They say that muscles are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. No matter how rigorous a weight lifting routine may be, without proper nutrition it is an exercise in futility.
Unfortunately, some lifters believe that the best way to build muscle is to severely overload the body with a smorgasbord of unhealthy foods. This approach may work in terms of gaining muscle mass, but it simultaneously causes a spike in bodyfat levels, and such a diet may fail to deliver the wide profile of vitamins and minerals required by the body. The good news is that there are plenty of dietary choices that are both healthy and great for building lean muscle.
It’s no secret that eggs are a muscle-building superfood. The protein in eggs is believed to have a very high bioavailability factor, meaning that it is easily absorbed and utilised by the body. Some people throw away the yolk to avoid the fat content, but they miss out on a big nutritional payload by doing this. Even though it contains a little fat and cholesterol, it also contains protein, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, folate, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D, and E.
Everyone knows that fish is great for losing fat and building muscle, but wild caught salmon is preferable for its lower fat content and leaner flesh. Farm raised salmon live in cramped bins and never move around much leading to high levels of fat building up in their bodies. Wild caught salmon has roughly half the fat content of farm raised salmon, making it a superb choice for those on high-protein diets.
Peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds all contain noteworthy amounts of protein as well as a wide assortment of other nutrients. Mixed nuts may be the best option, as they offer all the nutritional benefits of each type of nut. Avoid the salted variety as they contain an excessive amount of sodium. Some crushed or slivered nuts can make a great topping for a green salad or a bowl of yoghurt.
“Wild” meats have grown in popularity in recent years. To meet this demand, many ranchers have taken to raising bison, ostrich, camel, and other exotic livestock. The main benefit of eating exotic meats is the low fat content. They also tend to be richer in nutrients. Bison, for example, contains more vitamin B6 and niacin than beef. Exotic meats may not be available in some areas, but if you do have a source for them, within reasonable distance, they could be a healthy replacement for fattier cuts of meat from the supermarket.
In addition to having a very favourable ratio of protein to calories, beans are rich in fiber. They deliver a nutritional bounty of various vitamins and minerals, namely folate and manganese. A simple stew of mixed beans, vegetables, broth, and a few spices is an easy way to incorporate beans into your diet. Canned beans can serve as a quick and healthy side dish. Just warm them up, add some seasoning, and serve.
It is no surprise that the main benefit of cottage cheese is protein content. At 25g of protein per 250ml (or one cup), cottage cheese is a must for anyone on a muscle building diet. It contains significant amounts of selenium, calcium, and vitamin A, however, it usually contains quite a bit of sodium. It is important to make sure that you are not exceeding the recommended limit, or, alternatively, purchase the low-sodium variety. Spread on whole-wheat toast for a healthy snack.
Contrary to what you may hear from numerous low-carb diet advocates, carbohydrates are not always detrimental to physical fitness. The whole grain carbohydrates in steel cut oats digest very slowly, providing long-lasting energy throughout the day. They also contain 7g of protein per cup of cooked oats as well as loads of fiber, iron, and calcium. Steel cut oats are very easy to mix in with high protein foods with the oatmeal, such as whey protein powder and peanut butter.
Remember that eating loads of junk food is a short-sighted way to build a healthy body, even if it does result in muscle gain. A nutritional regimen based purely on protein intake can raise body fat levels while leaving your body deficient in various vitamins and minerals. Incorporate these foods into a healthy, balanced diet and you will achieve the strong, healthy physique that you’ve been striving for.