For those looking to bulk up and build muscle mass, it is absolutely imperative that you pay close attention to your diet. In fact, no amount of time in the gym is ever going to provide the results you’re looking for if you don’t also provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs for building muscle. In this sense, protein is obviously important since it is the main building-block of muscle tissue. However, you’ll also want to ensure you get plenty of zinc, Omega fatty acids, amino acids and other essential nutrients.
Obviously, eating a balanced diet is an essential part of a healthy life—no matter whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight or just stay in shape. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to bulk up, you want to ensure that your diet includes plenty of the following muscle-building foods.
Lean beef is generally recognized as one of the best sources of protein. It’s also high in zinc, iron, B vitamins and amino acids, all of which contribute to muscle development. If possible, it’s always best to eat grass-fed beef, as it is generally higher in certain amino acids. Nonetheless, your diet shouldn’t contain too much red meat, even if you only ever eat the leanest cuts.
Therefore, it is a good idea to mix it up by eating lots of skinless chicken as well since this is another excellent source of low-fat protein. In addition, eating a portion of steamed or baked salmon once or twice a week is also a fantastic way to boost muscle mass due to the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, B and D vitamins and other important nutrients. Unfortunately, salmon is also fairly high in mercury, which is why you should never eat it or any other larger fish more than once or twice a week.
It’s probably something you remember eating as a child, but the truth is that you should definitely also consider eating cottage cheese now that you’re an adult. The reason is that cottage cheese is almost 100 percent pure casein protein, in addition to being packed full of calcium and vitamin B12. In some ways, this makes eating cottage cheese before your workout an even better idea than those protein shakes many people are using.
Although doctors have been going back and forth for years about whether eggs are good or bad for your health, science seems to have finally concluded that eggs are indeed healthy. Like everything else, they should still be eaten in moderation. However, all this means is that you should probably avoid eating six greasy fried eggs for breakfast every morning.
That being said, when poached, boiled or even scrambled (without oil or butter), eggs can be an excellent way to boost your protein levels. In fact, pound for pound, eggs are one of the best muscle-building foods out there. A single egg generally contains around 7 to 8 grams of protein plus high levels of other important vitamins and minerals.
The majority of nuts are quite high in protein, but almonds generally pack the most punch. For this reason, they make a fantastic snack food to help keep your energy level and blood sugar from dropping during the day. If you find yourself constantly being hungry in between meals, snacking is the best possible thing you can do. Otherwise, if you sit down to the table super hungry, you’re much more likely to overeat. In this case, you’ll spend your workouts burning off those extra calories instead of building muscle.
Still, while snacking is good, it’s important that you stay away from salty, fatty or processed foods. This is why some seeds and nuts are great, as long as you make sure to choose the natural unsalted, unroasted variety.
Spinach, Beets and Other Vegetables
Vegetables are an important part of any balanced diet. However, not all vegetables are the same, especially when you’re trying to build muscle. In this sense, red beets and spinach (or other leafy greens) are two of the best things to include in your diet. The problem is that most people don’t have the time it takes to actually get enough vegetables in their diet.
This is why more and more people are going the blended route. All you need to do is chop up a beet or two and whizz it up in a blender to give yourself an instant boost of vitamins and minerals. In fact, you’ll generally find that as long as you throw in an apple or kiwi to add a bit of sweetness, you can easily blend up a whole bunch of spinach, a few red beets, carrots and other vegetables into something that’s actually quite tasty.
The old saying is most definitely true — you are what you eat. Therefore, it is important that everyone pays close attention to their diet, and especially if you are trying to build muscle. Still, hopefully this list will help motivate you after seeing that there are plenty of delicious ways to boost muscle mass.