The first impulse for most while attempting to add size after a prolonged diet or even during their first “bulking” experience is to immediately eat all the bad foods they can to add both quick size while also satisfying their hunger and junk food craves. This is not the best route to get the desired end result of strong lean muscles. Bulking up and adding extra muscle with minimal fat is the byproduct of increasing your training volume and your calories. Healthy bulking is all about eating an excess of the right quality foods that will minimize fat gain, maximize muscle growth, while keeping your joints, heart, and metabolism functioning in tip top shape. Here are 6 foods that will help you to accomplish a healthy bulk without the guilt.
Comparisons to other meat sources have also shown that bison has a greater concentration of iron as well as the essential fatty acids. Bison has fewer calories and less cholesterol than chicken or fish, 76% less fat than beef, and 68% less fat than chicken, so you get more edible meat for your money. Bison also has 35% more protein than beef, so you can eat 1/3 less and still walk away satisfied.
Bison is also a natural source of creatine and one of the best sources of stearic acid, which is a unique saturated fat that has no impact on your cholesterol level. Bison can also be used interchangeably with beef in most recipes.
Protein is important for muscle growth and recovery, which is essential for bodybuilders. Salmon offers nearly the same amounts of protein as beef, chicken and pork. Salmon is low in unhealthy saturated fats, which contribute to high cholesterol, but is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats offer a bounty of benefits, ranging from skin and joint health to combating heart disease.
The omega-3 fats found in salmon will help fight inflammation and keep your joints pain free as your training volume increases. Salmon is also rich in some of the essential minerals like iron, calcium, selenium and phosphorus and vitamins like A, B and D. Selenium, which is very necessary for building up of tissues.
Quinoa is a satisfying, low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fiber, it’s digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster.
Quinoa has higher protein content than wheat, barley, or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa, which contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is a complete protein. Its heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats will leave you feeling full while providing more nutritional content than breads or cereals made of refined grains.
Quinoa has a higher than usual protein content for a grain and one serving also packs 33% of your daily zinc needs, a nutrient essential for optimal testosterone. Getting ample starchy carbohydrates first thing in the morning and in the 3-4 hours following your training session is an essential strategy for getting the calories you need and putting those calories to work building muscle instead of having them add to your waistline.
This muscle building food is very nutritious. Oats contain low fat and high fiber content. Oats are a good source of magnesium, selenium, manganese and phosphorous. Oats are a good source of vitamin B1 and dietary fiber which is useful in lowering your blood sugar. Since oats provide carbohydrates slowly, they are perfect for muscle building.
The continuous provision of energy during the day through rolled oats intake ensures optimum levels of blood sugar. Oats are also high in iron and are a good source of low-fat protein. The protein in oats is almost equivalent to the quality of soy protein, and combined with the dietary fiber, makes it the ideal food to start the day with.
Chia seeds are about 20% protein. They are digested and absorbed very easily. This results in rapid transport to the tissue and utilization by the cells. This efficient assimilation makes the Chia very effective when rapid development of tissue takes place, primarily during periods of growth. This would also include regeneration of muscle tissue for conditioning, athletes, weight lifters, etc.
Chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3; they have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon. It has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. These oils, unsaturated fatty acids, are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, & K.
The avocado’s high nutrient density makes it an ideal ingredient for bodybuilders on a closely monitored diet. It contains more than twice the calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates making it easier for you to hit your higher than normal calorie targets. Your body also creates hormones and other important signaling molecules essential for muscle growth and good health from fats.
Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fats which can prevent the redistribution body fat towards your abs. This will help you keep your midsection tight while your get bigger. Avocados are also a great way to get extra fiber in your diet without filling you up. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat.
Written By: Brandan Fokken (Bodybuilding.com)