Fermented dairy products like kefir are a little-known magic bullet for muscle building. Kefir is the perfect addition to any muscle-building blender bomb, providing distinct nutritional advantages over water or regular milk. If you usually use water in your shakes, 1 cup of kefir will add 150 calories to your diet. Compared to regular milk, kefir will allow your meal to be more easily digested due to the presence of probiotics (up to 10 billion good bacteria per cup). These healthy bacteria will help keep your digestive track running at peak condition so it can break down and assimilate a maximum amount of calories and nutrients from your meals.
When it comes to a great all-around food to build muscle, the trophy goes to salmon. It is loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, two key nutrients to build and repair muscle tissue, and to keep your hunger in check. You can also cook salmon several different ways. Salmon is also rich in key nutrients, such as selenium, Vitamin D, B12, niacin and vitamin D. The list goes on with all of the health benefits associated with salmon, such as reducing cholesterol and improving memory. If you were not into fish – some people are not – you could go with grass-fed beef.
“For optimal muscle building, you want your diet to be as nutrient dense as possible,” Brown says. “Peas, spinach, kale, broccoli are the highest protein vegetables.” Kale, mustard greens, spinach and the like can help you up your protein intake. Two cups of kale has about 4 grams of protein; the same amount of mustard greens yields 3 grams, and spinach has 2 grams. This isn't a lot, but if you add leafy greens to morning smoothies, have a salad for lunch and cook spinach for dinner, you can easily consume up to 15 grams of protein in one day.