Apr 15th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Foods for Strength & Stamina
All throughout magazines, TV ads, and even on the internet; when logging in to your favorite forum or email, you can see advertisements for “Get Ripped Fast” or “Muscle Milk” or a new protein powder. The truth is today’s society is beginning to program individuals with a “fast food mentality”; meaning that everyone wants everything done “now!” If it’s not done “now!” or within a month, then it’s not worth doing at all…even if that accomplishment could prove to be life changing. It’s important to understand that absolutely nothing can be achieved within a “fast food” mentality. In contrary to modern-day propaganda you have to take on the “old school” mindset and work hard at something with persistence in order to succeed. In regards to gaining muscle mass there is no easy way out, you have to train and eat right. Eating right is the majority of the battle, because what you are is determined by what you eat. Eating a diet consisting of processed junk food and its accompanying chemical neuro-toxin soup will only rob precious nutrients and energy that will in turn make you slow; both mentally and physically. In essence, to build up health and all areas of fitness it is vital to fuel with proper nutrition and not empty calories. Foods that have endured throughout history as nature’s protein source are eggs and plant foods. Plant foods are loaded with Amino Acids, which are essentially the building blocks of protein. Just to see how powerful plant foods can be, leaf green vegetables in themselves can provide richer sources and higher percentages of valuable calcium than the standard grocery store Cow Milk.
Eggs and Plant Foods:
Eggs are an abundant source of protein. Furthermore, with modern day technology eggs can be better as they can now be a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some egg producers are adding in flaxseed to hen feed and thus are increasing the omega-3 fatty acid content of eggs by over six times than that of regular eggs. In addition, Vitamin E; an essential vitamin to the human body and brain, is also added to the flaxseed feed. This process allows the vitamin E content in fortified eggs to be as much as eight times higher than that of normal eggs.
Plant Foods are extremely important to any muscle building regimen as they are classified as superfoods. I will mention a few that are important for muscle mass and gains:
Legumes- Legumes are an excellent sources of protein and fiber. Fiber is critical as it keeps blood sugar and energy levels stable. As far as plant foods go, legumes are high in protein and are a great source of slow releasing complex carbohydrates. Carbs are known to provide a more stable and lasting energy supply for workouts. Legumes can be eaten in soups, chili, stews, or in cold bean salads. You could buy them dry, canned or frozen and basically any supermarket. The most common of legumes are pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, lima beens, black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and blac-eyed peas.
Allium vegetables- Garlic, chives, scallions, leeks, and onions are all flavorful additions to a bodybuilding diet. Their benefits are in large part due to their sulfur-containing compounds and the flavonoids such as quercetin. Much like any other plant food, they retain their vitamins and are more beneficial when uncooked. You could add them to anything from sandwiches, salads, pizza, raw soups, salad dressings, and other raw recipes.
Nuts- Overall, nuts are very rich in nutrients; including plant protein, fiber, vitamin E, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, phytoserols, antioxidants and much more. You can add them to recipes or snack on them alone. Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, and Almonds could be a great snack and diet addition for muscle gains. But remember, eating too much of a good thing could increase caloric intake, which could lead to more fat, so keep a guideline as to eating one to two servings per day. One serving is about an ounce or (24 almonds).
Cruciferous Vegetables- Eating cruciferous vegetables is a good way to take in micronutrients without taking in a lot of calories. They can be a bodybuilder’s best friend because they require more calories to be digested than they provide. They help fill you up, but help you to burn more calories too. Watercress, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli are amongst many of cruciferous vegetables. Their great in phytonutrients, and of course plant protein. If losing bodyfat is a goal then these should be a diet focus each and every week.
In short, muscle building puts great demand on the body, so eating right will bring about and maintain good health and natural strength. In the long run it’s about being independently healthy and fit, so super foods and a determined mindset is a good start.