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Home / Healthy Eating

Six muscle building foods to fuel your goals

 Striking the right balance with your proteins and carbs is the secret to gaining muscle (Image: Shutterstock)

So, you have decided to build some muscle, right? Good. You better be ready to eat right.

If you have been working out and don’t see any lean muscles building up, chances are you are not eating the proper foods.

Complicated as nutrition may be, it is a subject that cannot be ignored if you’re serious about getting the body you want.

To look fit and have that model toned body this involves eating nutrient dense foods that will encourage your muscles to grow while losing weight at the same time.

But the long short of it is, striking the right balance between high protein, carbs and fat rich foods is the secret to gaining muscle.

To match your gym efforts with your diet, here are some of the foods you need to start stocking up in your kitchen to help you gain more strength and muscle mass:

 Beef contains creatine, vitamins and essential amino acids that promote muscle growth (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Lean beef
  • Although it has come under so much scrutiny in recent years, if eaten in moderation beef should actually be a staple in your diet. And this is because it has a combo of creatine, vitamins and essential amino acids.

    The high-quality proteins and amino acids it is packed with works with your insulin to promote healthy growth of muscle.

    Also, the high levels of zinc it contains helps your body heal from any injuries or tears that may have risen out of working out.

     Eating eggs elicits muscle building response withing your body (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Eggs
  • Whole eggs are a protein powerhouse with large amounts of leucine, an amino acid essential for muscle recovery especially if your workout involves rigorous exercises.

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    They also come packed with right kind of fat, vitamin D and choline. Contrary to earlier claims that eggs clog up the arteries, these health foods are anything but harmful and eating an egg after a workout elicits muscle building response within your body.

     Greek yoghurt contains vitamin D that helps the body absorb phosphorus and calcium (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Richer in proteins compared to the regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is also packed with vitamin D that helps the body absorb phosphorus and calcium which are crucial for muscle contractions and creating energy your body needs.

    The vitamin also promotes healthy and strong bones which sustain muscle. For best results, pick the full fat plain yogurt that is high in nutrients compared to the one with added fruits which has too much sugar.

     Cottage cheese contains leucine that is an important muscle building amino acid (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Packed with high quality protein, dairy products are packed with fast digesting whey and slow digesting casein. The higher the fat content the cheese has the more the calories.

    A cup of low-fat cottage cheese for instance contains 28g of protein and leucine, an important muscle building amino acid.

    To gain more muscle and get bigger, the live cultures will help your body to break down and absorb all the nutrients you need.

     Almonds boost your energy levels and endurance during workout (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Almonds
  • To boost energy and endurance in the gym, indulge in a piece of fruit and a quarter cup of almonds an hour or so before. The glucose in the fruit will provide the energy you need while the L-arginine in the almonds will keep you going during your workout session.

    The vitamin E will also help repair cellular damage while the phosphorus will help your body covert the fats and carbohydrates to energy while you rest and also during exercise.

     Avocado contains anti-flammatory properties that help relieve joint pains (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Avocados
  • One of the best ways for your body to absorb nutrients in a salad for instance is to accompany it with some avocados. This super fruit is a healthy source of oleic fatty acids, potassium and monounsaturated fats.

    Rich in dietary fiber, this healthy fruit contains anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve joint pains, power you up and help lose weight.

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