Do you know which disease has been termed as the ‘disease of the 21st century’? If you have guessed right, it is ‘obesity’! Look around you; most of us are dedicatedly struggling to lose those extra pounds by hitting the gym, exercising regularly and controlling our diet. However, healthy weight loss includes maintaining the lean muscle mass of the body along with losing the unhealthy fats.
You may be surprised by the fact that there are several athletes and bodybuilders out there, who find gaining muscle mass quite challenging. Whoever thought gaining mass would be a problem, right?
In order to be healthy and fit, we need to maintain our lean muscle mass. This can be achieved by paying close attention to the nutrition we provide to our body in addition to physical activity. Here, a list of muscle building foods with their benefits has been compiled to help you be healthy:
Muscle Building Foods
Red meat, especially beef, is loaded with protein, B vitamins, iron and minerals like zinc. It is a natural dietary source of creatinine that is widely used as a muscle-building supplement. It also contains leucine, an amino acid, which stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein.
It has been found that consuming red meat can increase the amount of lean muscle gained with physical activity.
The examples of red meat include beef, pork, venison, bison, and jerky.
Chicken breast especially contains high-quality proteins and B vitamins like niacin and B6. These components promote maintenance of weight and muscles. They also aid muscle repair and promote bone health.
Certain fishes like tuna are ultra-rich in proteins and vitamins (vitamin A and several B vitamins). They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats) and low in fat. The omega-3 fats help in gaining muscle, losing belly fat and preventing injuries. Salmon is another example that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Eggs contain high quality and quantity of protein (see protein rich foods) including essential amino acids, healthy fats, and vitamins like B vitamins and choline. Amino acids present in eggs, especially leucine are important for muscle gain and the B vitamins are required for energy production. Eggs also contain cholesterol, which has limited effects on blood cholesterol and therefore not considered bad for the body.Learn more about Vitamins and Weight Management.
It contains whey and casein that are rich in glutamine, an amino acid. It is also a good source of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Milk provides a perfectly balanced blend of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It is no wonder that milk is being used as a muscle-builder for decades now!
Yogurt, like milk, contains high-quality proteins including a mixture of whey and casein proteins. An increase in muscle mass has been observed by the consumption of a combination of fast digesting (whey) and slow digesting (casein) dairy proteins. Greek yogurt has been found to have more protein content and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt.
Cottage cheese is rich in casein protein, vitamin B12, calcium, healthy fats, and other important nutrients. It also contains leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. Since casein is a slow-digesting protein, it helps in muscle maintenance.
Cooked brown rice has 5g of protein per cup and contains enough carbohydrates, which fuel physical activity. It comprises of a high amount of branched-chain amino acids, which makes it great muscle-building food. Brown rice also boosts the levels of growth hormone, which supports muscle growth. can rich makes you fat?
Fruits and Vegetables
They are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and other compounds like polyphenols, specific proteins, and amino acids. Examples of the fruits include bananas, oranges, apples, papayas, and pineapples while the vegetables include lentils, chickpeas, beets, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. They increase muscle gain and strength.
Oils from fish, mustard, olives, nuts, seeds like flax seeds and avocados are good for muscle building as they contain healthy fats – omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Additionally, they may contain fibers, protein, antioxidants, and other compounds. They boost the body metabolism and cut down unhealthy fats. They also play a role in hormone production thereby stimulating muscle growth.
Nuts have a good combination of proteins, fats, and fibers that make it an ideal snack. Almonds, for example, are loaded with proteins and vitamins, specifically vitamin E that is beneficial for muscles and boost the immune system. They also contain antioxidants that are essential for muscle growth. See the health benefits of walnuts.
It is gluten-free and contains a high amount of protein, all nine essential amino acids, fibers, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Quinoa comprises of all crucial muscle-building compounds and hence a major food for muscle strength.
In addition to the ones listed above, various other foods such as protein shakes, seeds like chia seed, hemp seed and flaxseed, wheat, cereals, and chocolate also help gain muscle. All the foods listed and mentioned above are loaded with proteins that contribute to aiding the muscles to recover and grow in the wake of physical activity. Do take note of these healthy foods to gain muscle and become fit without gaining weight. Stay healthy, stay happy!