In all things in life, I really stand by this approach as I think that it helps you to feel positive about the good, healthy habits you’re adding to your life instead of being focused on things you’re ‘not allowed’ to do and feeling negative about missing some delicious food that destroy your body. So in the interest of adding good dieting habits to your life, I’ve compiled a list of the best foods for building lean muscle, looking ripped, fighting inflammation and fortifying your immune system, while also taking care of your heart and brain. It’s my philosophy that there’s no point to getting big and strong if you’re not healthy and taking care of your body internally as well as focusing on your external appearance.
A balanced meal needs to contain some protein, some carbohydrate (vegetables) and some healthy fat. The unfortunate truth about some of the most nutrient rich foods available is that not everyone can manage eating raw kale or giving up the sauces and breading that make our favorite foods taste so sinfully good. So we’ll also go over some tips on making the healthy stuff taste good. Also included throughout this list will some foods to avoid at all costs. This list isn’t in any particular order, just my suggestions for how to eat with the goal of keeping you fit, healthy and performing at your best in the gym and on the job, mentally and physically.
Good Bodybuilding Foods And Why You Should Add Kale
Kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and contains sulforaphane, a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.
Doesn’t matter what you think of the taste, the simple fact is you can’t afford to skip the kale. I hear a lot of complaints from guys who know this is the most nutrient dense natural food substance that one can ingest, but just can’t handle the texture of thick green roughage. So how do we work around this? I have a couple suggestions that tend to work for me:
– Smoothies: try adding kale to any smoothie and I promise you will hardly notice any difference in taste but you will be getting this potent nutritional powerhouse into your body.
– Sauces: Another thing that works great for is sautéing a bunch of vegetables including finely chopped kale with garlic and cayenne pepper and add all of this to a tomato sauce and pour over steak or chicken. You’ll have basically created a liquid salad to your meal, and I promise you’ll hardly know it’s in there.
Bulking Foods And Adding Tuna
In my opinion, there are few meals more appetizing to me than raw tuna. I could eat sushi three meals a day. Tuna is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids crucial to brain and heart health as well as possessing potent anti-inflammatory properties. When you’re training hard or eating foods that are toxic to your body
Fish Oil And Omega 3
One supplement that I strongly recommend to every human being of every fitness level and age is a good fish oil. While the naturally available omegas in fish are great ingested whole in fish, a fish oil supplement can help you reach clinically effective doses of these essential fatty acids.
Grass Fed Beef (Grass Finished if Available)
Most cows in this day and age are fed and fattened predominantly on corn which you may or may not realize has essentially zero nutritional value and grain which essentially just makes the cow fat. If you look at a cross-section of grass-fed versus corn-fed beef, it’s very clear to see the difference. Right down to the healthy deep red color of the grass fed image, it’s very clear to even the untrained eye that the increased price of grass-fed beef is with good reason. Buyer beware though, as much grass fed beef is still switched over to corn and grain in the final months before slaughter to fatten the cow up; it can be difficult to come by and expensive, but grass finished beef is best.
Berries (blueberries, acai, raspberries)
Of all the fruits, berries pack the biggest antioxidant punch. These are a great way to balance out your meals with some healthy carbohydrate. Berries are also an excellent addition to your post-workout meal as your body refuels and this high glycemic index carbohydrate will help your body to digest protein during recovery.
Eggs (organic, cage-free, free range, farm fresh)
When it comes to eggs, the closer to the farm and the less commercial the farming techniques, the better. When you’re eating healthy, natural eggs, you can feel free to go to town. For years, there has been debate about the cholesterol in egg yolks. However, in recent years the USDA has announced that there is now 14% less cholesterol, and further, that coupled with proper exercise, the benefits of eggs outweigh those risk factors. The nutrition community has come to embrace eggs for the vitamin and nutrient packed little super-foods that they are. While some people stand by egg-whites for their lean protein benefit, you should consider that all the vitamins contained in eggs are stored in the yolk. Eat your yolks!
Avocado And Good Fat
When it comes to healthy fats, avocado, which is technically a berry, is at the top of my list. In addition, the healthy fat they’re known for, these little green grenades are packed with fiber and have 35% more potassium than a banana.
Basic Guacamole Recipe
I can’t say enough about how much I love guacamole. Lime, cilantro, seasoning and avocado is a delicious combo that can be used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, to dip slices of vegetables in or use in place of salad dressing.
Avocado is also a great addition to your favorite smoothie to provide a creamy texture. Might sound a little weird; isn’t.
Best Nuts for Muscle Growth (Almond, walnut, macadamia)
The best option here is organic, raw and unsalted. Nuts are the perfect snack between meals as they are a balanced meal in every bite with some protein, carbs and healthy fat. Keeping a bag of almonds in your desk can help to keep your glycemic index low.
Seasoning: if the raw unsalted thing is too bland for you, I suggest adding your own seasoning. This is a healthy way to kick up the flavor but without sacrificing the nutrients lost in the process of roasting. Take a sandwich bag or cup with almonds or your own preference, add a teaspoon of olive oil and this will get your seasoning to stick. I tend to go with cayenne and garlic.
When it comes to eating healthy, it’s all about keeping it interesting and finding healthy ways to season and flavor the less exciting tastes. Hot peppers are my favorite way to add flavor without sauces full of oils and preservatives—but whatever works for you, go for it, as long as you’re getting the nutrient rich, vitamin intensive foods that your body and mind need to perform at their best.
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