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5 Foods That Will Help You Build Muscle

Get stronger with the help of these foods.

Man eating foods that build muscle lg 

Building muscle requires physical training and proper nutrition. If you've been putting in time at the gym, but you're not feeling or looking as strong as you hoped, you might be missing a key ingredient. A tweak to your diet might help you build more muscle. In other words, you need to feed your muscles.

Building and maintaining muscle is tough stuff, especially as we age. Luckily, eating the right foods can help. Here are five foods to add to your culinary feats: 


This popular source of protein is readily available at just about every grocery store near you. For the price, you can buy chicken on a regular basis without putting a dent in your wallet. The amount of protein in chicken is on the higher end compared to the other foods on this list. You’ll take in 26 grams of protein for every three ounces of skinless, baked chicken you eat.


Another winner in the protein category. You can find salmon frozen, canned, or fresh in the seafood section of your grocery store. There’s more to salmon than just protein, it packs a punch as a good source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are good for your heart and brain while also reducing inflammation. From grilling to baking to pan-fried, the cooking options are nearly limitless.

Related: Why I Love Strength Training

Black beans

Black beans are a great non-meat alternative to add protein to your diet—a half cup of cooked black beans boasts seven grams. Plus, they’re also a good source of fiber and potassium. Black beans are an affordable, nutritious, and versatile ingredient. Add this simple legume to dishes like tacos, salads, and chili.

Peanut butter

This easy-to-use and easy-to-eat food can be used in a variety of recipes from smoothies to on-the-go snacks. Just one tablespoon of peanut butter has four grams of protein, making it a good source of protein for building muscle. Peanut butter is also a good source of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals that will help your body stay healthy and function properly.

Related: Why Weight Lifting Is Good for Heart Health


Did you know that one cup of plain low-fat yogurt provides twelve grams of protein? Yogurt is a great option for a meal, snack, or post-workout fuel. Recent studies show that regular intake of yogurt can help lower your blood pressure and maintain good HDL cholesterol levels. Add some fresh fruit or ground flaxseed to change up the flavor profile and texture.

This is just the start of some really great options. Of course, if you are allergic or just don't like them, swap them for other high-protein foods.

While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical and dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.

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Joshua Jamias

Joshua Jamias is online marketer and freelance writer. He is a sports enthusiast and enjoys creating health and fitness content.