While many health-conscious foodies may be trying to avoid carbohydrates and sugar in favour of a lean and clean diet, there is far more to a healthy lifestyle than just weight loss. After all, your body goals at the gym may include developing increased muscle mass, in addition to staying slim and toned. While activities such as weightlifting and yoga can help you achieve your strength training goals, what you eat also plays a crucial role in building muscle. Here are some healthy superfoods to consider adding to your diet if you are dreaming of enviably muscled arms and legs this spring:.
If you remember Popeye, then you know that he credits his strength to spinach. While the beloved sailor may have been a cartoon, there’s certainly nothing fictional about the benefits of spinach. The verdant colour of spinach indicates that it is healthy for you, being a leafy green. However, this vegetable is also a solid source of glutamine, an amino acid that is important for lean muscle growth. In fact, glutamine is produced naturally in the human body, and can be found in our muscles. After you participate in a rigorous workout, your natural glutamine levels drop. It takes a couple of days for these levels to return to normal, so consuming foods that are high in glutamine can help to replenish these lost nutrients.
According to Muscle and Fitness, eggs are the ‘perfect protein’. Protein is important, as it is what the human body uses to build and repair tissues. When you work out, essentially what you are doing is breaking down existing muscle, so that it can grow back stronger and leaner. This is where the benefits of protein come into play, from reducing muscle loss while exercising to helping to build lean muscle. While the protein in egg plays an important part in strength gains, the carbohydrates in the yolk also help.
Brown rice is a slow-digesting carbohydrate, which assists in building muscle strength. Aside from the fact it helps boost growth hormone levels, brown rice will provide your body with long-lasting energy. This long-lasting energy is beneficial to your workouts and ability to build strength. It’s one of those foods that will leave you feeling full for a longer period of time, which prevents you from snacking and reducing intake of unnecessary carbs.
Even though fruits aren’t always the best source of protein, they are still beneficial to muscle building. For examples, apples contain specific compounds with antioxidant properties known as polyphenols, that help to decrease muscle fatigue and increase muscle strength as a result.
Greek yogurt contains almost twice as much protein as regular yogurt, which makes it an ideal muscle building food. Aside from the benefits of protein, Greek yogurt is also full of bone-strengthening calcium and probiotic bacteria. If you want to keep up your strength and build muscles, try snacking on a Greek yogurt cup for a nutritious and balanced source of protein.