’s blood sugar regulation.

Summer Squash (Zucchini and Yellow)

Although summer squash has long been recognized as an important food source of carotenoids, only recently have research studies documented just how fantastic summer squash can be when it comes to these key antioxidants. For some groups of study participants, summer squash turns out to be the primary food source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in the entire diet! For lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin (three other health-supportive carotenoids) summer squash also comes out among the top three food sources in several studies. When we think about food and antioxidants, what first comes to mind might be fresh fruit and vitamin C, or bright orange carrots and beta-carotene. Yet several recent studies have underscored the unique contribution made by summer squash to our antioxidant requirements. While not as rich in some of the more widely-publicized antioxidants like beta-carotene, summer squash is a very strong source of other key antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Since the skin of this food is particularly antioxidant-rich, it’s worth leaving the skin intact.

Carrots

We are fortunate to have the results of a new 10-year study from the Netherlands about carrot intake and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)—and those results are fascinating. Intake of fruits and vegetables in the study was categorized by color and focused on four color categories: green, orange/yellow, red/purple, and white. Out of these four categories, orange/yellow (and in particular, foods with deeper shades of orange and yellow) emerged as most protective against CVD. And even more striking, carrots were determined to be the most prominent member of this dark orange/yellow food category. Participants who had the least carrot intake had the least amount of CVD risk reduction, even though they still received risk-reducing benefits from their carrot intake. However, participants who ate at least 25 more grams of carrots (with 25 grams being less than one-quarter of a cup) had a significantly lower risk of CVD. And the groups of participants who ate 50- or 75-grams more had an even more greatly reduced risk of CVD! We’re not sure how any study could better demonstrate how easy it can be to lower disease risk by making a food like carrot part of the everyday diet in such achievable amounts.

Corn

Different varieties of corn highlight different combinations of antioxidant phytonutrients. In the case of yellow corn, carotenoids lead the way and provide especially high concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin. Blue corn is unique in its anthocyanin antioxidants. One particular hydroxybenzoic acid in purple corn—protocatechuic acid—has recently been linked to the strong antioxidant activity in this corn variety. Anyone who has eaten fresh corn-on-the-cob or freshly popped popcorn knows how satisfying this food can be to chew. Some of that satisfaction comes from corn’s fiber content. At 4.6 grams of fiber per cup, corn is a good fiber source, and in research studies, corn intake is often associated with good overall fiber intake. For example, persons who eat popcorn tend to have 2-3 times more overall whole grain intake than persons who do not eat popcorn, and they also tend to have higher overall fiber intake as well. Given its good fiber content, its ability to provide many B-complex vitamins including vitamins B1, B5 and folic acid, and its notable protein content (about 5-6 grams per cup), corn is a food that would be expected to provide blood sugar benefits.