The common belief of many people is that if you want to build muscle, you need to eat lots of protein and carbohydrates because carbs fuel your muscles and protein builds them up.
However, the evidence that has emerged over the past several years shows us it’s not that simple.
When looking for muscle growth and definition, there’s no getting around exercise.
However, you cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet, and when it comes to muscle definition, one of the keys is to lose body fat, or else you will not be able to see the muscles in the first place.
The Chef and three-time bodybuilding champ, Carlo Filippone, founder and CEO of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine, has also compiled a list of superfoods that help build and tone muscle see below for further information:
– Avocados are high in potassium, important for water balance regulation and recuperation after physical exertion, and healthy monounsaturated fat that your body can easily burn for energy.
2. Whey Protein
– Whey protein is the perfect “fitness food” as it contains not only high-quality protein, but also extremely high amounts of leucine. Leucine serves multiple functions in your body, one of which is signaling the mTOR mechanism to increase protein synthesis and build muscle. The highest concentrations of leucine are found in dairy products; particularly quality cheese and whey protein.
– Spinach is high in niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, thiamin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. In other words, it’s loaded with nutrition for every part of your body.
4. Coconut Oil
– Coconut oil provides a mix of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), including caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10) and lauric acid (C12). MCTs are an ideal fuel for your body.
5. MCT Oil
– Converts the oil into ketones. Your liver then releases the ketones back into your bloodstream, where they are transported throughout your body. They can even pass the blood-brain barrier to supply your brain with energy. MCTs also have a thermogenic effect, which has a positive effect on your metabolism.
– Kale has many things going for it, including very high amounts of protein and lots of highly bioavailable calcium. One cup of raw kale contains 2 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber (for a net carb value of 6 grams). Like meat, kale contains all nine essential amino acids needed to form the proteins your body needs, plus nine other non-essential ones for a total of 18.
7. Olive Oil
– “Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to raise serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety, in your blood levels. You’ll feel fuller after a meal prepared with olive oil, which will help keep you from indulging in extra calories at mealtime.”
– Sprouts are a concentrated source of nutrition, allowing you to get more nutrients with less bulk. If you’re looking for high-quality protein, look no further than sprouts. These little powerhouses are also up to 30 times more nutrient-dense than homegrown organic vegetables.
– Berries contain concentrated amounts of the disease-fighting phytochemicals that boost your immunity and protect your heart. For a sweet treat, berries are a good choice as they’re high in fiber and lower in sugar than many fruits, making them less likely to destabilize your insulin levels.
– Being high in glucose and digestible sugars, bananas are best avoided if you struggle with insulin resistance or excessive weight. Barring that, bananas are a popular pre- or post-workout food, thanks to their potassium content. Potassium is a mineral that tends to be exhausted by intense exercise, so potassium-rich foods are highly recommended.
– According to Filippone: “Eating watermelon has been shown to improve lipid profiles and lowers fat accumulation, because of its concentration of anthocyanin, a compound that mollifies fat-storage genes. It’s refreshing, aides in hydration and can also help reduce muscle soreness after a strenuous workout.
– Red grapefruit contains a bit more flavonoids and anthocyanins than white or pink grapefruit. It also contains lycopene, which helps lower triglycerides, help fight free radical damage and protect your skin from UV damage from the sun.
– Papaya and other vitamin C-rich foods may help lower your cortisol level after intense exercise.
14. Raw Nuts
– Nuts such as macadamias and pecans are also excellent choices because they’re high in healthy fats while being lower in net carbs.
15. Grass-Fed Beef
– Grass-fed beef is also an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has potent anti-inflammatory activity. Just be mindful of the amount of protein you eat (all protein, not just that from beef).
– Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D, which is critically important for muscle function. Muscle weakness is a classic symptom associated with vitamin D deficiency.
– Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring organic sulfur compound found in broccoli is probably most well-known for its anti-cancer activity. However, as Filippone points out, sulforaphane also “increases testosterone levels and staves off the retention of body fat.”
18. Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
– Rich in high-quality protein and the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), wild salmon helps combat the chronic inflammation that plagues most people in poor health. Animal-based omega-3 fats also helps build muscle.
Source: The Natural Home Remedies