September 8

Body Building Foods: More Than Protein

blueberries-531209_1280Protein is at the heart of dietary plans for body builders. They need it for amino acids to build muscle, for tissue maintenance and repair — but that’s not all they need. Carbs and fiber are important too. Moreover, certain proteins are very good for a body builder (and other people too) while some are not. When discussing real food as opposed to supplements, here are some accessible foods which are also easy to prepare.

Oats

Don’t knock the humble bowl of oatmeal as a first meal every day. This warm dish is versatile and healthy as long as you don’t load it with sugar and fat. Cook a bowl of oats in milk or water, top with honey or brown sugar, and throw in some of the following ingredients for flavor. Your body will slowly digest this high-fiber carbohydrate which will make you feel fuller for longer but also supply valuable energy.

Fruit

There is no “wrong” fruit when it comes to eating for body building, but there are better fruits containing antioxidants, potassium, or fiber. Top suggestions are blueberries, apples, bananas, and raspberries. Make a fruit salad and eat them all.

Nuts and Nut Butters

Have you ever swirled a spoonful of almond butter into your oatmeal? This adds richness or crunch plus healthy fat: Omega 3 for muscle and brain health. Choose almond, hazelnut, cashew or even natural peanut butter or chopped nut meats. You don’t need much: just a tablespoon for flavor and texture.

Eggs

This is the top food listed by many body building experts when they talk about best foods for training. It is high in protein, low in fat, and easy to digest. They contain Vitamins A, D, and E as well as iron. Nutritionists disagree as to whether the yolks are necessary and certain recipes call for just the whites, while others throw in one or two yolks with several whites. Much of the protein is found in an egg yolk and a lot of the nutrition. Scramble them or make an omelet.

Lean Meat, Fish, and Poultry

Wild game is among the best red meats a person can eat because of its low fat content but that is not accessible to everyone and can be expensive. A great alternative is lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey. Chicken breasts are also excellent for supplying lean protein and iron, but some red meat is essential for Vitamin A (healthy bones and immunity). Work fish into your meal plan somewhere at least once a week. Naturally fatty fish contains the Omegas essential for muscle and brain health. Wild cod, salmon, and other fish (not farmed which is fattier than wild fish) are loaded with selenium (immunity), calcium, protein, Vitamin B12, and other nutrients. Vitamin B promotes healthy metabolism, moods, and energy.