Whether you are trying to build muscle for personal preference, a competition, or to increase your overall body weight, what you eat is going to serve as the building blocks for healthy muscle growth. The best foods that help build muscle are rich in protein. Proteins contain certain amino acids used by the body to maintain various body functions. Specifically for muscles though, amino acids aid in tissue repair and growth.
Here some of the best foods that help build muscle:
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LEAN CUT RED AND WHITE MEATS
Meat is a beneficial and effective choice of foods that help build muscle. Lean cut meats are removed of more of the fat content. Chicken, beef, etc. are protein-rich foods that provide plenty of nutrients for your muscles to build and grow. These meats additionally contain an ample number of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals aid in good bone health, energy restoration, and more. There are so many recipes involving the use of meat that make these foods a convenient way to build muscle fast.
Eggs are a go-to choice of food for many bodybuilders. While one egg contains six grams of protein, most of us tend to eat more than one with our meals. To add to this, since eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways, it doesn’t take much for the protein content to add up. Keep in mind that it may be best to consume eggs in moderation, since they have a higher cholesterol level.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Vegetables can actually be very beneficial not just for your overall health, but muscle health as well. Green leafy vegetables in particular consist of numerous nutrients. Spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. are rich in vitamins and minerals needed for good muscle health among other uses.
Generous amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, and more, are present in these vegetables and play a key role in muscle development and health. Iron plays a role in blood flow while potassium can aid in smooth muscle contractions. The list goes on for the benefits of adding more green vegetables into your diet.
Almonds, pecans, and walnuts, are just a few beneficial foods that help build muscle. Nuts are rich in protein, healthy fats, and other key nutrients, all in a small size that leaves plenty of room for more. Almonds contain around 20 grams of protein per cup. With this in mind, these foods make for a great pre-workout snack to give your muscles a boost of fuel.
This fruit also made the list for what to eat before a workout. So, it comes as no surprise that bananas are another choice of beneficial foods that help build muscle. The reason being is because bananas have a high potassium and magnesium content. Potassium helps to prevent muscle cramps, while magnesium aids in protein production and delivery. Slice up this fruit and add them to your protein shakes or weight gainer supplements and reap the benefits.
OATS / OATMEAL
If you are trying to gain mass, oatmeal makes a great breakfast choice of foods that help build muscle. Oats are a cereal grain and are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and protein. This necessary combination delivers certain amino acids to your muscles, as well as a natural source of energy.
A part of the legumes family, chickpeas are a tasty addition that can be used in numerous recipes for an additional source of protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. In 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, you can get around 45 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. We need carbohydrates in our diet for various reasons, but they also benefit our muscles in post-workout recovery.
Certain types of cheese can be quite helpful when trying to build muscle mass. For example, cottage cheese contains 25 grams of protein per cup. In 1 ounce of Parmesan cheese, you can get 11 grams of protein. So, with your meals, add the cheese toppings or side cheese dip. This is an easy and convenient way to consume more protein and contribute to muscle growth and development.
In contrast with red and white meats, there are certain types of fish that can be a healthier choice. Salmon, tuna, and cod are a few high-protein seafood options. These foods that help build muscle are naturally leaner, meaning they contain less saturated fats. Various types of tuna can additionally provide a generous source of protein. So, a tuna sandwich post-workout can be of great benefit.
This energizing choice of carbohydrates makes for a healthy dinner after a workout. It is another nutritious choice of foods that can benefit muscle recovery. To add to this, potatoes contain an ample amount of Vitamin C, vitamin B-6, potassium, and other key vitamins and minerals.
Another preferred food choice that helps build muscle are through protein shakes. Check out this list of supplements that can further help to gain muscle mass faster.
1“Food Composition Databases Show Foods List.” Ndb.nal.usda.gov. N.p., 2018. Web. 23 Nov. 2018.
2“11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits Of Bananas.” Healthline. N.p., 2018. Web. 26 Nov. 2018.