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7 Crucial Foods to Build Lean Muscle Quickly

7 Crucial Foods to Build Lean Muscle Quickly

Add these to your diet and you can kick creatine to the curb

Eggs

copyright Kelly Neil

Not only are eggs cheap, they’re packed with muscle-building nutrients. Most of these are located in the yolk, but the whites pack potassium and protein as well. And forget what you’ve heard about eggs being bad for your cholesterol levels—some natural cholesterol is good for the body and actually helps increase testosterone.

Salmon

copyright Christiann Koepke

Salmon has a good protein to fat ratio, and the Omega-3s it holds can improve recovery by preventing proteins from breaking down after a workout. Salmon also has been found to decrease the risk of diabetes by increasing insulin resistance. You can thank the fatty acids in fish oil specifically for that.

Oranges

copyright Jonathan Pielmayer

That Vitamin C in oranges isn’t just good for keeping you from getting sick: according to bodybuilding.com, Vitamin C will boost your testosterone by lowering your cortisol levels.

Spinach

copyright Jean Pierre Gallot

Popeye had it right: spinach provides the body with glutamine, an amino acid the creates protein and is especially good at building lean muscle. Spinach is also filled with its own protective steroids, called phytoecdysteroids, which can improve your ability to metabolize glucose, thereby keeping blood sugar and insulin levels down.

Broccoli

copyright Foodism360

With more Vitamin C than even oranges, and plenty of dietary fiber to boot, broccoli should be on your shortlist for best post-workout foods. That’s because broccoli is a great source of folic acid, which repairs DNA and helps produce red blood cells, as well as a good source of zinc, which helps synthesize proteins and heal wounds.

Grass-fed Beef

copyright Jez Timms

It’s no surprise that red meat makes it on this list: the protein levels it provides are nearly unmatched, and it supplies a healthy dose of Vitamin B-12, which promotes good energy. Bodybuilders have relied heavily on red meat to gain mass quickly, and they’re on to something. But what makes grass-fed beef better than grain-fed? Aside from containing far less saturated fat per serving, grass-fed beef has less Omega 6s (which cause an inflammatory response in the body) and more Omega 3s (which improve heart health) than grain-fed beef.

Greek Yogurt

copyright Pelambung

Greek yogurt is like yogurt, but better. With almost twice as much protein per serving and fewer carbs. All yogurts contain the remarkable conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a special type of fat that has been shown to reduce body fat.