Saturday, 6 December 2014

8. Best Foods to Build Muscles

If you want to add more muscle mass to your body frame, muscle strength exercises are essential. Regular workouts will stimulate your muscles to grow bigger and help build the type of muscles you want.

To build muscles and lose fat, you need to follow a strict diet plan. Fruits & veggies contain vitamins & minerals, necessary for recovery from your workouts. And carbs fuel your muscles so you feel full of energy at the gym. Eating good fats also helps fat loss: your body holds fat if you don’t eat fats. You must include foods that contain protein, healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats. Other nutrients that you need to build muscles are magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, calcium, iron and different vitamins.

8. Best Foods to Build Muscles

1. Lean Beef

This should be a STAPLE of your diet if you want to gain muscle mass. Why? Because it is loaded with all sorts of things conducive to muscle growth. On average, a three-ounce serving of lean beef is only 154 calories, yet it provides ten essential nutrients, including iron, zinc and B-vitamins. More importantly, it provides your body with high quality protein (not all proteins are equal), and a high level of amino acid that works with insulin to promote muscle growth. For those who are trying to lose weight, this should come as great news – a 3 ounce serving of lean beef provides roughly the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans, but at half the calories.

2. Chicken Breast

Another superfood to get lean muscle is chicken breast. It is a great source of lean protein, which is easily synthesized to repair muscle tissue and other cells damaged during hard training.

It also has a host of other bodybuilding-friendly nutrients like niacin, vitamin B6, iron, selenium and zinc. Baked, roasted or grilled chicken breast dishes are the best options to get lean muscle-building protein in your diet. You can also have chicken breast in soups and salads. Be sure to eat it without the skin.

3. Salmon

Fish, especially salmon, is considered one of the best foods for muscle building. Salmon can help you build lean muscle and burn fat because of its unique combination of long-chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, B vitamins and high quality protein.

It also has other nutrients like magnesium, selenium, calcium and iron that aid lean muscle building, repair and recovery. Eat some grilled salmon with a salad or green vegetables once or twice a week. If possible, opt for wild salmon. If you don’t like fish, you can take a fish oil supplement.

4. Eggs

Egg whites contain protein, which is the building block of muscles. In fact, they contain high quality protein with all nine essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and building, as well as valuable minerals like calcium, zinc and iron.

Egg yolks are a rich source of vitamins, including A, E, K and a range of B vitamins like B12, riboflavin and folic acid. All these nutrients are essential for speeding up your metabolism and turning fat into energy. Eat one or two eggs daily to build muscles and remain healthy. You can cook eggs in several ways like boiled, scrambled or pouched. Egg whites, especially from hard-boiled eggs are usually preferred.

5. Flax Seed Oil 

Flax seed oil and body building is a great combination. Flax seed oil is especially popular among so called “natural bodybuilders” that focus on overall health and refrain from using harsh chemicals, regardless of whether such chemicals are illegal or not.

Flax seed contains large amounts of vitamin B1, B2, C, E and carotene. There are also significant amounts of iron and zinc, as well as trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Flax seed oil and body building is a great combination since flax seed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and a diet containing a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids has been proven to have a beneficial effect on a wide range of bodily functions.

So if you’re not getting enough fatty acids in your diet, you should definitely look into flax seed oil supplementation if you’re a novice lifter looking to make some sizable gains. You can easily include flax seed oil to your weight gainer shakes, as dressing on salads, or to your breakfast cereals.

6. Milk

Milk is another good muscle food. It has two high quality proteins – whey and casein. Whey protein is quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream. Casein, on the other hand, is digested slowly, giving the body a steady supply of smaller amounts of protein for a longer period of time.

Milk is also loaded with vitamins and minerals, good carbohydrates and fats that your body needs to build muscles. Plus, being an electrolyte, milk helps replenish what is lost in sweat during workouts and keeps your body hydrated. Drink a glass of skim milk after each workout. Some studies suggest drinking chocolate milk post workout because it has an ideal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. It should be taken in moderation, though.

7. Nuts

Almonds are another plant-based food absolutely packed full of protein. Just 1/4 cup of almonds contains nearly 8 grams of protein — that’s almost 2 grams of protein more than your typical egg! Almonds are also an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and magnesium. Magnesium is an abundant mineral that’s used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is specifically known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Cashews and Pistachios are also good for building muscle.

Macadamia nuts and pecans are not as good because they are higher in calories. With that said, you can partake as long as you’re practicing proper portion control and not downing handfuls at a time.

8. Spinach

Spinach is also one of the best lean muscle foods that help build strong, ripped muscle. Researchers at Rutgers University (2008) found that the phytoecdysteroids present in spinach help increase muscle growth up to 20 percent.

Also, the calcium in spinach helps relax the muscles to prevent cramping during training. Plus, it is high in iron content that is important for muscle building.

This green vegetable also contains l-glutamine and amino acids that are important for efficient muscle contractions. Plus, it helps increase your metabolism rate, boost your energy level and burn more fat. To maximize nutritional value and help build muscle, have raw spinach juice or salad. You can even lightly steam the leaves and use them in sandwiches.