Having muscles is great, but some of us would rather not look like Popey the Sailor Man with noticeably large muscles that get in the way. Some of us want to be subtly strong. Lean, yet sturdy. Unassumingly massive.
We want lean muscle.
And as it turns out, building this not-so “in-yo-face” muscle comes with its dietary guidelines. So, without further ado, here are some foods to help you do that.
There was another unusually massively muscly cartoon character who went my the name of Gaston who went about boasting that he ate 5 dozen eggs every morning to help get large. Well, it’s true that eggs will help build muscle, and you don’t need to go to extremes to do it moderately.
And although eggs have that all-important muscle building and sustaining component of protein, that isn’t the only key ingredient. Eggs have cholesterol, and not the bad kind. In fact, the cholesterol from eggs (the yolk specifically) has been shown to decrease the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol particles.
A study conducted by the University of Connecticut found that when healthy young adults went from no eggs to three eggs a day, they had and increase in large-sized LDL particles, and an improvement in HDL composition. These changes aids the body in removing cholesterol from cells. This means that the fewer cholesterol in the cells, the less fat you have built up.
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has gotten a bad rap in the world of body image. The food itself has been used to describe cellulite, or cottage cheese looking bumps in the skin, particularly thighs.
And while cellulite is in fact, underlying fat deposits that are pushed through connective tissue under the skin, cottage cheese may just be a key ingredient in ridding you of those lumps and building lean muscle instead.
Cottage cheese is full of casein protein that is the slowest-digesting protein you can eat. This prevents catabolism which is the breakdown of muscle tissue while you sleep. So, if you want to keep that hard earned muscle, dish up a bowl of the good stuff before you go to bed.
3. Brown rice
Much like oatmeal, brown rice is a slow-digesting whole grain fiber. Not only does it help you move liquids and other waste products out, it provides you longer-lasting energy throughout the day, and while working out.
That’s not all. Brown rice has been found to boost your growth hormone (GH) levels, which greatly encourage fat loss and lean muscle growth due to its complex carbohydrates which is macronutrient for muscle building.
An apple a day … you know the drill. This powerful fruit, however, can do much more than just keep the doctor away. If you want muscles, and you want them lean, apples may just do the trick.
Apples contain polyphenols that help increase muscle strength and prevent muscle fatigue. This will help you train longer, doing more continuous reps as you build your stamina and lean muscle mass. But, polyphenols don’t just increase strength, but have been found to also increase your ability to burn fat.
There’s nothing like a good beat to get the blood flowing and the body moving. Oops, did we say beat? We meant beet.
That’s right. This red root vegetable contains betaine (trimethylglycine) that has been found aid in liver and joint repair, but also to increase muscle strength and power. Research has also found that beet juice can aid in recovery of muscle function and performance between reps.
And while the juicy shows great benefits, if you chop it up, cook it down, add it to a salad or even smoothie, you can retain the fiber which as we’ve learned will help you move unnecessary waste out, so you can keep working on building the awesome lean muscle.