by Alex Faisal – Certified Nutrition Specialist, Author of The Superman Diet
I have yet to meet a person who truly understands protein and knows what the best and highest quality sources of protein are. It’s critical that your protein intake is not only high enough, but it also has to be from high quality sources. If all the protein you’re getting is coming from McDonald’s Big Macs and canned tuna, then you’re poisoning yourself and taxing your body with very low quality protein that is poorly absorbed by your body and has no nutritional value or benefit to you.
Protein and amino acids are not only critical for building muscle, as is commonly thought. In fact, protein has a much smaller role in building muscle than what most people think. Protein and amino acids however are critical for our brain health and are a building block for our brain neurotransmitters. For example, we need to have tryptophan, which is an amino acid, for our brain to produce serotonin. And serotonin is the brain chemical responsible for how good and calm we feel (also called “the happiness hormone”.)
If your goal is to have more protein in your diet, then you need to look for quality first and not only quantity. Your protein intake should not only be high enough, but it also needs to be from the highest quality sources you can find. For example, protein from tuna that’s been sitting in a can for months is nowhere near protein from one of the foods I’ll discuss in this article. Therefore, you need to be selective with where you get your protein from.
These are the highest quality, most highly concentrated, and easily digestible protein foods available. Most of these have a higher concentration of protein in them than meat, eggs, chicken, fish and tofu. You simply cannot find better sources of protein. All of these foods are vegetarian and can be found in their raw state wherein the protein hasn’t been damaged by cooking or processing.
- Spirulina: Highest concentration of protein on earth. You will not find another food on the planet that has more protein in it per gram. It’s where the fish get their protein from, so by taking spirulina (or other algae such as marine phytoplankton), you’re cutting out the middleman and going straight to the source.Spirulina is the also closest thing to liquid oxygen. A scientific research study was performed where nine runners where asked to run at 75% of their maximum aerobic capacity (in other words, the maximum capacity one’s body has to transport and use oxygen during exercise) for two hours, followed by 95% to exhaustion. Their performance was measured both after taking spirulina, and also after taking a placebo. The result was that they were able to run an average of 30 percent longer after taking spirulina. Below is an excerpt of the study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise:
- Colostrum: A true Superman food that is more powerful than steroids. It is the first food a mammal gives to her offspring. Watch this video below by Dr. Anthony Kleinsmith for some shockingly critical information on the positive effects of colostrum on growth and muscle gain.
The only true legitimate colostrum product sold commercially, according to Cornell University research, is the Surthrival Colostrum
- Chia seeds: A great food to take before a work out. In the book Born to Run, the author refers to chia pudding as a ” Home-brewed Red Bull” and talks about how chia seeds were eaten a lot by “the running people” of the hidden Tarahumara tribe in Mexico, who would go on 50-100-mile running jaunts as if they were evening strolls. He goes on to say that “In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone. As tiny as those seeds are, they’re superpacked with omega-3S, omega-6S, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants. If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn’t do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home.” I have been eating chia for long enough to confirm that what the author says is actually true, so go ahead and load up on the chia seeds. Oh and chia oil is superpowerful too.
- Bee pollen
- Chlorella (Do not take if you have “silver” fillings in your mouth as it will interfere with them)
- Hemp Seeds
- Amazonian Jungle Peanuts
- Goji Berries
These foods will more than supply your body with all its protein and amino acid needs, if you eat them regularly. You can add them to your daily smoothies with a little bit of coconut oil, and stevia for taste. You can have such a smoothie whenever you feel like you need a high-protein meal.
As for protein supplements, the best and highest quality protein supplement I found is the brown rice protein. I especially like and only recommend the brown rice protein powder by SunWarrior. A lot of thought, intelligence and sophistication has gone into making that product. It’s basically made by soaking the brown rice itself to make it more easily digestible, and then separating the protein from the carbohydrates in brown rice by fermenting the brown rice, so that only the protein would be left over. This is by far the best source of protein that I would go to whenever I feel that my body needs protein or that I need to have more protein in my diet. It is an extremely highly concentrated, high quality, easily digestible and highly absorbable source of protein. I have also tried hemp protein powder supplements and I think they are great. However I don’t think hemp protein by itself is enough to fulfill our needs of protein and amino acids.
A smoothie that has brown rice protein, high quality colostrum, coconut oil and activated barley in it is, to me, a Superman Smoothie that can’t be topped. You get the slow-burning carbs that will sustain you all day long from the activated barley, the fats that are a source of calories and are critical for energy production from the coconut oil, the protein from the brown rice, and the growth factors from colostrum. That is a true Superman Combination.
Also, here are some of the popular, yet inferior, sources of protein that I do not recommend:
- Flax seeds
- Animal flesh
- Most nuts and seeds, such as almonds. Very hard to digest
- fish (high mercury contamination)
- beans, legumes, lentils.
You will find these foods recommended and ranked as the “highest protein foods “on sites like wikipedia and most articles online, which is simply inaccurate and outdated information. These are all inferior, sources of protein of lower quality and density, and take a great deal of energy to be digested compared.
In this day and age, we have superior, higher quality sources of protein available to us, and we no longer have to resort to inferior foods for protein.