We need different types of amino-acids to keep our body healthy. A healthy diet consists of 9 compounds that are based on amino-acids. These nine compounds are called leucine or essential amino-acids. They are responsible for keeping our muscles healthy and reduce inflammation in muscles. People can have leucine based food items to reduce depletion of their muscles in old age. Leucine also prevents many diseases such as depression, fertility issues, digestive problems and decreased immunity. We can get these essential amino acids or leucine from our everyday diet which need not be totally animal based. Today, we will discuss about some good dietary sources for obtaining leucine rich-diet.
What Are Leucine Foods?
Clinical Nutritionist Ms. Megha Wadhwa from Ivory Hospital, Greater Noida exclaims that leucine food items are branched chain of amino acids that help in building muscles. These types of food are great for repairing muscles and making them healthy. Infact if you include leucine food in your regular diet routine, then it can also reduce the muscle loss at older age. These branched chain amino acids also support blood sugar levels in the body which improves our insulin response. Leucine intake should be around 4-5 grams daily and 3.1 grams for older adults. Branched chain amino acid rich food can be beneficial for almost everyone and does not affect your health until taken in excessive quantity.
6 Leucine Based Food To Include In Your Diet
1. Sesame Seeds
By adding just 2 table spoons of dried sesame seeds you can get a lot of leucine. Sesame seeds are high branched amino acid chains that contain fibre, protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin B. These seeds are also useful in reducing inflammation in the body, manage blood sugar levels and reduce high cholesterol levels. You can include these in your diet by adding it to your salads, stir fries, with pasta dishes or butter etc.
2. Cottage Cheese
It is a very good source of protein. Many people have plain cottage cheese to gain proteins and improve muscle mass. Cottage cheese is also beneficial in vitamin B12 and selenium which can boost your health and ease your workout training. It has around 1.2 gram of leucine in ½ cup of cottage cheese. Cottage cheese also aids in weight loss and keeps you full for longer duration. You can have it plain or can add berries with it to enhance its flavour and taste. Cottage cheese can be had during breakfast along with nuts, stuffed in pasta or sandwiches. It can be a beneficial and tasty source of leucine.
3. Canned Navy Beans
One serving of canned navy beans can be effective in reducing many health problems. They are good source of fibre, protein and micronutrients that are beneficial for heart as well as metabolism. Canned navy beans give 0.7 grams of leucine that could reduce the risk of obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level. It contains a fatty compound that aids brain development and sharpens memory and focus of the person. Navy beans can be had as a meal itself or could also be used in salads, marinated side-dish and pureed into white bean dip.
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4. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are filled with healthy compounds that are rich in protein magnesium, iron, zinc, unsaturated fatty acids and many more. All these contents make it a very healthy option to include in our diet. Pumpkin seeds can be had along baked bread or cookies when roasted in oven. One serving of pumpkin seeds roughly 28 grams can have 0.7 grams of leucine. If you eat pumpkin seeds regularly, then it can support heart health and regulate blood pressure as well.
People use eggs largely for protein intake as one egg contains almost 2 grams of protein. It also has 0.6 grams of leucine in it which makes it a very healthy option. Those who have eggs in their meal have better eye health due to the presence of carotenoids. Eggs are full of proteins, B vitamins, Phosphorus and choline that are useful in cellular function and brain development. For retaining the maximum nutrients you can have 3-4 boiled eggs in a day. You can also have it in breakfast, as scrambled eggs or with bread, omelette etc.
These are widely consumed by people in our country. It is one of the main dishes in the afternoon meals. Lentils are full of fibre, antioxidants, proteins and healthy plant compounds that are beneficial for your heart and brain. One cup of lentils contains around 1.3 grams of leucine. It is one of the most healthy dish to include in your diet, if you don’t have it already. Other ways of including lentils in your meal is through have it in breakfast alone with some added spices or as soup or side dish in dinner etc.
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