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Food With A Good Source of Protein - 8 High Biological Value Foods
By Jean Lam

Protein has always been the building block of not only for building and maintaining muscles but for the normal functioning of your body. It is the vital element which enables hair and nail regrowth and injury recovery for example. If you are an athlete or a bodybuilder, protein is a key component to help you build lean muscle mass and enhance your performance. Protein contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs. You can get your daily protein intake from natural foods. So you want to know food with a good source of protein. There are many of them and in this article, I will list 8 of them due to the fact that they have high biological values(BV) as far as their protein quality is concerned. The biological value determines how well and how efficiently the protein is absorbed in your body and utilized to build or retain muscle mass. This process is called protein synthesis. The higher the BV, the better the protein quality. But this does mean you should stick to only the protein foods with the highest BV. A variety of different foods is recommended so that your body can get all the necessary nutrients.


Chicken is one of the most popular foods for bodybuilders. A chicken breast for instance contains high levels of quality protein and chicken has a biological value of 79. It's preferable that you remove the skin which has saturated fat and cholesterol. A 200 g skinless chicken breast can easily give you 30-40 grams of protein per serving. Chicken breast is usually dry when cooked so it's a good idea to add some sauce with it like plum sauce, satay sauce, tomato sauce. Other chicken parts like the drumsticks are good alternatives although they contain less protein than the chicken breast. Healthy cooking methods are grilling, boiling, steaming or baking. Stir frying lightly with some olive oil in a pan is another alternative too.


You can't have a muscle building diet without having beef at all. If you really want to pack on those hard muscle mass, beef should be included in your diet. Beef has a biological value of 80 and contains essential B-12 vitamins, iron and zinc which your body needs to function well and it also strengthens your immune system. Beef has high levels of quality protein too. Be smart and look out for lean cuts of beef when buying. Avoid the saturated fats and the excess calories. A fillet, sirloin, tenderloin or rump can be good options but can be expensive. A cheaper alternative is ground beef(minced meat). The same cooking methods can be applied like chicken.


Heard this saying? One dish of fish per week keeps the doctor away. Well this is just to say that eating fish regularly, twice a week at least preferably can have a positive impact on your health. Most fish including white fish and oily fishes like salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna contain omega-3 essential fatty acids and these acids have been proven to be excellent for the heart. These oily fishes have polyunsaturated fats. Fish also has a high protein content and a biological value of 83. An easy and cheap way to buy fish is to buy canned salmon, canned tuna or canned sardines for instance. But be moderate in eating canned foods because of their high sodium content. If you are buying fresh or frozen fish from the market, the same cooking methods can be applied like chicken.

Soya Beans

Soya beans can be used as dietary protein and are a preferred choice for vegetarians who want to get their protein intake but bypassing meats and dairy products. Soya beans contain essential vitamins and minerals and can play a role in reducing cholesterol levels. Some products that are made from soya beans include tofu(bean curd) and soya milk. Soya beans have a biological value of 74. Apart from eating or drinking soya beans directly, soya beans can be consumed from soya bean powders for ease of use.


Milk contains 80% casein and 20% whey which are both high quality proteins. Milk has a biological value of 91 and is an excellent source of calcium as well. If you are bulking up(gaining muscles and more weight), you might want to drink whole milk and if you are cutting(reducing as much fat from the body and losing weight), skim or low fat milk is a better option. Of course, you can still bulk up even by drinking skim or low fat milk provided you are eating adequate amount of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats in 4-6 meals a day. You need to eat more calories than you burn for the bulking up phase. The advantage with casein is that it's a slowly digestible protein which can be beneficial for your body whereby you won't eat for several hours notably during sleep. So some milk intake before bedtime is recommended to sustain muscle growth. Apart from drinking milk directly, casein can be consumed from casein powders for ease of use.


During the conversion from milk to cheese, casein is extracted from milk to make cheese. Casein is a protein with a biological value(BV) of 80. Cheese is also an excellent source of calcium. Cheese sources such as cottage cheese or low fat cheddar cheese are good choices. Same as with milk, it's a favorite pre bedtime meal. Apart from eating cheese directly, casein can be consumed from casein powders for ease of use.


You can't have a complete body building diet without eggs. Eggs notably the egg whites are a staple food for many bodybuilders and athletes. Eggs have a high biological value of 100 and is considered to have the highest BV until whey protein powders came into the market. Will discuss more about that below. Egg protein is absorbed and utilized by your body quite fast and has a better protein synthesis as compared to other protein foods above. Eggs contain all the vital amino acids, vitamins and minerals and is considered as one of the highest quality protein foods. One major advantage of eggs is that it's cheap and affordable. The major downside is that it contains the egg yolk which has high cholesterol content and some saturated fats as well. So moderation is key when eating the yolks. 1-2 maximum per day is recommended. Avoiding the yolk is easy with hard boiling the eggs and separating the whites from the yolks. Apart from eating egg whites directly, eggs can be consumed from egg white protein powders for ease of use.


Last but not least, whey is a protein with the highest biological value of all ranging from 104-159. Milk contains 80% casein and 20% whey and during the conversion process from milk to cheese, whey is extracted. Among the different types of whey, you have whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. You can read more at Whey Protein Muscle Building - Whey Protein Concentrate Isolate. Whey is readily available as protein powders for ease of use and is utilized by bodybuilders and athletes around the globe.

ISOM3 100% Pure Whey Protein Isolate

About the author

Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body Building Resource which provides articles on weight training, nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.

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