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Build Your Muscles with These Italian Foods

Build Your Muscles with These Italian Foods

Build Your Muscles with These Italian Foods

As of 2013, The Daily Meal reported that “Italian imported food in the U.S. rose seven percent to $4 billion.” Additionally, one survey from that same year found that 44% of Americans eat Italian food 1-2 times every week, while 23% eat the cuisine 3-4 times per week. Despite the common misconception of Italian food being an unhealthy, comfort food, the right choices can actually help you achieve your healthy living goals. This is especially true for those looking to build additional muscle.

Whether you are looking to enhance your muscle tone, or prepare for the next bodybuilding competition, there are select foods that you can use to your advantage. Explore four Italian foods that can help you quickly increase your muscle mass.

Specialty meats

Building healthy muscle mass requires a diet full of the appropriate nutrients needed to achieve this goal. One of the best places to turn when looking at Italian cuisine is the impressive selection of specialty meats. Thinly sliced cuts of meats such as bresaolaprosciutto, coppa, and soppressata deliver some of the highest concentrations of protein within this category of food. Protein is used by the body to repair tissue, and to build muscle, bone, skin, and cartilage.

Olive oil

Reaching for olive oil the next time you cook can help push your muscle building goals forward. Why? The secret lies in the type of fats found in this oil. Because olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, consumption of this food item “stimulate[s] the production of protein for muscle growth.”


Italian cuisine is known for its diverse use of mushrooms in many kinds of dishes. When people think of mushrooms, however, they do not usually think of the food as helpful in building muscle. In addition to its proven ability to help shed extra weight, it is also a smart choice for those looking to pack on extra muscle. Just one serving (a half cup) contains one gram of protein. People looking to watch their weight while getting a powerful dose of protein should make sure to consume mushrooms whenever possible.

Provolone cheese

Authentic provolone cheese is a much-loved delicacy for those who enjoy Italian cuisine. Muscle builders should also consider making it a regular part of their diet, as it packs an impressive amount of protein in every serving. Per 100 grams of provolone cheese, expect to consume a whopping 26g of protein.

Think Italian food is just comfort food? Think again! The next time you are looking to get in shape and build muscle, reach for one of the above foods to help reach your goals.

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  • Jennifer
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