Top 10 "Super-foods" to Increase Muscle Mass
Protein is required in larger quantities for the bodybuilder To help the body
grow and develop. This fact also applies to those individuals in physically
demanding jobs involving heavy
lifting and high levels of physical activity;
which requires additional
protein intake as well. The focus of this article will
be limited to the 10 Super Foods to help body builders build a better body.
Remember to consume a wide variety of healthful foods.
An exciting development in the
functional food area is the fortified egg.
Bodybuilders know that eggs are a good source of protein, but eggs can now
also be a good source of
omega-3 essential fatty acids. Some egg producers are
adding flaxseed to the feed of hens. Adding omega-3 fatty acids, in the form
of flaxseeds, to the diets of hens increases the omega-3 fatty acid content of
eggs by over six times that of regular eggs. Eating two fortified eggs may
provide an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Egg producers also add
vitamin E to the flaxseed feed to keep it stable. This can cause the vitamin E
content of fortified eggs to be as much as eight times higher than that of
normal eggs. It is also worthy to note that eggs can taste better with the
vitamin E enrichment.
Legumes are an excellent
source of soluble
fiber, which is important for keeping an athlete’s blood
sugar and energy levels stable. As far as plant foods go, most legumes are
relatively high in protein and are a good source of slow releasing complex
carbohydrates. This is great for providing a more stable and longer lasting
supply of energy for working out. Legumes can be eaten in chili, stews, and
soups, and are also enjoyable when served cold in bean
salads. Some of the
more common legumes found in the U.S. include pinto beans, kidney beans, navy
beans, lima beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and black-eyed peas.
Legumes can be purchased dry, canned, and sometimes frozen.
Allium vegetables, such as garlic, chives, onions, scallions, and leeks, are a
flavorful way to add healthful nutrients to a bodybuilder’s diet. The benefits
of garlic and other allium vegetables may come from their abundant flavonoids,
such as quercetin, and also from their sulfur-containing compounds. Allium
vegetables may be more beneficial when uncooked. So you may want to add them
to sandwiches, salads, salad dressings, and other raw recipes to get the most
Allium vegetables, such as garlic, are loaded with
fat, a source of protein, and high in essential minerals, mollusks can
be a good addition to a bodybuilder’s diet. Three popular and nutritious
mollusk choices are clams, oysters, and mussels. Clams, in particular, lead
the way for all foods in heme
iron content. Heme iron – found only in red
meat, poultry, fish, and seafood – is iron bound to a non-protein compound that
is much more easily absorbed by the body than free iron. Clams are also an
excellent source of
vitamin B12 and
copper. These three nutrients may help
maintain good blood status for delivering oxygen to working muscles. Along
with copper, mollusks are also rich in zinc and
selenium. These minerals are
necessary for the proper functioning of the body’s
immune system and its
antioxidant defenses. Mollusks can be cooked in a variety of ways, including
steaming, stewing, roasting, baking, broiling, sautéing, poaching, and frying.
Nuts are a very rich source of nutrients, including polyunsaturated fatty
acids, vegetable proteins, fiber, vitamin E,
zinc, selenium, copper,
phosphorous, phytosterols, antioxidants, and arginine.
Although nuts are considered a fatty food, the fat in them may be beneficial.
Some healthful choices for the bodybuilder include almonds, walnuts, Brazil
nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, and
pistachios. But remember, eating too much of a good thing can really increase
your caloric intake, which could lead to an increase in
bodyfat. A good
guideline may be to eat one or two servings per day. A serving is one ounce
Bodybuilders may find whole-grain foods helpful in providing steady energy for
hard training. Whole-grain foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and
essential fatty acids. Some examples of good whole-grain foods include
oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, barley, spelt, brown rice, and some hot and cold
breakfast cereals. Be wary of products labeled "100% wheat," "stone-ground,"
"multi-grain," "seven-grain," "12-grain," or "organic." They often contain
very little whole grain. Instead, look for whole-grain products that say 100%
One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a great way to add
more muscle building protein to your diet. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are
important building blocks of cell membranes and, like protein, may help
athletes recover from strenuous workouts. Omega-3 fatty acids are also a great
addition to anyone’s fat-loss plan.
Salmon is a healthy way to
add more protein to your diet.
Not often do you find a natural food that actually benefits nutritionally by
being cooked and processed. This seems to be the case, however, for tomatoes.
It appears that even though some vitamin C is lost when tomatoes are heated,
the antioxidant power is increased during the process. Researchers have found
that the antioxidant lycopene, which is the pigment that makes tomatoes and
other fruits like pink grapefruit and watermelon red, is made more
bio-available to the human body after heating. Foods rich in lycopene include
canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, tomato paste, salsa, and ketchup.
Also known as linseeds, flaxseeds are small, oval-shaped seeds from the blue
flowering flax plant. Flaxseeds are considered one of the best plant sources
of healthful omega-3 essential fatty acids, and they're also a good source of
fiber. Flaxseeds (but not all flaxseed oil) are rich in phytochemicals called
lignans that may have strong antioxidant properties that can help you stay
healthy. There are several sources of lignans, such as whole grains, various
berries, and soybeans, but flaxseeds are the best source. For easier
digestion, flaxseeds should be ground first; a coffee grinder is good for
this. The pleasant, nutty flavor of ground flaxseeds can be enjoyed in many
foods, such as baked breads, muffins, and cookies. They can also be eaten in
salads, cereals, soups, sauces etc
Vegetables such as watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts,
and cabbage are known as cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables are high in
fiber, rich in vitamin C, very low in calories, and a good source of healthful phytonutrients. Eating cruciferous vegetables is a good way to take in
important micronutrients without taking in a lot of calories. Bodybuilders
wishing to lose bodyfat will find cruciferous vegetables to be a good addition
to a their focused diet. Try to get three or more servings of these vegetables
each week. It’s also interesting to note that cruciferous vegetables can be a
dieting bodybuilder’s best friend, as in many cases they require more calories
to be digested than they provide. Cruciferous vegetables not only help fill
you up, but they also help you burn more calories!
Cabbage is a low-calorie cruciferous vegetable that is high in fiber.
Bodybuilders put great demand on their bodies during heavy training. Eating
well will keep you going strong and staying healthy. Remember, a healthy
bodybuilder is a better bodybuilder, so try to add some of these “superfoods”
Dated 19 November 2013