Top 10 Healthy Foods for Natural Weight Gain
Maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) is imperative to enjoy the best possible heath. This becomes rather impossible owing to the overwhelming demands of modern life. While a majority of them are seeking healthy options to lose stubborn fat, a few others are desperate either to add on a few pounds by increasing muscle mass for reasons related to health or just to make themselves appear more attractive. Instead of binging on unhealthy fattening stuff that provides empty calories with zero nutrients, it would be wise to bulk up by eating smart. This provides long-term benefits in terms of both health and appearance.
Healthy Foods to Increase Weight
The approximate number of calories required for a human being per day amounts to about 2000 to 3000 for men while women need 1600 to 2400 calories. Nonetheless, for healthy weight gain there may be an extra requirement of 500 calories per day. Therefore, it is essential to take a balanced diet comprising of healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Given below are ten healthy foods that help pile up some pounds.
The humble Eggs happen to be one of the healthiest foods for weight gain. Containing about 70 calories egg with ample amounts of protein and fats, they make a very healthy breakfast option. The protein content helps build muscle mass and hence they hold a very prominent place in a bodybuilders diet chart as it does not require any special effort to include six eggs a day as part of a healthy diet. The omega 3 content keeps the joints healthy and strong supporting smooth movement of the limbs, besides augmenting cell life. The healthy fats provide energy and enhance testosterone levels in the body. Although much has been said and discussed regarding the unhealthy influence of the yolk, recent scientific results vouch for the health promoting choline, content in the yolk that protects the heart and arteries from plaque build-up. This substance also has the power to repair and rejuvenate body cells and acts as a natural mood booster. [Read: Health benefits of eggs]
Substituting skim milk with whole milk goes a long way in adding some extra calories and increasing body weight. Whole fat milk retains the healthy constituents such as vitamins, minerals and fat providing positive results in a short time. There are 150 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat in one cup of whole milk offering good quantities of vitamins A and D. Milk has a hormone known as IGF-1 that prompts the body to build muscles and utilise energy as the main source. The protein helps develop and build new muscles. The calcium content helps build and fortify the bones, while the saturated fats boost testosterone levels for increased muscle mass and lose fat. Therefore, add milk whenever and wherever possible to increase body weight.
Potatoes remain a universal favourite considering their taste and versatility. Packed with complex sugars, carbohydrates, fibre, proteins with vitamin c in abundance, potatoes are the last option for weight loss albeit remaining the prime choice for gaining weight. As per studies conducted by the Harvard University, the starch rich potatoes (chips) rank among the top five foods for putting on weight.
4) Red meat
Generally, for weight watchers include lean meats like chicken breast, turkey and lean beef cuts. On the contrary, those working on a weight-gaining programme ought to choose fattier meat cuts such chicken legs and thighs, pork and bacon as to attain their objective. These mineral and protein-rich animal fats enhance testosterone levels in the body that help build muscle mass. Besides this, they play a very prominent role in decreasing fat storage (adipose tissues) in the body. However, excessive consumption of fat laden marbled meat can lead to other health complications such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The Creamy rich avocados are another natural option for improving body weight. Abundant with heart friendly monounsaturated fatty acids these hold huge quantities of essential vitamins and minerals such as K, E and B vitamins. Besides these, they are a good source of potassium, folate and fibre. Despite their potent antioxidant, content they are rich in high calorie substances therefore consuming limited quantities is imperative to enjoy optimal health. [Read: Health benefits of avocados]
The different varieties of Beans such as kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, soybeans, red beans and lentils are considered super foods owing to the dense nutritive substances and rich calories. One cup of these fibre-rich beans contains approximately 225 calories, 40 grams carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. Moreover, these are easy to prepare and offer the convenience of having them anytime of the day, be it breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.
7) Peanut Butter
Natural peanut butter with a healthy dose of fats, carbohydrates and proteins consists of nearly 100 calories per serving. Apart from this, they offer vital nutrients such as omega 3 fats, vitamins B3, E, magnesium and folate that make them a healthy option for adding some bulk. However, it would be advisable to choose the natural ones, that are nothing but crushed peanuts added to healthy oils without loads of sugar.
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecan nuts, pistachios, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are dense with calories and fat content. Despite their fat content, however, they remain a healthy choice owing to plenty of nutritive substances such as vitamin e, calcium, magnesium and fibre. Therefore, taking just a handful of these mixed nuts for breakfast, offers all the benefits of each one of these.
9) Dry fruits
High in calories and rich in fibre, dry fruits offer the required constituent’s essential for optimal health and for increasing muscle mass and reduces fat storage in the body. Therefore, taking two handfuls of dry fruits everyday for a month helps add bulk. Just a half cup of raisins contains 200 calories compared to their fresh counterparts that offer only 60 calories. In Addition taking figs soaked in milk overnight and consuming this on an empty stomach first thing in the morning helps put on weight. Nevertheless, after consuming dry fruits it is important to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.
10) Whole grains
Whole grain foods like cereals, bagels, quinoa and bread make excellent breakfast options in weight gain plans. Packed with fibre, minerals, carbohydrates and vitamins, they contain high amounts of glucose, a dietary source that provides the required energy. The carbohydrates help protein to enhance muscle mass instead of energy. With high calories, low fat and protein whole-wheat grains make excellent dietary sources to attain the goals.
Healthy oils, fruits, starchy vegetables, whole-wheat pasta, fatty fish, chicken breast, cheese, granola, smoothies, shakes and the like too, facilitate weight gain. It is therefore important to choose foods wisely with the prime focus on health. These do not add empty calories that though leads to weight gain, has the hazard of resulting in obesity and unwanted health complications in the end. So, eat these foods to your heart’s content, nevertheless with regular exercise and adequate sleep, healthy weight gain with a curvaceous figure is attainable.
Eat smart and stay healthy and happy!