Even if you’re working out to improve the quality of your health, there’s probably a part of you somewhere who’s hoping to get some muscle definition. That’s the physical proof of all of the work that you’ve been putting in.
There are certain exercises that you can do to increase your muscle definition (click
here to read about those). According to trainers, it’s also important to exercise regularly, to push yourself doing your workouts, to do 12-15 repetitions 3-4 times and to also get a good amount of rest. Muscles are able to resynthesize themselves when you’ve had no less than six hours of sleep.
But exercise is not enough. You also need to eat the kinds of foods that will help your muscles to look as good as you want them to be. Are you wondering what some of those are? Put these on your next grocery list and watch how it pays off for you!
When’s the last time you had a salad with kale in it? Or how about a bowl of homemade kale chips (click
here for a recipe)? Kale is a superfood for a lot of reasons. It’s high in iron, fiber, calcium and Vitamins A, C and K. It’s packed with antioxidants. And because it is such a low calorie food that contains zero fat, it’s a great food to eat if you’re looking to lose a few pounds. As a bonus, since iron helps your body to circulate oxygen to your muscles as well as increase your level of endurance, that’s what makes it a top-notch food for muscle defining.
Next time you go to make a dish that calls for rice, how about substituting it with quinoa? Quinoa is a food that’s awesome if you’re a vegan or vegetarian because it has plenty of protein it. Quinoa also has twice as much fiber as most grains, iron, lots of magnesium, manganese (an antioxidant that fights off free radicals) and lysine. It’s the lysine that makes it so great for your muscles because that’s what supports tissue repair and growth.
Berries are another food that are high in Vitamin C. They also are loaded with antioxidants, including Anthocyanins. What’s that? It’s what provides your berries with the pigment that they have. Ripe berries are at their most potent (click
here to learn when different berries are in season). Berries also have ellagic acid in them; that is anti-carcinogen compound which has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties (great for helping to prevent cancer and for fighting tumor growth). You can also eat berries for dietary fiber and to fight diabetes. Studies show that berries hinder the formation of fat cells. And, since they are an anti-inflammatory food, you can work out longer, pain-free, in order to get the results that you want.
If time is tight and you can’t sit down and have breakfast, try and grab some Greek yogurt. It’s a probiotic food that contains the protein you need in order to build muscle tissue, probiotics to keep the bacteria in your gut in check while also keeping you regular and Vitamin B12 to keep your brain sharp as it provides you with plenty of energy. Greek yogurt is a food that’s high in potassium while being low in sodium. It's also rich in amino acids—a low-calorie kind of food that can handle that hunger craving after lifting a few weights.
Some people don’t know that mushrooms are a fungus. So, if you have a sensitivity to fungus growth, you might want to minimize how many of these that you consume. But if you don’t, mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D and iron. Various studies indicate that they can help to strengthen your immune system. Plus, all of the B vitamins in them will increase your metabolism. You definitely need that for those muscle definition workouts.
One reason why watermelon made this list is because it’s a fruit that’s made up of around 70 percent water---a sweet and low-calorie treat that will help to keep you hydrated as you exercise. Oh, and if you eat the rinds (yep, they’re totally edible), they will give you a source of
chlorophyll, something we all need to keep our blood healthy. Next time you get ready to head out to the gym, you might want to put a third of a watermelon in juicer (maybe along with a few berries). Unpasteurized watermelon juice has a great reputation for significantly reducing muscle soreness within 24 hours of a workout.
Oil helps to keep the body lubricated. Virgin olive oil in particular increases blood circulation (which makes it an aphrodisiac food), it contains anti-aging properties, has lots of antioxidants, and it contains a property called oleocanthal. There's an anti-inflammatory property in the oil that will also help recovery time during your workouts. It’s easy to get olive oil into your system. Simply replace it with whatever oil you cook with. You can also use it as an ingredient for an after-workout massage oil. Click
here to read some of the many benefits of massaging with olive oil and enjoy!