When you are looking to build muscle and strength and perhaps lose fat at the same time, your diet and nutrition has a critical role to play in the process. It is vital to include a wide variety of health fat, protein, fruit and vegetables in your daily food intake.
There are some super foods which can really help boost your gym workout and keep you full of energy while working out, as well as supporting your muscle-building process. We asked the guys at Focus Performance (highly recommended if you’re looking for good quality supplements) for their advice, so here are their top 10 super foods you must include in your diet.
1. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs mean the white and the yolk as the yolk is the part of the egg which contains most of the nutrients. Eggs are a great source of protein, as well as vitamins, and can really boost your attempts to build muscle and strength.
Wild Salmon is an amazing super food, containing essential omega-4 fatty acids which are vital for your body. It is also a perfect source of protein. If you don’t, or can’t eat fish then look to take a fish oil supplement instead. Fish oil will provide you with amazing benefits, including lowering inflammation levels and helping to reduce overall body fat.
3. Nuts and Berries
Nuts do contain a lot of calories but if you are trying to bulk up, they are perfect. You can go for any kind of nuts, including walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts. Peanut butter is also good but look out for any added sugar.
Berries, including cranberries, blueberries and blackberries are a really great super food as they are packed with strong supportive antioxidants, which help to prevent many diseases including cancer and heart disease.
4. Super Vegetables
While all vegetables are good for your health largely, some are better than others and there are super vegetables which are perfect for when you are trying to increase overall strength and muscle-tone. They include broccoli and spinach.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and as such, is high in fibre and low in calories. It is also renowned for its helpful cancer-fighting properties and its support for fat loss. If you want a change from broccoli then other cruciferous relatives including kale, cabbage and cauliflower, have similar properties.
Spinach is incredibly high in nutrients, making it a super food for helping to prevent cancer, heart disease and other health conditions. It is also renowned for its properties which help in the prevention of bone and muscle loss.
5. Super Meats
When trying to boost your muscle and strength, red meat including steaks and beef burgers, provide you with many vital components including iron, zinc, protein and vitamins. If you are worried about the fat content in red meats then consider turkey instead.
Turkey also provides many of the same benefits but the reason the meat is so dry is it contains far less fat. Combine meat with the super vegetables and some super grains, for an amazing energy kick and strength-boosting meal.
6. Super Grains and Seeds
Amazing sources of fibre and energy – seeds and grains are perfect accompaniments to your strength workout daily meals. Try Quinoa with your dinner as this grain contains more protein and fibre than rice and is also gluten free.
Oats give you low releasing energy so are great for low carbs, and also are high in fibre. Combine them with berries and nuts for a nutritious breakfast or break up in the blender to create a perfect shake.
Flax seeds are also a great source of omega-3, protein and fibre so make sure to add a handful to meals, or sprinkle over your breakfast in the mornings.
Tomatoes are well known for their cancer prevention properties and the good news is that tomato paste used in pasta or pizza contains even higher concentrations of these amazing properties, so if you are loading up on carbs with pasta, stir in some tomato paste for that added health benefit.
Fresh oranges contain Vitamin C which helps to support the body’s immune system in fighting off infections and keeping your immune system strong and healthy. A healthy immune system helps your body to recover quicker from illness and disease, supporting its strength.
Drinking plenty of water will help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated during strength training and muscle-building work. It also supports your muscles in their recovery post-workout so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you are dehydrated your body will hold water so drinking more will solve this water retention issue and may help with weight loss as a result.
10. Green Tea
Green tea has many health properties including antioxidants, but it can also help your body to speed up fat loss so is a great drink to have alongside regular water, while training.