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AUTHOR: ALEXA ERICKSON
Carlo Filippone isn’t just a well-respected body builder and IFBB champ. He’s also a successful chef and restaurant owner who believes that a healthy body is made in the kitchen.
Known as “The Muscle Chef,” Carlo has created a line of home delivery meals that help people to stay fit. Called Elite Lifestyle Cuisine, people no longer have to worry about portion size, nutritional content and calorie count.
Carlo has created a list of foods and ingredients that he recommends people take advantage of in order to both build muscle as well as stayed toned. Here are 10 to take note of:
1. Olive Oil: Replace your cooking oils and animals fats with extra virgin olive oil in order to keep your body lean. It is complete with the “good” monounsaturated fat and raises serotonin, which is a hormone linked to satiety, so you’ll feel full after you enjoy a meal made with it.
2..Avocado: This is a great replacement for fatty spreads like butter and margarine. It’s also a great source of potassium, important in regulating water balance and helping athletes to recuperate. Moreover, it’s packed with healthy monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids.
3. Lentils and Legumes: They are protein powerhouses, making them beneficial for both building as well as maintaining muscles. A cup of cooked beans has 12-18 grams of protein, for instance, along with fiber-based carbs that hinder the spike of blood sugars.
4. Kale: This is another protein-packed food. It’s also packed with iron, which is an important mineral in muscle development. It’s even rich in vitamin K, which works to ward off inflammation and keep joints from getting stiff.
5. Quinoa: This is a slow-burning complex carb. And with a healthy portion of protein and high levels of lysine, which is an amino acid that helps the body in tissue and muscle repair, it’s great before and after exercise. This ancient grain is also rich in magnesium which helps to improve blood circulation, important in keeping cramps at bay.
6. Seeds and Nuts: Amino acids are important for muscle gain and toning, and seeds just so happen to be rich in them. They’re also a plant-based protein. Try sprinkling them on salads, cereals, yogurts and a variety of dishes for added texture.
7. Spinach: Great for salads and cooked dishes alike, spinach has rich iron levels and is also a great source of magnesium, important for muscle building, carb metabolism.
8. Broccoli: It’s a super food that comes complete with sulforaphane which boosts testosterone levels and keeps the retention of body fat at bay. It also wards off enzymes that have been linked to joint destruction.
9. Yams and Sweet Potatoes: These are great for giving athletes optimum energy as they are filled with carbohydrates yet are low on the glycemic index, so the body uses the energy from them at a slow and steady pace.
10. Berries: Berries are filled with antioxidants that keep inflammation and joint pain from harming the body. Add them to cereals or when you make a juice. You can even just grab a handful as a snack.