Nutrition

Healthy Foods That Promote Lean Muscle Growth

Evidence Based Article 📄
This article has been based on relevant and up-to-date scientific studies. Our writers are unbiased and objective and present the facts as they are known. Numbers in brackets within the article refer to sources included in the reference list at the end of the article.

If you’re looking to build lean muscle and drop unwanted pounds, an intense workout is a must. However, it’s also critical to create a meal plan that will aid in the lean muscle growth.

There’s no need in following a specific diet or eliminating tons of your favorite foods. Your body needs a variety of carbs, protein, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats to build and maintain the lean muscles and trim the fat in a healthy way. Reconsider your weekly diet and include the following health foods in it in order to promote fast lean muscle growth:

1.Quinoa

If you’re vegan or vegetarian looking to build lean muscles, quinoa is your safe bet. Besides being a powerful superfood, quinoa is a protein-packed grain that contains all 9 (!) of the essential amino acids, which play a crucial role in muscle growth. Moreover, quinoa is plentiful in iron, magnesium, and fiber and is totally gluten free. Add a cup of cooked quinoa to your post-workout salad or have it as a side dish for a more fulfilling meal.

2.Oranges

Despite all the myths, oranges are absolutely effective in building lean muscle while trimming fat. They’re often overlooked yet there’s a reason why many athletes drink fresh orange juice before and after a workout.  Whole or juiced, organic oranges contain a host of beta carotene, disease-fighting vitamin C, and a number of powerful antioxidants. Not only do oranges strengthen your immune system and aid in weight loss, but they also boost muscle growth and help you build strength and stamina, helping you work out more effectively.

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3.Mixed nuts

If you’re dreaming of having a slightly bulky lean muscle without fat, mixed nuts should become your favorite snack of the day. Rich in polyunsaturated fats, zinc, fiber, protein, vitamin E, and other essential nutrients, nuts also contain magnesium and potassium to help you fight and prevent muscle cramps as well as increase your energy levels and reduce fatigue. Since all nuts are high in calories, it’s important to consume them in moderation. Depending on the type of nuts you choose, eat no more than a handful a day.

Related:   16 Foods Every Vegan Should Eat to Stay Healthy

Almonds are particularly high in protein, providing 8 grams in a ¼ cup. You can also drink homemade or store-bought unsweetened almond milk to help your muscles grow. Magnesium found in it is used in over 300 biochemical reactions inside the body, including proper protein synthesis and energy metabolism.

4.Spinach

Spinach is one of the most delicious heart-healthy foods every dieter swears by.  Eating spinach on a daily basis helps to treat and prevent bone and muscle loss, and can even reduce your risk of cancer. Spinach helps to build muscles by increasing the body’s conversion of protein into the muscle mass.

Sauté baby spinach leaves in extra virgin olive oil and garlic for a muscle-building side dish or blend some leaves with apple and banana for a quick protein-packed smoothie. Or, start your day with a bowl of spinach salad to speed up your metabolism, promote weight loss while building lean muscle.

5.Fish

When you’re trying to build lean muscle fast, fish is your best option. Salmon, in particular, is a rich protein powerhouse providing your body with 25 grams in a 100-gram serving. Moreover, salmon is chock-full of many other essential nutrients that you should be consuming daily. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids and healthy monounsaturated fats and is a wonderful source of vitamin D. Tuna is a great option too. It doesn’t mean that you stuff your mouth with fish daily, aim to eat it twice a week along with other muscle building foods.

6.Berries

When you crave something sweet but you watch your calorie intake, berries are always here to satisfy your cravings. Naturally tasty and sweet, they make an excellent ingredient in smoothies, pies, salads, drinks, and frozen treats. Take blueberries as an example. They’re a great source of Anthocyanidin, a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce exercise-induced inflammation and prevent the muscle cell damage after a workout.  Additionally, blueberries increase brain power for better physical and mental performance.

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Apart from blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are antioxidant-rich berries that aid in protecting the muscles during a workout and reduce the damage to muscle cells. That’s why it’s always best to have mixed berries for a total antioxidant boost.

7.Egg

Easy to cook and delis to eat, eggs make a fantastic muscle building food. One hard-boiled egg provides your body with 6 grams of protein and 11% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin D. It’s not only about the amount of protein eggs contain, though. Protein found in eggs is the most readily utilizable protein with an extremely high biological value of any other protein-packed food. Not only does this protein type stimulate muscular growth, but it also keeps you fuller for longer, promoting weight loss.

8.Soybean

Soybeans have a bad reputation since they’re mostly genetically modified. However, if you’re lucky to find organic soy products, give them a go. The thing is, soy products, such as tofu, edamame, and soy milk, provide complete protein along with an abundance of other vitamins and minerals. Plus, there are more than 20 grams of amino acids in a cup of cooked soybeans. It’s another healthy option for people who don’t eat meat but still want to gain lean muscles.

9.Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best sources of the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help your heart function properly. When eaten in moderation and on a regular basis, extra virgin olive oil has been proven to promote the lean muscle growth and maintain a healthy weight. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for a tasty salad dressing or have a teaspoon of it each day.

Related:   Health Benefits of Eating Plums

10.Cottage cheese

Believe it or not, the growing number of avid bodybuilders munches on cottage cheese to keep their muscles healthy and stimulate their further growth. It’s recommended to consume low fat cottage cheese – don’t opt for fat-free version since it can make you eat more cottage cheese than you need. There are 14 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat and only 80 calories in a ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese, making it a great weight loss snack. Top it with fresh mixed berries to get the best muscle building properties out of the both worlds.

11.Greek yogurt

Don’t feel like eating cottage cheese? Greek yogurt is the perfect alternative that contains more protein than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt helps you feel fuller longer while strengthening your immune system, fueling your metabolism, and stimulating the muscle growth. Whether you eat it with berries or use it in smoothies, be sure you choose an unsweetened, low-fat version.

Building lean muscles while trimming the fat is easier than you think – not to mention that it’s tastier. Consider adding these 11 foods or at least 8 of them in your weekly diet to see the positive results in a month or less, depending on how often and hard you work out. Ensure you eliminate fast and most processed foods from your meal plan for the more effective results.

References:

  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/3341839/Spinach-does-really-help-build-muscles.html
  • http://tinaruggiero.com/build-muscle-with-blueberries/
  • http://www.tophealthremedies.com/top-7-benefits-of-olive-oil-for-building-muscles/

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