Alongside with dropping those extra pounds, defining muscle tissue and muscle tone is one of the most sought-out goals for people who follow diets and do exercise. If you’re looking to define your muscles and make them grow, here are some of the ultimate foods to increase your muscle and strength. Check out this article and get your grocery list ready to improve your diet.
Bananas are filled with nutrients that can help define your muscles. They’re high in glucose, which gives you a quick sugar rush – thus a boost of energy; they’re a great source of carbs with slow absorption. Bananas are also high in potassium, which can prevent muscle cramping during or after your workouts. The best way to include bananas in your diet is mixing them with oats or a cup of yogurt.
Related: 23 Amazing Uses for Banana Peels
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that’s packed with iron, a very important mineral that aids in muscle development. Iron also helps you have better endurance during your workouts, helping your body circulate oxygen and making the muscles recover much faster after especially excruciating workout sessions. Kale also has lots of vitamin K, which fights inflammation and protects your joints.
Eating raw almonds right before a workout can help burn more fat and carbs, thanks to the L-arginine compound found in them. With 8 grams of protein per ¼ cup, almonds are great for muscle building and muscle tone, and are also high in magnesium to boost your energy levels. As with other types of food, pay attention to the amount of almonds you eat; more than the recommended amount (20 almonds per portion) could make you store fat instead of giving you pure energy.
4. Chia Seed
These tiny seeds are considered to be a superfood, because of their multiple health benefits. Among some of their properties, chia seeds offer omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation in the body while they strengthen and grow your muscles by synthesizing proteins. Chia seeds are also rich in fiber (11 grams per 2 tablespoons), which provide slow and long-lasting energy.
5. Grass-Fed Beef
Grass-fed beef is the best source of creatine, a compound that increases the muscle mass by speeding protein directly to the muscle tissue. This type of beef is also rich in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which is an anti-inflammatory type of acid that provides more than a half of the recommended daily intake of protein. In addition to this, grass-fed beef offers iron, magnesium and B12 vitamins.
6. Cottage Cheese
The freshness of cottage cheese offers many muscle-building properties. First, we have casein, a slow-digesting protein, which slowly raises your blood amino acid levels and helps them stay elevated for longer periods of time. Cottage cheese also has high levels of live cultures, which break down and absorb all the nutrients your body needs to get bigger.
7. Quinoa Seed
Here’s another wonderful seed that works amazingly on your muscle and strength levels. Quinoa has outstanding amounts of protein, helping your body rebound faster due to its slow-burning complex carbs. Quinoa has big amounts of lysine, an amino acid that helps tissue and muscle repairing quicker than any other compound. Also, quinoa is high in magnesium, which relaxes your blood vessels and improves overall circulation to the muscles aiding in muscle building and muscle tone.
Papaya is an exotic fruit that contains many nutrimental benefits, one of them is a high level of vitamin C. This vitamin is extra powerful and can lower the levels of cortisol in the body that tend to rise during stressful situations. Cortisol is a hormone that appears at times of stress, accumulating cholesterol and fat in the midsection area.
Vegetables have the power of helping you tone your muscles! Iron is a necessary compound to build muscle and improve your strength. In fact, a medium sized serving of spinach has more iron than a regular sized hamburger! Spinach is also high in magnesium, which develops muscles, metabolizes carbs and produces natural energy. Eat spinach to increase you levels of muscle and strength.
10. Olive Oil
We couldn’t make this list without including this noble oil. Extra-virgin olive oil helps your brain reach a satiety state quicker thanks to its ability to increase serotonin levels. With a satisfaction level comes the need to consume fewer calories than usual, which is extra helpful to build muscles and lose fat. You can’t eat spoonfuls of olive oil, so we recommend including it as salad dressings or to cook your meat and veggies.
Probably one of the best-known healthy fats, avocado is packed with monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids; which help reduce belly fat. Avocados are also filled with potassium, fiber and many other properties contained by green veggies. Another great benefit of avocados is that they can help your body absorb bigger amounts of nutrients available with the rest of your meal.
Fish can also help you build and define your muscles effectively. Salmon is rich in high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as EPA and DHA (beneficial acids). As you may know, omega-3 fats improve heart health, they inhibit muscle breakdown and increase the anabolic capacity of amino acids.
When trying to build muscle and define it, soybeans should take part in your daily diet. Soybeans are crammed with proteins (52 grams per cup of edamame beans), making them a better option than meat sometimes. Soybeans are also high in leucine, an amino acid that stimulates protein synthesis.
Muscle building requires a lack of inflammation to aid in the definition journey. For this, berries are filled with anthocyanins and ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that fights off inflammation and joint pain. Assorted berries also decrease formation of fat cells, preventing fat storage.
15. Greek Yogurt
Another delicious dairy product to include in your diet, greek yogurt, is filled with protein, calcium and vitamin D, all necessary to build healthy and strong muscle and strength in your body. Vitamin D particularly helps keep your bones strong, which in turn sustain your muscles and synthesize proteins.
These are just some of the most popular foods that’ll help you build, define and sustain muscle tissue and balance your blood levels making you reach a healthy state. Get your fridge ready and start eating your way to healthier muscles.