TOP 7 SUPERFOODS TO GAIN WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY
GAIN WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY WITH SUPERFOODS
The key to healthy weight gain lies not only in how much you eat but also in the food choices you make. Eating unhealthy foods such as fries, desserts and junk food would result in an increase in fat mass, not lean muscle. Additionally, it is a sure-shot way to create future health problems like hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels and diabetes. In order to nourish the body as well as gain weight in a healthy manner, incorporate superfoods that are proteinrich, and high in fibre. Foods like nuts, nut butters, whole grains, eggs and cheese pack in a punch of both calories and nutrients and aid in healthy weight gain. However, since they are calorie dense, eating these superfoods in moderation is recommended, or else it will result in obesity and obesity-related ailments. For gaining weight, experts recommend 50% calories from carbohydrates, 25-30% calories from protein and the remaining 20-25 % calories from fats. Along with making the correct food choices, weight lifting exercises are essential for an increase in muscle mass, which is the right way to gain weight.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, whole grain bread, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta and brown rice are high-carbohydrate foods with a negligible amount of fats and proteins. They are abundant in vitamins, minerals, fi bre and antioxidants which benefi t other body functions. Along with proteins, carbohydrates are vital for muscle building since carbohydrates have a protein-sparing effect. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of insulin, which pushes amino acids into muscle cells to begin the process of muscle repair. In order to build muscle and gain weight, the body needs both calories and nutrients from these starchy foods. A cup of boiled corn kernels provides 143 calories, 31 grams of carbohydrate and 4 grams of fi bre.
Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios and peanuts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods providing nutrients like B complex vitamins, vitamin E, healthy fats and antioxidants. Being high in protein and fi bre, they play a signifi cant role in maintaining stable blood glucose and lipid levels and are one of the best in-between snacking options. About 30 grams of nuts can provide approximately 160 to 190 calories.
Peanut butter brims with the goodness of healthy fats, vitamin E, fi bre and protein. An excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and oleic acid, it boosts HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) or good cholesterol levels and lowers LDL (LowDensity Lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol levels. Being a good source of skinfriendly nutrients like vitamin E, zinc and magnesium, peanut butter helps maintain smooth and supple skin. Peanut butter also aids muscle mass build-up. A tablespoon of peanut butter provides 94 calories with 8 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein.
In addition to being delicious, cheese is host to a bevvy of nutrients – protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. Being a rich source of calcium, cheese maintains bone health and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. The B-complex vitamins, zinc and vitamin A content in cheese assist in maintaining strong hair and healthy and glowing skin. Cheese contains casein and whey protein that help the body build muscle. A slice of cheddar cheese provides 113 calories along with 9 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.
DARK CHOCOLATE (70% COCOA OR HIGHER)
Dark chocolate improves blood fl ow, prevents the formation of blood clots and maintains a good lipid profi le thus boosting cardiovascular health. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine which has a positive effect on mood and cognitive health. The epicatechin and resveratrol compounds in dark chocolate possess antioxidant and anti-infl ammatory properties. With 100 grams providing 546 calories along with 31 grams of fat, dark chocolate can serve as an occasional treat.
Eggs are a powerhouse of protein, zinc, vitamins A, D, B 12, phosphorus and folate. The high biological value of egg protein makes them a perfect post-workout food. Egg yolk is a source of omega-3 fats and choline which boost brain health. Additionally, it contains antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health. One large scrambled egg provides 90 calories, 6.7 grams of fat and 6.1 grams of protein.
The combination of cereals with milk or yoghurt is the perfect way to start the day on a power-packed note with the right blend of carbohydrates, proteins and calcium. It is better to opt for dense, fi bre-rich breakfast cereals such as granola or muesli over fl aky or puffed cereals. Adding dried fruits and nuts like raisins, apricots, walnuts and almonds enhances the nutritional profi le and calorie content signifi cantly.