Yes, there is no muscle growth without exercising. However, in order to build muscles, you also need a good diet. This diet has to contain protein an carbs that will work as a propellant for your muscles. But this is not the only things you need to eat.

The amino acids from protein that were considered to be used only for building muscles have also another property. It appears that as long as you have these amino acids in your bloodstream, you will build muscle even when deprived of food.

This is all scientific talk, so let’s see what kind of foods are recommended to eat if you what to lean and toned.

1. Avocado

The avocado fruit is high in potassium. It contains monounsaturated fat which is healthy and your body will be able to easily convert it into energy. Avocado is considered to have a very important thing to say in weight management.

The fat that avocado offers, will  improve your body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals

Another thing you should know about this fruit is that it contains 20 essential nutrients, including vitamins B, E, and folic acid.

When peeling your avocado, be sure to take all you can from the peel because there is the highest concentration of beneficial carotenoids

2. Berries

Berries are the best choice you can make when picking a sweet treat. They contain fiber that will keep your satiety high for a long time. Also, it contains less sugar than other fruits resulting in a stabilizes insulin level.

All berries are great but blueberries are known to have the best health benefits.  Due to the antioxidants they offer, blueberries are one of the best fruits to protect you from premature aging.

3. Alaskan Salmon

Salmon is a source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids which help you to build muscles. But salmon contains also leucine.

Besides these characteristics, Alaskan salmon is also known to contain less mercury than other fishes. So it is way healthier.

4. Spinach

Spinach has a vast and great composition. It contains  vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, zinc, protein, fiber, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, thiamin, folate, calcium, iron, and manganese

Eating spinach will help you keep a low level of cholesterol and you will protect your body from the free radicals. It helps it keeping a healthy cardiovascular system and good blood pressure.

And it is not Popeye’s secret weapon for nothing. Spinach gives an amazing boost to muscle growth.

5. MCT Oil

Naturally, any kind of oil we ingest must be mixed with bile released from your gallbladder and acted on by pancreatic enzymes. Only then it is broken down. However, MCTs don’t need bile or pancreatic enzymes.

After the ingestion, MCT oil reaches the intestine and diffuse through the membrane into the bloodstream. After this process, it is transported directly to the liver and is converted from oil into ketones. The ketones are released back into the bloodstream and transported throughout your body.

Studies showed that MCTs are used by the body for energy and are not being stored as fat.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli contains the most popular anti-cancer compound named sulforaphane. This composition has also a role in increasing the levels of testosterone and doesn’t let the retention of body fat to occur.

Research showed that sulforaphane helps protect your muscles against exercise-induced damage.

7. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be considered the ideal fuel for the body. This is possible because it contains a mix of medium-chain triglycerides, including caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid.

But since almost 50% of coconut oil is lauric acid is not the best source of MCTs. This means that it will not help the production of ketones as good as MCT oil

However, coconut oil offers great health benefits such as anti-bacterial and anti-viral due to the lauric acid that is converted into monolaurin.

8. Kale

Kale contains a very high amount of protein but also calcium. Just as meat, kale offers the nine essential amino acids that are needed in the building muscle process. It also contains nine other non-essential amino acids for a total of 18.

9. Sprouts

If what you are searching for is a high-quality protein, then sprouts are what you want. If you want to choose a spout to go with you should consider mung bean, wheatgrass, alfalfa, peas, broccoli, lentils, sunflower, and watercress.

10. Bananas

If you have high blood sugar or are struggling to lose pounds, then you should stay away from bananas. But if you don’t have this issue, bananas make the best pre or post workout snack.

Besides sugar, bananas also contain potassium that is very good in controlling the heart rate and blood pressure.

11. Watermelon

Watermelon can help in stopping the fat accumulation. This is possible because its concentration of anthocyanin that mollifies fat-storage genes.

The only problem with watermelon is that it is not well digested with other foods. So for the best result do not ingest any other food 30 minutes before or after eating watermelon.

12. Grapefruit

Eaten before workout grapefruit is known to prevent dehydration and helps in the weight loss process. This fruit is made out of 90% water.

Pink grapefruit also offers vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium.

The red grapefruit has more flavonoids and anthocyanins than the pink or white grapefruit. Among compounds, it contains lycopene, that lower the level of triglycerides.

The only problem when consuming grapefruit is that it has a big amount of fructose and can interfere with some medication, such as birth control pills.

13. Raw Nuts

Raw nuts are an amazing source of magnesium which is important for muscle growth and strength. If you are looking for nuts low in carbs, you should consider macadamias and pecans.

Macadamia nuts offer other benefits such as vitamin B1, manganese and monounsaturated fat oleic acid.

Almost just like macadamia nuts, pecans are similar when it comes to fat and protein composition. They also contain magnesium, oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants, and immune-boosting manganese.

14. Olive Oil

Olive oil is the best, but and there is a but, when eaten fresh. High-temperature will cause the olive oil to oxidize and lose its beneficial properties.

Olive oil helps you not feel hunger for a long time after eating it because it triggers serotonin. This is a hormone associated with satiety

The only things you should be aware is that olive oil is expensive, so the products that say that are olive oil and have a cheap price are probably fakes. Stay away from them. It will not provide good results.

15. Papaya

Foods high vitamin C help to lower the cortisol level after intense exercise. And Papaya is a great source of vitamin C.

An unripe papaya contains digestive-resistant starch that is very important for gut health.

Both ripe and unripe papaya contains a big amount of antioxidants, fiber, but also a special enzyme called papain. This will help with protein digestion

16. Grass-Fed Beef

Beef is one of the best sources of protein. Grass-fed beef is even better because it packed with multi-tasking amino acid L-glutamine that will help you build muscle and prevent muscle breakdown. This ailment also is a source of conjugated linoleic acid.

The only thing you should be careful is the amount of protein you eat. If you eat more protein than your body requires, most of those calories will simply be converted to sugar and then fat.

17. Mushrooms

Vitamin D is very important for muscle function and mushrooms are a great natural source of this vitamin. When the level of vitamin D is low the muscle suffer.

More so, mushrooms are known to concentrate heavy metals, as well as air and water pollutants, so healthy growing conditions is a critical factor.

18. Whey Protein

Probably whey protein is the “god” of fitness food. Not only that it is a very high-quality protein source, but it also offers high amounts of leucine.

If you consume whey protein about 30 minutes before your workout you will boost your fat burning and muscle building. You can also ingest it after the training but you should not exceed 2 hours after exercising. After this, it will not work anymore as a muscle repair and growth