While obesity has become one of the major health issues worldwide, being too skinny can also be a matter of concern. It can be a sign of poor nutrition or a severe health problem.
Some people consistently weigh too little that may cause a range of health issues for them. You may experience malnutrition, infertility, a weak immune system, and even osteoporosis.
Even if you are not clinically underweight, you may want to gain some muscle weight. But, gaining weight is as challenging as losing weight. Some foods may help you to add muscle or gain some weight in a healthy way.
Here are some of the healthy foods that can help you gain weight without any side effects.
For decades, milk has been a popular beverage for muscle building and weight gaining.
Milk is an excellent source of protein, carbs, healthy fats, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. It has casein and whey proteins that help gain weight naturally.
A 2017 study confirms the efficacy of skim milk in adding muscle when combined with weight lifting.
To get the best result, try to drink two glasses of milk every day, especially after each workout.
Rice is one of the most convenient and lost-cost food that helps you gain weight. According to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture, a 100 g serving of rice contain about 112 kcal energy and 23.51 g carbohydrates.
Rice is easy to incorporate in meals containing proteins and vegetables. However, don’t consume rice in high amounts as the phytic acid may reduce the absorption of iron and zinc.
There are different types of rice in the market such as basmati rice, jasmine rice, arborio rice, etc. from which you can choose your favorite one.
3. Nuts and Nut Butter
Nuts and nut butter are one of the most delicious ways to gain weight. A 100g serving of almond contains 21.15g of protein and a significant amount of healthy fats.
Nuts are always considered as healthy snacks. As they are high in calories, only a handful of them every day can help you in gaining weight.
You can add nut butter t your bread, yogurt, or smoothies to make them extra delicious. But make sure it has no added preservatives or sugar.
4. Dried Fruits
Another high-calorie snack that is also rich in micronutrients and antioxidants.
Dried fruits are high in calories and taste great, which make them a great choice if you want to gain weight.
Some people think dried fruits don’t contain as many nutrients as the fresh one, but this isn’t true. Dried fruits are a great source of dietary fiber and nutrients, according to the research published in the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Cheese is a popular food item that is quite tasty. It has a high amount of calories and healthy fats.
If you want to gain weight and want something tasty, cheese can be a good choice. It’s also rich in protein and calcium.
The best part of the cheese is it can be added into some other dishes to make them more delicious.
6. Red Meat
If you want to build muscle, red meat can be the best option for you. It contains leucine, an amino acid that helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It also adds new muscle tissue.
Besides, red meat contains natural dietary creatine, which is considered as the best muscle creating the supplement.
Although fatty meat will help you gain weight fast, leaner cuts of red meat will be a healthier option.
7. Potatoes and Starches
Starchy foods like potatoes, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, etc. can boost your muscle growth and weight gain. They can increase your muscle glycogen stores, which can be a great fuel source if you’re in physical activity.
Most of these starchy foods are also rich in dietary fiber, nutrients, and resistant starch that helps nourish the gut bacteria.
Moreover, these foods are readily available and not so expensive. You can easily add them into your diet if you want to gain some weight.
8. Whole Grain Bread
Whole grain bread is a great carbohydrate source. It can be a healthy and cost-effective option to gain weight and build muscle.
Bread made from whole grain is beneficial for your health as well. Research published in 2017 shows whole grain can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, etc.
You can consume whole grain bread with a good protein source like egg, cheese, or red meat. These will help you gain weight fast.
Some commercial products claim to help you gain weight within a short time, but these products may have adverse effects on your health. If you want to gain weight in a healthy way, it’s best to rely on a natural food source.
However, if you’re skinny due to some disease, the above foods may not help you in gaining weight. You need to see a physician for a proper diagnosis.
Whether it’s for weight gain or muscle building, always consult with a nutritionist before you bring any change to your regular diet.
Author Bio: Deepthi Koppula has been pursuing her Ph.D. in English Language Teaching (ELT). Besides her scholarly work, she has been an avid blogger and copywriter for the last 5 years; contributing great contents to many prominent blogs. She is a regular contributor to naturallydaily.com. She is a fitness freak and loves all things — healthy, organic, and positive. When not in front of the backlit device she sketches and paints. Deepthi currently resides in Chennai, India.