There’s quite a lot of us who’d like to bulk up to build our bodies. The general opinion you get around the internet is that you need to swallow certain bars by the dozen and guzzle Whey. And then you need to work your ass off on the treadmill and the machines.
We don’t disagree with the treadmill. But we do know there are several tastier and healthier alternatives in food that can help you gain weight as well as muscle mass. To gain weight, there’s bananas, milk, meat and tens of food stuff you could eat. But there seems to be a dearth of food options for those who want to specifically bring up their muscle mass.
For the uninitiated, there’s muscle mass which counts how much your muscles have increased, and there’s weight, which adds fat, bone and other weight into it. Your muscle mass is one of several important points of assessment for health. But it is still vital. And there are plenty of food items you can consume to improve it and manage it.
Muscle gain can be tasty. Here are 17 food items and ingredients that can make your diet focussed on gaining muscle mass and be yummy too.
Chicken is mainly muscle, and muscle is protein. Muscle maintenance, weight optimization and pretty much every other aspect of health is helped by skinless chicken, along with other nutritious food. Chicken is usually pretty easily available and affordable too. Plus, you don’t need to eat it in a set way. The versatility of the meat ensures there’s a fresh new recipe on the internet you can experiment with! Even you can hire a private chef for your proper diet plan.
Cottage cheese is prepared by extracting the casein out of milk. Casein is the protein part of milk, and it digests pretty slowly too. Plus, since it comes from milk, it is also pretty high in calcium, Vitamins and more. In fact, if you’re a vegetarian, milk can get you a good serving of Vitamin B12 that doesn’t involve killing animals.
Eggs pack a lot of nutrients and can be exceptionally easy to prepare. If nothing else, you can boil one in water and eat it with shallots and black pepper, with cilantro to garnish. They have 9 essential amino acids, a good helping of fat and choline, and a nice dash of Vitamin D for your bone health. They’re also great to protect you from the cold weather. If you’re diabetic or have a risk of prostate cancer, your dietician should be able to advise you how much you should limit eggs in your diet too.
Tuna and Other Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are the main reason fish is suggested in diet, apart from the high protein content devoid of much fat. In fact, Omega 3 fatty acids help lose fat. Fish is pretty versatile too, though you might have to work a bit if you want to make a good meal at home. I enjoy a good fish stew and garnish it with a good amount of black pepper and the tiniest bit of oregano even you can try Crispy Rainbow Trout Recipe. Be careful if you buy canned fish though; canned fish can be salted, and you don’t want too much sodium in your system.
For those who don’t like their food to be processed too much, oatmeal can be a wonderful and easily available option. Oatmeal has more fiber than many foods. The soluble fiber ensures you feel full and don’t get hungry too often, which can save you a lot of unnecessary calories.
The low glycemic index is a bonus! You gain carbohydrates, and also lose fat that you might be bothered with.
Whole grains are promoted in the market for their high fiber content. But there’s a lot more whole grains can contribute to your diet than just making you full and keeping the bowels rolling. Whole grains do not lost nutrients due to processing. Brown rice aids in raising growth hormone levels, which boosts muscles, helps in managing your body fat and the carbohydrate can really help in your work out.
Let me first say that no-oil no-fat is by far the most unhealthy fad we’re led to believe. Fat is in fact a necessary medium that helps in dissolving and assimilating vital nutrients. And it cannot be substituted by an extra glass of soy milk or water. Healthy fats can aid in producing testosterone, which is beneficial for muscle growth and strength development. Unsaturated fats are good fats that you can take. Some of the best sources include nuts and leafy vegetables, along with fish, milk and vegetable oils like flaxseed oil. But do remember that even healthy fats need to be consumed in moderation
Hempseed comes with a powerful dose of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The seeds can often come as a protein powder, and it serves as an excellent alternative to Whey. In fact, it is contested that hemp has the most concentrated proteins, along with adequate amount of fats essential for the body, and vitamins, enzymes and more. Plus they’re pretty great to add in a lot of dishes.
