Now that things have gotten warmer out, many of you might be ready to fire up the grill again this spring. If you’re trying to build muscle this spring, though, or just eat healthy in general, you may be wondering what foods would be the best to help you meet your goals. Thankfully, there are plenty of foods out there to help you meet your fitness goals. Here are five of the best types of food, in no particular order, for building muscle, and just staying healthy in general.
Everyone knows that the basic building blocks of building muscle is protein, and the best natural source of protein is meat. The most common example for most people is red meat, which contains protein, vitamin B12 (essential for building blood cells and maintaining healthy nerve cells), creatine (which helps your body produce energy rapidly), zinc (helps with the breakdown of carbohydrates), and iron (which helps metabolize proteins and helps produce hemoglobin and red blood cells). If it’s grass fed beef, you’ll even get some omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease. If you’re looking to add omega-3 fatty acid to your diet, you should eat wild salmon. If you don’t want saturated fat in your meal, try white turkey, which has close to 0 grams of it. Meat is an important component to any muscle-building diet, so don’t hesitate to fire up that grill.
Everybody knows that eating your greens is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A few examples of vegetables that can help you build muscle and lose weight are broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and spinach. Broccoli is a great source of phytochemicals, which help your body fight cancer, and is also low in calories, which helps with weight loss. Spinach is great for muscle building diets, as it helps prevent muscle loss, as well as cancer and heart disease, thanks to it being loaded with a variety of nutrients. Carrots have huge amounts of vitamin-A, which improves eyesight, and are rich in fiber. And finally, tomatoes are high in lycopene, which helps prevent cancer (seeing a pattern here?), and helps improve muscle recovery.
There are plenty of health benefits to eating fruits, too. Many of them are powerful antioxidants, which help prevent blood vessel disease, cancer, and other diseases. Berries in particular help prevent cancer, eye and heart diseases. Oranges, meanwhile, are rich in Vitamin C, and magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure. Finally, apples are a great fat-loss food, due to their ability to increase satiety (the feeling of being full). For maximum health benefits, get organic fruits without added sugars.
Grains are also an important part of any healthy diet, and thankfully, you can find them in lots of foods. Flax seeds are a great source of fiber, omega-3, and protein, and can provide some great health benefits if taken with yogurt and berries. Oats are high in soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol and controls blood glucose levels. And lastly, but certainly not least, Quinoa, known as the South American “King of Grains”, is higher in protein and fiber than rice and oats, tastes better, and makes a great post-workout meal when taken with meat and spinach. When it comes to building muscle, grains are a dietary component you simply can’t leave out.
Finally, we come to perhaps one of the most common parts of a healthy diet; water. There are plenty of health benefits to drinking water. One such benefit is fueling your muscles; when you sweat during your workout, your muscles lose water and become dry, which in turn tires them out faster, so keeping yourself hydrated can help immensely with your workouts. Water can also help fight off fatigue; one of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness, so maybe consider going for some water before reaching for that cup of coffee. And finally, drinking water helps you maintain your bodies fluid balance, which fulfills many important functions of your body, such as transporting nutrients, regulating body temperature, and more. And with the weather getting warmer out, you’ll be reaching for a tall glass of water quite a bit.