An exciting development in the functional food area is the fortified egg. Bodybuilders have long known that eggs are a good source of protein...and because of this are a great muscle building food... but eggs can now also be a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Some egg producers are adding flaxseed to the feed of hens. Flax seed is one of the best sources for the essential fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid. Adding omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of flaxseeds, to the diets of hens increases the omega-3 fatty acid content of eggs by over six times that of regular eggs. Eating two fortified eggs may provide an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Benefits for bodybuilders
Alpha linolenic acid is important to bodybuilders for:
· Enhancing insulin sensitivity within muscle cells (insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the body)
· Stimulating steroid production
· Mediating immune response
· Transportation of oxygen to body cells
· Directing endocrine hormones to target cells
· Keeping saturated fats mobile in the blood stream
· Regulation of nerve transmission
· Systemization of hormones
· Regulating smooth muscle and autonomic reflexes
· Serving as the primary energy source for the heart muscle.
· Construction of healthy cell walls
Egg producers also add vitamin E to the flaxseed feed to keep it stable. This can cause the vitamin E content of fortified eggs to be as much as eight times higher than that of normal eggs. It is also worthy to note that eggs can taste better with the vitamin E enrichment. Whether you choose normal or fortified eggs...they are both great muscle building foods.
Fat Burning and Muscle Building Foods...Flax seeds and flax seed oil
Carrying on from fortified eggs which touched upon the benefits of flax seed and essential fatty acids for building muscle...in this part I will go into more detail about flax seed, flax seed oil, and how to use them...because they are not only great for putting on muscle...but also for burning fat.
The use of EFA and flax seed/oil is popular with competitive bodybuilders and is a good example of the innovative understanding that bodybuilders have for nutrition. Flax seeds are abundant in fibre, and are also a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids and lignans, vitamins, minerals and protein. Flax seeds contain both insoluble and soluble fibre and importantly contain a special fibre called mucilage. Mucilage helps stabilize blood sugar levels (great for fat loss), protects against bowel cancer and is a natural laxative. Plus, a 100-gram serve of flax seeds yields 25 grams of protein (4 grams of protein per tablespoon), which is great considering the other nutrients obtained along with this.
Omega-3 fatty acid is sometimes defined as "anti-fat" due to its ability to speed up the metabolic process and aid in fat loss. Omega-3 fatty acid increases both the fluidity of cell membranes and the uptake of nutrients into the cell. It also increases the removal of waste from the cell. This more efficient cellular functioning results in an increased rate of fat burning. (Whereas, low-fat diets tend to result in poor hormone production, which leads to a slower metabolism…and thus less fat burning). Because of this, flaxseed is not only one of the best muscle building foods...but also one of the best fat burning and muscle building foods.
How to use flax seed oil...
Flax seed oil is best taken along with other food. Consume one teaspoon of flax seed oil with breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is a moderate dose and should be increased from teaspoon to tablespoon in off-season (3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon). Do not be afraid to add Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to any pre-contest bodybuilding diet. The numerous benefits and fat burning assistance outweighs the calories.
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