Muscles not only look sexy, they help burn fat and help you to get and feel leaner and stronger. Everyone wants to have some level of muscle tone and definition and a physique to show off and be proud of. While certain forms of exercise, such as weight training, can build muscles, you also need to take a close look at your diet.

There are many foods out there that help build muscles. Foods that are high in protein are one such type. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. Carbohydrates are also important in building muscle. When working out, your body draws energy from the carbohydrates that it consumes.

If your body does not have enough carbohydrates stored for energy, it will then burn existing muscle and this is not desirable. Without the proper combination of carbohydrates and proteins, no matter how hard you work out, you may never achieve a ‘body to die for’. Following is a list of foods that help build muscle in combination with the proper weight lifting regime.

Nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts are high in protein and make a great snack or a fun addition to any salad.

Fruits such as apples, oranges, blackberries, blueberries, avocados, and cranberries increase oxygen to the muscles because these fruits are known as anti-oxidants.

Vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, carrots, peas, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables work in their individual ways to cleanse the body, provide healthy sugars and add protein for strength.

Lean red meats, white meats such as chicken and turkey, fish such as cod, salmon, scallops, are all filled with protein and have small amounts of fat.

Dairy products and animal by-products such as cottage cheese, yoghurt, fish oil, and eggs are packed with nutrients and protein.

Whole grains and legumes such as oatmeal, flax seeds, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta are forms of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates break down in the body faster and provide an immediate form of energy.

Round out your diet with some simple carbohydrates such as bagels, rice and potatoes for quick bursts of energy. And always remember to drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily. Water helps to break down food and flush toxins out of the system.