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During the coronavirus pandemic, people have had to quarantine in their homes and social distance from others. Many have used this time to focus on their health. For some people, that means changing their diet to eat healthier foods, while others are doing their best to work out at home to stay active or get in shape.
If you have certain goals you hope to reach from exercising, it is also important that you are monitoring your diet and eating the correct foods every day. If you’re looking to build muscle, you should focus on foods high in protein, carbohydrates and other important nutrients for you to eat to get stronger. Here are some of the foods that you should be thinking about prioritizing in your diet to build muscle.
Milk is one of the foods that can help you meet your daily nutritional requirements and your fitness goals. It has whey and casein, which provide amino acids that are essential for building muscle. Just make sure that your milk does not go bad in your refrigerator.
Similar to milk, cottage cheese also has a lot of amino acids. Although it does not have as much whey and casein, it can help you gain muscle mass gradually. It also contains calcium and vitamins that can assist in strengthening your bones and improving metabolism. If you are a fan of cheese, there are many kinds of cheese from around the world you need to try.
If you are not a fan of cheese or milk, yogurt could be the dairy food for you. It has a lot of the same benefits as these other dairy products and is a great food for your gut health.
A popular food that can be cooked 101 ways, eggs are always one of the go-to foods for those trying to build muscle. Protein-rich eggs have amino acids such as leucine which help with the synthesis of skeletal muscle. Some people opt to only eat egg whites, but whole eggs are more helpful for building muscle mass. If you prefer to eat your eggs scrambled, here is how to scramble them correctly.
Many types of meat are beneficial for building muscle because of the protein that they contain. But chicken, specifically chicken breast, is a sought-after protein source because it is low in fat but still has the amino acids that help you build muscle. There are many ways you can eat chicken that aren't boring, but if you eat it without the skin, it removes even more fat.
Just like chicken, beef is another meat that is rich in protein and great for muscle growth. It is also rich in iron, which has health benefits. It’s best to choose lean beef because it doesn’t contain too much extra fat or too many additional calories.
If salmon is not the fish for you, try tilapia. Similar to salmon, it’s another protein-packed seafood good for muscle building. It has many of the amino acids that are also present in salmon as well as the benefits of fighting against inflammation.
Turkey provides similar amounts of protein as chicken. It’s also a good source of B vitamins. So this year on Thanksgiving, make sure you make enough turkey to enjoy leftovers later.
Tuna is another one of the many fatty fish that are great for building muscle. Along with omega-3 fatty acids, tuna also contains high amounts of vitamin A and B vitamins. There are a variety of ways to incorporate tuna into your diet from tuna steaks to salad recipes that the whole family will love.
Shrimp may be small but they pack a punch — they are almost pure protein. They’re also low in calories and work well in a variety of satisfying dishes, including plenty of Southern favorites.
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is high in protein and low in calories and fat. It is packed with all nine amino acids that are integral for your body. For a quick and easy protein boost, quinoa can be made easily with your Instant Pot.
Like shrimp and lean poultry, scallops also provide protein with very little fat. This food is perfect for getting protein after doing workouts at home.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are good sources of both carbohydrates and protein. Just like many plant-based proteins, they are considered a lower-quality protein than animal-based proteins. Nonetheless, they can still be beneficial for someone trying to get in the gym and get stronger.
Almonds are pantry staples for those trying to build muscle. They make a great snack that people can eat throughout the day and can be incorporated into a variety of recipes as well. However, they should be eaten in moderation because of their high-calorie count.
Hemp seeds are a plant-based source of protein that are also a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. Consider adding these seeds to your post-workout smoothie to get a healthy and protein-packed drink.
Edamame — made from immature whole soybeans — is another soy-based food that has a good amount of protein content. Edamame also contains folate, which helps people process amino acids that help build muscle.
Lentils, the base of many of the best Indian dishes, will give you protein as well as fiber while being low in fat and calories. They also work well for gluten-free and diabetic diets.
This popular vegetable provides you with a good amount of protein along with essential antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Building muscle is about what you eat as well as what you don’t eat. If you want to have a healthier, well-rounded diet, consider avoiding these foods.
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