Specific vitamins and minerals provide needed ingredients for an increased lean body. The nutrients provide needed strength and should be included in the diet in the proper amounts on a regular basis.
Individuals who exercise also need specific nutrients to repair the “muscle fiber micro-tears” which take place naturally in muscles during movement. When the body is at rest, the restoration process rebuilds and strengthens the muscles. Individuals who do not refuel with the proper nutrients will be lacking necessary ingredients for optimal health.
Consider including the following “menu” for healthy muscles:
1. Vitamin C – All fruits and vegetables hold vitamin C which is needed by the body. The vitamin is essential for the health of the blood vessels, muscle support, and natural oxygen supply, according to Dr. Cuomo (USANA Health Sciences).
Adding a variety of colorful fruits/veggies will provide the support needed for ongoing muscle health. Giving the body the “best” fuel will provide optimal muscle tone and function. Dr. Popovitz (NY Bone & Joint Specialists) reminds the community, vitamin C is also important for the proper building of collagen, a building block needed to build healthy bones and muscles.
2. Fish Oil – Omega 3, fatty acids found in fish oil, are equally important to muscle health. Dr. Cuomo reminds the public of the ability of fish oil to enhance muscular blood flow, reduce breakdown of protein, and lower inflammation providing for a faster recovery. Omega 3 is known as the “secret weapon” for increasing muscle tone. The nutrient also helps to improve sensitivity to insulin, preventing diabetes disease progression.
3. Calcium – Calcium is essential for strong bones and muscles. When an individual moves, the mineral is needed to “contract and grow” the muscles. Therefore, adding calcium-rich foods to the diet are highly important for optimum function.
4. Magnesium – Although magnesium deficiency is rare in the United States, most women do not get enough of the nutrient according to Dr. Popovitz. A sufficient supply of magnesium is necessary for optimal heart muscle function. The ingredient is also wonderful for alleviating muscle cramps/soreness.
5. Vitamin B Family – The B vitamins are necessary for the best health possible. Each are actively important to muscle health, protein metabolism, a healthy nervous system, and for the breakdown of fats/carbs.
6. Vitamin D – Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin.” It holds many powers including increasing immunity, boosting the mood, and aiding in muscle health. The muscles have need of the vitamin to grow, strengthen, and function.
7. Vitamin E – Vitamin E is full of antioxidants which aid in cell membrane recovery after exercise. Eating a handful of natural almonds is great after a workout providing protein, fiber, and healthy fats for the body.