Best Foods To Gain Healthy Muscle Mass

Whether your goal is to become a bodybuilder or simply improve your overall physical strength and appearance, eating the right kinds of foods and avoiding others as much as possible is essential!

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At every stage of our lives, our bodies require the correct fuel in order to function optimally both physically and mentally. We all need well balanced nutrition to learn and retain information and skills, obtain energy, repair damage, replace dead cells, and much more. Gaining healthy muscle mass is no exception to this. And the most important nutrient that we must consume to achieve this goal is protein. While too much or too little of anything is never good and can have detrimental effects on your health, you can indeed give your body a helpful boost and speed up this natural process by providing your body with a good amount of protein, sufficient healthy carbs, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients not only enhance vital immune health, improve cognitive function, maintain high levels of energy and oxygen, but they also make it easier for your body to properly absorb and make good use of all that nutrient – rich food.

Listed below are some of the very best foods to help you gain healthy muscle mass, according to expert dieticians and nutritionists.


Salmon Or Tuna

Salmon and tuna are fantastic choices for muscle building and overall health. Each 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of salmon contains about 17 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and several important B vitamins. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in muscular health and helps increase muscle gain in conjunction with your exercise programs and workout routines.

On top of a whopping 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving, tuna also contains high amounts of vitamin A, magnesium, iron and several B vitamins, including B12, niacin, and B6. These nutrients are important for improved health, energy, and exercise performance. Note of caution however: It’s best to moderate your consumption of canned tuna and salmon in order to prevent mercury toxicity.

Additionally, tuna is usually less pricey than salmon, and provides large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which may support both muscle buildup and cognitive sharpness. This makes it particularly important for seniors who start to lose muscle mass as they age.

Skinless Chicken Breast

One piece of skinless, boneless chicken breast packs about 55 grams of protein, which makes it a great muscle building food. It’s also a great source of micronutrients such as iron and vitamin B12, which can also be very beneficial for healthy muscle gain.

However, it’s recommended to avoid breading or deep frying your chicken, as this may hinder your muscle building goals. Instead, try pan-searing or grilling it. If you find that boring or bland by itself, simply season it with paprika, dill, parsley, or lemon pepper. To make a complete and balanced meal, try pairing it with a complex carbohydrate such as sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa.


Eggs are one of the best forms of a complete protein for four main reasons. It’s super easy to cook, you can cook and prepare it in a variety of ways, it’s suitable for a vegetarian diet, and it contains all nine amino fatty acids. In fact, one large boiled egg contains about 6 to 7 grams of protein. They are also packed with other nutrients and healthy HDL cholesterol, all of which support muscle growth. According to a small study in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, both whole eggs and egg whites have the ability to improve muscle building, but overall, whole eggs give you the most nutritional benefit for your muscles.


Tofu, a soy-based food, is an excellent alternative to animal protein if you’re vegetarian, vegan or simply need to limit your animal proteins due to certain health conditions. It contains roughly 6 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Tofu is also a great natural source of calcium and iron, which promotes muscle growth, making it a superb choice for those who are lactose intolerant. Plus, it goes very well with just about any protein rich option and complex carbohydrate. Calcium helps muscles contract and relax properly, while iron helps blood cells deliver essential oxygen to the muscle cells.

But it’s safest to eat tofu and other soy products in moderation, as the body can develop an allergy to it if eaten excessively. Alternatively, if you want to avoid soy completely, almonds could be a wonderful option instead. They’re loaded with protein, are highly nutritious and low in carbs.

Protein Powder

Protein powder is an excellent way to supplement your daily protein intake if you travel a lot and have a very busy schedule, or just don’t have much cheffing skills. Most brands will provide you with about 10 to 30 grams of protein per serving, which makes it a fantastic way to boost your protein levels pre- or post-workout. What’s more, most protein powders quickly dissolve in water or milk, which can enrich and balance out your fruit and veggie smoothies. Also, protein powder comes in a variety of formats, including whey protein and plant-based protein.

Final Thoughts

Although these foods are generally considered safe, it’s safest to first check with your doctor before making any dietary changes.

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