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Lean muscle can make the difference between looking reasonably fit and looking very healthy. Muscle is important to keep you looking and feeling good because it burns fat and allows you to move more efficiently.

Whether it’s getting rid of stubborn belly fat or creating legs that will carry you through an entire marathon, ultimately, we all have the goal of creating a body we can be proud of. But what exactly should that body look like, or in other words, is it more important to be lean or muscular? Or can we have both?

Slim or strong – both have their advantages, of course. If you become thinner, you also gain mobility, reduce the risk of various diseases (such as heart disease or depression), and strengthen your self-confidence. But also, when you get stronger, you feel better in your body and generally more efficient and even burn fat faster.

Becoming more muscular also has no real disadvantages. When it comes to losing weight, though, you have to be careful.
Once you’ve reached a healthy BMI and lost all excess fat, losing more weight can mean losing muscle mass and water – both essential elements of your health. Therefore, focusing on losing weight only makes sense up to a certain point. Getting stronger and maintaining a defined body, on the other hand, has only positive effects on your health and overall well-being.

Should I focus only on getting stronger?
For the best results, set a goal to become leaner and more muscular. These two goals are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they complement each other.

Why? Your muscles are involved in your metabolism. This means that the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will work. A faster metabolism, in turn, means more rapidly fat burning. The leaner and stronger your muscles are, the quicker your metabolism is, and the more calories you burn both during exercise and afterward. The same is true in reverse: the weaker your muscles are, the lower your metabolic rate and the harder it will be for you to lose weight. These five foods that build lean muscle are beneficial in a bodybuilding diet:

1) Beef organic and grass fed

organic grass fed beef for lean muscle

Beef from grass-fed cattle is a great lean muscle builder. It is high in protein, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins, and iron. Also, beef from grass-fed cattle has been known to help shed body fat better than corn-fed cattle due to its significantly higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which also has anti-cancer properties.

Is meat healthy or harmful for humans?
“Meat is a piece of vitality” under this advertising slogan, the business of the meat industry ran well for decades. The meat was considered healthy. In addition, frequent meat consumption was a status symbol because everyone could afford a daily meat meal by no means. Today, however, meat is making plenty of negative headlines: High meat consumption is suspected of promoting cancer, gout, and cardiovascular disease, and we keep reading about new meat scandals.

In addition, drugs used in animal fattening endanger our health and pollute the environment. Nevertheless, meat consumption in Germany has hardly decreased in recent years; it currently stands at just over 60 kilograms per capita and year.

But what is right now? Is meat good for us or not?

Meat from a nutritional point of view – a positive assessment
Meat provides plenty of proteins of high biological value and many essential nutrients, above all iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins. Muscle meat contains around 22 percent protein, including many vital proteins that our bodies cannot produce themselves. Meat contains little fat because this is often generously removed. The increasingly younger slaughtered animals are less fatty anyway. On the other hand, the proportion of saturated fatty acids is less than 50 percent.

Meat from cattle raised on pasture does particularly well: It has a more favorable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids and contains more conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), which have shown anti-cancer and antioxidant effects in studies and have a favorable influence on fat metabolism. However, the extent to which these results can be transferred to humans has not yet been conclusively determined. In terms of nutrients, beef and pork perform significantly better than poultry. Pork supplies a lot of vitamin B1 and B6, while beef scores with iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.

2) Organic non- GMO apples

organic non gmo apples for lean muscle

Apples aid in increasing muscle strength and preventing muscle fatigue, which makes them a great food item prior to a workout, due to its content of polyphenols. Some studies also so that these polyphenols allow for increased fat burning. Since apples grow your muscle strength for long periods and aid in the burning of fat, they are a great, tasty food to help you build lean muscle.

Apples reduce the risk of disease.
Many scientific studies confirm again and again that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases. However, the reason for this preventive effect of fruits and vegetables is hidden in the high content of so-called phytochemicals (secondary plant compounds).

These include polyphenols, flavonoids, and carotenoids. These groups include quercetin, catechin, kaempferol, hesperetin, myricetin, and phloridzin, all-powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects.

Not surprisingly, epidemiological studies consistently show links between the consumption of apples and a reduced risk of cancer, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders.

Related: Top 10 worst foods if your trying to lose weight

3) Fresh organic brown rice

fresh organic brown rice for healthy lean muscle mass

Brown Rice is a whole grain that takes a long time to digest, making it great for building lean muscle. It provides you with all-day energy, as digestion is so slow, and will provide significant energy during a workout as well. Brown Rice also boosts growth hormone levels, vital in growing lean muscle, getting stronger, and losing fat.

Brown rice is like white rice, except that the germ and silverskin have not been removed. As a result, brown rice has more fiber, tastes, and feels different. Therefore, brown rice is healthier than white rice. Furthermore, due to the lower glycemic index, the feeling of satiety occurs faster and longer, as well as in the hull are numerous nutrients and minerals.

Brown rice is also perfect for weight loss. In addition to the high water binding capacity that each grain of rice has, the exceptionally high potassium content in brown rice also removes water, resulting in rapid weight loss.

Brown rice: what you should know about it
From production to weight loss, the “why” to many questions about brown rice can only be answered if you understand the concept from front to back. After that, it becomes all the clearer. Below you’ll find questions and answers about brown rice and what you can do with it.

What is brown rice?
Brown rice is basically what the name promises: rice, but slightly different. But this small change has a significant impact. Brown rice has a different taste texture and is healthier.

White rice is characterized by complex processing that removes the fiber-rich hull: the silverskin, the germ, and the husks. As a result, the classic rice grain consists mainly of carbohydrates. In brown rice, only the husks are removed. As a result, brown rice is slightly harder to bite and has a nutty flavor.

