15 Muscle-Fueling Foods

If you want to get big, you have to eat big.

 BLUEBERRIES 

Free radicals will damage muscle cells and sidetrack your lifting progress in a hurry, so they need to be destroyed. And no fruit or vegetable is better at destroying them than blueberries. Blueberries are super at this task because they’re loaded with anthocyanidin, a potent antioxidant phytochemical that zaps free radicals and offers the bonus of boosting brain function. In a recent study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, damaged muscle tissue was combined with different fruit extracts. The blueberry extract alleviated the damage better than the other fruits. This damage control equates to faster muscle recovery and thus greater growth potential. (Just don’t take blueberries with dairy products — they blunt the uptake of the fruit’s antioxidants.)

  • Serving Size: 1 cup blueberries 
  • Nutrients: 83 calories, 1 g protein, 21 g carbs, 0 g fat 
  • Value Added: 150 mg anthocyanidins

 BROCCOLI 

Even if your taste buds don’t like broccoli, the rest of your body does. First of all, broccoli is a great cancer fighter due to the chemical antioxidant sulforaphane that forms when you chew the veggie. Reducing cancer risk is reason enough to include it as a superfood, but broccoli is also a great bodybuilding food because it reduces the strength of estrogens in the body via the phytochemical indole-3-carbinol that gets converted in the body to 3,3’-diindolylmethane. But don’t worry — you don’t have to memorize these names. Keep it simple. High estrogen: bad. High testosterone: good. Regular consumption of broccoli: great!

  • Serving Size: 1 cup broccoli 
  • Nutrients: 31 calories, 3 g protein, 6 g carbs, 0 g fat 
  • Value Added: 100 mg I3C, 1,200-4,000 micrograms sulforaphane, more than 80 mg vitamin C, over 40 mg calcium

 

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