Nutrition News: Popeye was Right!

I certainly remember Popeye reminding us to eat our spinach to get big muscles!  Most of us admire muscles, which relate to strength which connects to being healthy.  I am not talking about body building. What I am suggestion is the idea of a healthy body composition which means more lean body mass, that includes metabolically active muscle, than fat.  When I have a client that is 49% fat mass – it means that  half their weight is non-metabloically active tissues that hold more toxins than metabolically active tissue.  Metabolically active means, burns calories for energy.  Besides that, the amount of muscle we have directly correlates to our quality of life.  Think of the person who is moderately fit and who can easily walk up stairs, get out of a chair has a little ‘umph’ in their step. Think of the opposite person.  Which do you want to be?  The best is, with more muscle mass, the more you can eat!

How you eat makes a difference in muscle development.  Proteins are the building blocks of muscle and one particular amino acid, leucine, is particularly good at turning on your body’s muscle making machinery. Once this happens – it is easier for other amino acids from protein to be utilized.  Where do we get this leucine? We get it from products high in whey protein from milk, Greek yogurt, lean meat, fish, soy, edamame and tofu.  Great things to promote muscle development. To get the optimum results it is best to eat equal amounts of protein at each meal,  not just dinner.  Go for 20- 30 grams of protein per meal- for some of us that may seem like a lot, but it really adds up to one cup Greek yogurt with an ounce of almonds, or a 4 ounce piece of lean meat or 5 ounces of salmon.  Other suggestions to help with muscle health are omega-3 fatty acids which help with decrreasing inflammation.  Inflammation can cause muscle to break down. “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that omega-3s improve the way your muscles use protein, as well- and could actually help with sarcopenia” ( age related muscle loss).

There are many more reasons to take care of your muscles but suffice it to say it is worth paying attention and doing something about it.   Incorporating 20-30 minutes  of resistance work 3 times a week will improve your muscle mass and strength. Incorporate more good proteins throughout the day and you will looking good!  Popeye had a meaningful message- even though spinach isn’t a lean protein it has 5.3 grams of protein for 1 cup of cooked spinach and about .5 of leucine.

Need help getting your food intake in balance?  Contact me for a complimentary session.

Be Well, Mary

Source: Eating Well

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