10 Nutritious Foods that Build Lean Muscle
How to build lean muscle with the right food combinations
If you are looking to lose weight and gain lean muscle then try choosing the right foods to get the look you want. Obviously, cutting calories and doing more exercise will help you to lose weight, but trying to get those ripped abs, and tight and toned body is a different story. These are some of the foods that will help with that nice lean look your after. I hope this helps!
1. Sunflower Seeds
These tiny, nutty gems pack a wallop of flavor and are a high source of protein. Pack a Zip-Loc® bag and munch while at work or sprinkle a handful on snacks (like yogurt) or even in cereal. I mix them in oatmeal and even sprinkle some on my tuna sandwiches.
Hi in omega-3 fatty acids, tuna is one of the healthiest fish you can eat. I buy the Sunkist® in the pouch variety. Those seem to be less “fishy” and are more practical for when you are in a rush or on-the-go. Tuna is also high in protein and is a good post-workout snack. Make a salad with yogurt instead of mayo.
Because of its high water content, grapefruits are a good pre-breakfast meal as well as an ideal mid-afternoon snack. They are low in calories, sodium and some studies even suggest that they contain fat burning enzymes. I buy the large, pink variety, slice in half, twice, and even eat the seeds.
4. Black Beans
This type of bean is high in dietary fiber and when combined with other good carbs (brown rice), they make an excellent source of a fat-free, high-protein meal. Black beans may also reduce cholesterol.
5. Olive Oil
Besides being delicious, olive oil can save your life. It contains potent plant antioxidants which protect against cell damage (cancer) and monosaturated fat which helps stop the breakdown of muscle tissue. Olive oil has also been known to be good for the skin. I use it in everything; sandwiches, steamed veggies and salads. Take care though, olive oil is perishable so don’t store opened bottles forever. Buy the first cold pressed variety.
6. Lean Roast Beef
Don’t be put off by the rich, red color of the slices, it indicates the care in which this delicious deli cut snack was prepared. It is high in protein and makes for a perfect pre-workout snack. The London Port Boar’s Head variety is by far the tastiest. Buy a quarter pound, otherwise it tends to dry-out in the refrigerator, taking on an unappetizing, gray color.
High in vitamin C and fiber, broccoli is my favorite vegetable for keeping fit and staying healthy. Best to steam lightly (around eight minutes) to retain the crunchy texture. Sprinkle a dash of salt and drizzle with olive oil. I eat broccoli with steamed sweet potatoes. The rich, green color is a kind compliment to the bright orange of the sweet potatoes and your muscles will thank you.
Everyone knows eggs are a rich source of protein. I eat six egg whites two times a week. Don’t freak if a yolk slips in the mix, egg yolks are high in vitamin D which maintain healthy muscle tissue. If you’re pressed for time (who isn’t?), boil four, rinse under cold water (for easy peeling) and chill (in the fridge).
Studies suggest that caffeine improves endurance as it eases pain — so you can train longer. Try a shot before working out. Incidentally, coffee is many peoples guilty pleasure. I’m not a coffe drinker, but heres a suggetsion from those that are try drinking it black with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and try mixing it with hemp milk, although the thickness of the hemp seems to avoid maintaining a creamy base. Coffee also puts many people in a good mood. So why not enjoy it the choice is yours!
More and more studies are suggesting that a daily consumption of low-fat yogurt may help to burn fat and contribute to steady weight loss. Yogurt is also high in protein. I like Dannon light brand. It contains a whopping 24g of protein and is high in potassium, which helps elevate our mood. If you are lactose intolerent, you can eat Dannon light yogurt as it is made with active and live bacterial cultures, which convert lactose to lactic acid, making it easily digestible. If you are really into organic try Greek yogurt instead.
I hope these healthy tips will get you that lean muscle your looking for! Have a healthy and happy day!
By, Natalie Pyles
Health and Fitness Expert, Nutrition Specialist, Author, & NSA Speaker