Athletes and bodybuilders concerned about getting enough protein often grab first for chicken breasts and lean beef, leaving fish to flounder in their nutritional regiment.Actually, fish should be an essential part of everyone’s diet because it’s loaded with protein, minerals, and the world’s healthiest fat. Let’s look at this gift from the sea and how eating fish can leave you with bigger muscles and a healthier heart.
While it may be necessary to trim the fat from your beef, pork or chicken, with fish, the fattier the better. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are the only reliable sources of eicosapentanoic acid (epa), and docosohexanoic acid (dha), two important omega-3 fatty acids with a broad range of health benefits. Both of these omega-3’s help to lower blood triglyceride levels making fish a heart healthy choice in anyone’s diet. As an added benefit for those who work out, fish fat may also help to reduce the residual muscle soreness that accompanies working out.
As a protein source, fish are an excellent choice. Most fish have a superb protein- to- fat ratio which will keep you in an anabolic state – key to muscle growth. Whenever possible it’s great to eat whole food protein an hour or two before your workout and certainly within an hour following your workout. Fish is digested and absorbed faster than beef, pork or chicken, and its amino acid profile makes it useful in muscle recovery as well as building mass.
Besides containing omega-3 fatty acids and being an invaluable source of protein, there’s more great news about fish! The iron in fish helps to carry oxygen to your working muscles; vitamin B6 assists in red blood cell formation; selenium can keep your prostate healthy; zinc will boost your testosterone level.
The down side to fish is that it often contains mercury. In general, the larger the fish, and the longer its lifespan, the more Hg it is likely to contain. Shark, tuna, swordfish, king mackerel, grouper and sea bass can accumulate plenty of mercury. Salmon, catfish, shellfish, pacific halibut, sardines, tilapia and rainbow trout are safer options.
Here are some healthy hints about cooking fish. A good filet will be odorless. Handle your fish as little as possible. Let it cook undisturbed for a few minutes and turn only once during cooking. This allows for browning of proteins on the surface which contributes to its flavor. When it comes to seasoning, a good quality sea salt and pepper rub is all that a filet really needs. If you marinate, do so only for 30 minutes. Fish is more tender and porous than meat, so it requires less time to soak up the flavor. Over cooking any food can rob it of important nutrients and vitamins.
For more nutritional tips to help your workouts or to inquire about his training and massage services, contact TrainerTomB@aol.com.