Top Foods to Help You Build Muscle

You don’t need to be young or a bodybuilder to want to build muscle. Having muscle is an important part of being healthy and being healthy applies to people of all ages. But it isn’t about looking bulky or muscular, it’s about strength and being able to perform tasks on your own.

When you have weak muscles in older age, there is a higher risk of injury, and your ability to perform everyday tasks can be compromised.

Diet plays a big role in building and maintaining muscle and knowing the right foods to eat can help you stay strong.

Top Foods to Help Build and Maintain Muscle

Spices: Using a variety of spices in your cooking can help build muscle. This is because “they have a thermogenic effect, which increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation and reduces your body’s propensity to store fat by regulating insulin levels,” says nutritionist Matt Lovell.

Coconut oil: Some studies suggest that coconut oil can help speed up your metabolism and elevate muscle-strengthening growth hormones for up to four hours. Island Fresh Superior ... Buy New $18.00 (as of 01:25 EST - Details)

Grains: Natural occurring steroids found in quinoa help promote lean muscle, which is why it’s often paired with chicken and other lean meats to make a complete meal.

Cheese: Cottage cheese is a healthy type of cheese that can promote muscle growth. It’s high in protein, calcium, and low in fat. Ricotta is another great cheese that contains glutamine, which can raise levels of human growth hormone and boost your lean muscle mass when working out.

Spicy peppers: Spicy peppers contain capsaicin, helping to kickstart your metabolism and burn off calories.

Peanut butter: Although high in calories, peanut butter contains heart-healthy fats and can also increase your body’s testosterone levels.

Celery: Celery contains compounds that widen blood vessels, which means more oxygenated blood can reach your muscles.

Olives: Kalamata olives are high in polyphenol hydroxytyrosol, which helps convert fuel into energy along with providing the body with healthy fats.

Chia: Chia seeds are high in fiber and help curb your cravings.

Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.