Are brown rice, whole grain rice, brown rice, or semi brown rice the same?
Yes, brown rice, whole grain rice, brown rice, and semi brown rice describe the same product. However, they are distinct from paddy rice, with no husks removed. Husks are the inedible part of the rice grain and therefore must be removed.

4) North American organic cantaloupe

North American organic cantaloupes

After a hard workout, it is essential to replenish energy. Cantaloupe excels at this. This fruit has a low fructose content, which means the carbohydrates it provides are digested very quickly. This fast energy boost fruit is ideal for eating for breakfast and after a workout.

Cantaloupe melons originate from Cantalupo in Sabina, north of Rome. These deliciously aromatic sugar melons are grown mainly in Spain, Italy, and France. They are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and especially antioxidants.

What active ingredients does the cantaloupe melon contain?
At the end of the 80s, several years of research were carried out in France to determine why this one variety of melon had a much longer shelf life than other cantaloupe varieties. The result: its high content of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme and super antioxidant, also has an important function in the human body. It prevented the aging of the fruit – a phenomenon that science further researched and developed a natural active ingredient extract that has a high content of superoxide dismutase and has a positive effect in humans.

Honeydew melon: calories
Honeydew melons have high water content. This is 85 to 90 percent and provides a juicy taste. This makes them a welcome refreshment and a delicious thirst quencher, especially in summer. And because of their high water content, honeydew melons have hardly any calories: 100 grams contain only about 50 calories.

However, the high fructose content of the sweet melon must be taken into account: this means that honeydew melon has significantly more calories than watermelon, for example. On the other hand, watermelons bring it just to about 24 calories.

Honeydew melon is healthy
Despite its relatively high fructose content, the honeydew melon is healthy. It contains the following ingredients in particular:

  • Vitamin B1: This vitamin is essential for nerve function and energy metabolism. One hundred grams of honeydew melon contain about 60 micrograms.
  • Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3 is also essential for energy metabolism and the nervous system. One hundred grams of honeydew melon contain 600 micrograms of vitamin B3.
  • Vitamin C: Among other things, vitamin C protects the cells and supports the immune system. One hundred grams of honeydew melon contain 32 milligrams of vitamin C. Thus 150 grams cover half the daily requirement.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is necessary for cell growth and the visual process. Almost 780 micrograms are contained in 100 grams of honeydew melon. One hundred fifty grams thus cover the complete daily requirement of vitamin A.
  • Potassium: 100 grams of honeydew melon contain about 230 milligrams of potassium. The mineral regulates the water balance and is vital for transmitting nerve stimuli.
  • In addition, honeydew melon contains vitamins B2 and B5 and calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Unlike many other plants, honeydew melons contain little dietary fiber. These are generally good for digestion but can also lead to gastrointestinal problems in intolerance. People who develop more frequent complaints after eating fiber-rich foods, such as legumes, can therefore feel free to reach for honeydew melon more often.

5) Fresh organic cottage cheese

fresh organic cottage cheese

Cottage cheese contains a lot of casein protein, which supplies a lot of amino acids. Casein protein is also the slowest digesting protein, which is excellent for building lean muscle. It prevents your body from using your muscles as an energy source, which can happen during the night while you sleep.

Cottage cheese is not only a well-suited component of a healthy high-protein diet, and it can even help with weight loss. The following article lists some of the health benefits of cottage cheese and ways to incorporate cottage cheese into your daily diet as a tasty ingredient.

Fundamental nutritional values of cottage cheese
Cottage cheese contains relatively few carbohydrates and fat with two percent milk fat but is exceptionally high in protein. Protein accounts for nearly 70 percent of cottage cheese’s calories. In addition, cottage cheese is rich in vitamin B12 and minerals such as selenium. However, cottage cheese can be high in sodium and sugar, so check the label before purchasing.

Effects on blood sugar levels
First of all, cottage cheese seems to affect blood sugar levels positively. One study on this topic found that eating cottage cheese can lower postprandial blood sugar levels. Postprandial blood glucose levels indicate blood glucose levels after eating and are critical in preventing and treating diabetes.

Cottage cheese promoted weight loss
Another 2012 study looked at people who ate a high-protein diet (including cottage cheese) for a year. It showed that this diet helped participants lose weight and maintain weight loss.

Cottage cheese prevents muscle loss
Cottage cheese also appears to improve recovery after exercise. A 2018 study (Alecia Cushing, Carol O’Neal: Effective Dietary Strategies for Muscle Recovery after Resistance Exercise Programs) concluded that eating a high-protein meal or snack like cottage cheese prevents muscle breakdown and promotes muscle recovery after exercise.

Is it advisable to eat cottage cheese every day?
Yes, cottage cheese can be consumed daily as part of a healthy diet. However, if people are sensitive to dairy products, a lactose-free alternative should be used.

Cottage cheese can be part of virtually any meal
The versatility of cottage cheese recipes makes it easy to incorporate this protein-rich treat into any meal. It can be part of a hearty breakfast or make a midnight snack. Other uses include substituting cottage cheese for sour cream on baked potatoes or consuming cottage cheese along with fruit salad. Cottage cheese can be eaten on bread in the morning, or you can substitute it for ricotta in lasagna. Overall, there are many tasty ways to incorporate cottage cheese into your diet.

Related: The top 10 best foods for weight loss 

These are only a few foods that aid in lean muscle growth, but they are a starting point. Whether you eat cantaloupe for a quick burst of energy or eat brown rice for all-day energy, all of these foods can help you on your quest to look and feel great.

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The top 5 foods for building lean muscle fast and as easy as possible
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