Flax is among the most useful plants known to man, and its seed is a health cocktail. With fatty acids, protein and fiber incomparable to most other food ingredients, this tiny seed is known to help in hypertension, depression and prevent skin cancer and also keep the liver healthy. IT has no taste of its own and you can grind it up and sprinkle it over whatever you’re eating. The only precaution is to not add it to what you’re cooking, since heat can make it lose nutritional value.
The benefit in Almond Butter is the protein, again. In fact, it has more protein to fat compared with the more common peanut butter. Plus, almonds can be pretty good source of Vitamins, notably Vitamin E. Fortify your immune system with a healthy dollop of almond butter in a thick soup. Or add it to your cup of hot cocoa.
Quinoa is a seed rich in protein, minerals and Vitamin B. It comes in a lot of colors, and it is among the best sources of vegetable protein. Quinoa is gluten free, and high in fiber, along with minerals like potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Plus, the seed has a good helping of antioxidants and Vitamin E. The high protein is helpful for when you want to gain muscle. The Vitamin E is going to help recover from post-workout fatigue and also keep your immune system up and running, which means less work out days skipped due to illness.
Turkey is lean meat, which makes it great for those who are health conscious. You can replace chicken with turkey in almost every recipe there is, and it will be just as savoury and amazing. If fact, turkey is a great replacement for beef which has considerably more fat. Ground turkey makes for great meatballs, or burger patties. And of course, it has the essential proteins which help boost your health.
Shrimp can be cheap and versatile. This is another source of lean protein that is almost entirely discounted in our traditional diets centered on red meat and greens. Shrimp has virtually no fat for the protein it offers. Cooking it can be easier than most other meats, and it can go with rice, saute greens or even in asian curries.
Beets are a great way to keep the liver and joints healthy. Some research also suggests muscle strength increases with consumption of beets. The red root vegetable is a wonderful source of betaine. It is no surprise it is recommended by nutritionists to people with a variety of needs.
Brown rice is advisable over regular processed rice. Brown rice retains the internal covering of the grain, which is a source of a variety of proteins, while also being an excellent fiber source. Rice digests slowly, and brown rice is believed to be slower still. It boosts your GH levels, as we discussed earlier. And if eaten in moderation, brown rice actually aids in fat loss, lean muscle growth and improvement in a variety of other fitness parameters.
It is perhaps a cliche to advise spinach for anything related to health. But trust us, it’s not baseless. Spinach has a healthy dose of iron, which is essential for the health of your blood. The vegetable is wonderful for skin, hair, bones and muscles as well. With few calories for the cocktail of vitamins and mineral nutrients, spinach can be unbelievably helpful if you’re looking to gain muscle and not pile on unnecessary calories you’ll have to painstakingly burn later in the gym.
There’s a lot you can get yourself by including wheat germ in your diet. This slow digesting carbohydrate ensures you have adequate energy throughout your day. Plus, this simple flour has much more protein than regular wheat flour, for that added boost to your muscles. Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin B, Potassium and amino acids, along with vital micronutrients like Zinc and selenium. And incorporating it into your diet is easy. Add it to thicken your soups, to your oatmeal for an added punch of nutrition. You can also use wheat germ oil to cook, though a lot of nutrition can be lost in the extraction of oil and heating it to cook (the soluble and insoluble fibre, for example). Also, be sure to monitor your calories, since this humble flour can pack quite a lot of those.
The important thing to remember here is that all of these have their own ups and downs. You shouldn’t rely on one option alone. For example, spinach can get you ample micronutrients and minerals, but it doesn’t have enough carbs to get you through the workout. Cottage Cheese can get you protein, but you need some fat and minerals to go along with it. So plan your diet to include as many nutrients as possible. Better still, let a nutritionist do it for you, by assessing your lifestyle, medical history and body goals.
There is no shortcut to a fit and healthy body. Eat right, work out and you’ll be the envy of the town. Cheers!