Eat These Foods for Muscle Growth
July 09, 2017 | 846 views
By Dr. Mercola
One of the first questions that people ask when they start exercising is how can they increase their muscle mass. Many believe that all that is needed is to add more protein and carbohydrates into their diet and exercise.
Although this way of thinking seems completely justified because carbs function as our muscle’s fuel while protein helps build them up, it may prove problematic because excessive protein in your diet can cause elevated blood sugar levels, weight gain and may even cause cancer growth.
A high-carbohydrate diet also causes insulin and leptin resistance, which may even lead to muscle wasting.The good news is that researchers found that certain amino acids can help in the development of muscle mass.
The body is able to build muscles even when deprived of food, as long as these amino acids are present in the bloodstream. Here are some foods that you should include in your diet to help trigger muscle growth and development:
- Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
Salmon is rich in high-quality protein, omega-3 fats and eicosapentaenoic acid. It is said that animal-based omega-3 fats helps in the building of muscles. According to Filippone, “These [omega-3 fats] go a long way in inhibiting muscle breakdown and supporting strong blood circulation.”
But when you’re planning on adding salmon to your diet, make sure that you’re buying wild-caught Alaskan salmon, not the farm-raised fish. This will ensure that you’re consuming a high-quality and fresh product that is low in mercury.
Avocados are high in potassium, a mineral that is important in muscle recuperation or muscle healing after exertion. The consumption of avocado also helps the body in absorbing carotenoids and converting them to vitamin A.
Spinach is high in various minerals, like niacin, zinc, protein, thiamin, folate, iron and potassium. The flavonoids found in spinach also protect the body from free radicals. Studies also show that the dietary nitrate found in spinach helps in the production of protein which boosts muscle strength.
Kale contains high amounts of protein and calcium, and has all of the nine amino acids that help the body in producing enough protein for physical exertions. Kale also has high amounts of vitamins K, A and C. A cup of kale actually contains up to 684 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, 206 percent of vitamin A and 134 percent of vitamin C.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which helps the body avoid the retention of fats. Sulforaphane also increases testosterone levels and blocks out enzymes responsible for joint destruction, and may protect muscles from being damaged through exercise.
- Raw Nuts
Raw nuts, like macadamias and pecans, contain magnesium, which is important for muscle growth. But you can get other health benefits as well, because raw nuts give you high amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium, manganese and thiamin.
- Grass Fed Beef
Beef is a rich source of protein, healthy fats and nutrients. It is also equipped with L-glutamine that helps build muscles and prevent them from breaking down. Make sure that you’re buying grass fed beef to make sure that you don’t ingest toxic and artificial chemicals from synthetic feeds.
- Whey Protein
Whey protein shakes are a popular workout companion because they provide the body with enough protein for muscle development. I recommend whey protein because it contains high-quality protein and high amounts of leucine. Leucine functions as a kind of trigger for protein synthesis and muscle building. Studies show that whey protein activates cellular mechanisms, including muscle protein synthesis, thyroid function and testosterone production.
Losing Fat and Gaining Muscles
What so many fail to understand is that during workout or exercise losing fat is also important because your muscles won’t be visible under a layer of fat.
To lose fat, you have to control what and how much you eat. One of the techniques I recommend is intermittent fasting. This refers to spacing out your meals in a day. Instead of eating three or more meals a day, you eat about two meals in an eight- or six-hour period, and then fast for the next 14 or 18 hours.
I recommended that you stop eating three hours before bed time. This type of fasting is ideal because you are able to eat the amount of food that you’re used to eating with just during a shorter time range.
If your goal is to develop your muscles and bulk up, you need to get your facts straight. You can’t just focus on exercise and workouts alone. Your diet is another important factor in maintaining or improving your figure. Follow my recommendations and you can ensure that you stay healthy as you pursue a fitter and toned body.
To learn more about foods that help in muscle growth and development, read my article “18 Foods That Promote Muscle Growth and Definition.”