Building lean muscle, means increasing the amount of muscle on your body, without gaining fat. Protein is essential for building muscle, therefore a diet high in protein aids this process. Since vegans eat no animal products, it can be challenging to get enough protein (as meat, dairy, and eggs are high in protein).
As long as you’re eating a balanced, nutrient-rich vegan diet, you will not only build lean muscle, but you’ll improve your overall health. When you choose the right foods, while incorporating exercise, you can achieve incredible results. The following vegan foods will increase lean muscle, while providing essential vitamins and minerals.
Yes, avocados contain fat, however healthy fats are essential to a successful diet. Healthy fats are crucial in regulating certain hormone levels which reduce fat, while building muscle. This delicious fruit contains 18 amino acids, including the 8 essential amino acids needed by the human body.
The protein consumed from an avocado, is actually more easily digested and absorbed in comparison to a steak. All the protein that is found in avocado is usable, whereas some protein in meat is believed to become denatured when cooked. They’re also packed with many other vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Dark, leafy greens should be incorporated into every diet, not just vegan diets. Spinach is a favorite, as it’s highly versatile. When you consume just half a cup, you’re gaining 4 grams of protein. Spinach also provides your body with iron, fiber, magnesium, and a variety of vitamins.
Kale is another leafy green which provides you with protein. With various options, such as collard greens, mustard greens, and arugula, you have plenty of options. Eat them raw, incorporate them into smoothies, or wilt them into your favorite dishes.
Although sweet potatoes are considered a carb, they’re a complex carb. Meaning, they help stabilize blood sugar levels. When your sugar levels are stable, you are able to burn fat, while preserving muscle.Consuming sweet potatoes, supplies your body with the carbs it needs to repair muscle.
Since sweet potatoes are a stable energy source, they’re highly beneficial for active individuals. Although these vegan foods allow you to build muscle, you need to stay physically active. The energy required, is provided by this delicious starchy vegetable.
These little seeds, contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein. Since approximately 25% of hemp seeds are composed of protein, it’s no wonder these are excellent for building muscle mass. They also contain high levels of essential fatty acids (more than any other plant source). In fact, hemp seeds were used to boost muscle mass in the 1950s, regarding tuberculosis patients that had lost muscle due to the disease.
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These legumes are high in protein and fiber, yet low in fat. Lentils are a cheap, easy, and beneficial substitute for meat. One cup of lentils provides you with a whopping 17 grams of protein. Although lentils lack two of the essential amino acids, you can obtain them by cooking lentils with a grain, such as brown rice. However, sprouted lentils contain all the necessary, essential amino acids.
Tofu is extremely versatile, as it absorbs all the flavors you’re cooking with. Tofu provides approximately 17 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving. The main difference between tofu and meat, is the amount you need to consume. In order to get the same amount of protein as meat, you need to consume almost double.
Studies have shown that eating tofu regularly, not only provides your body with the energy, protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates you need, it also yields many health benefits. Since vegans consume tofu over meat, their cholesterol is lower, lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Being Vegan Doesn’t Mean You Need to Eat Cardboard
You don’t need to eat steak and eggs to build muscle. In fact, eating a balanced vegan diet will improve your health. We now know that too much meat and diary is not beneficial for your internal systems. Once you learn how to properly supplement, you can create a vegan diet that is not only healthy, but delicious.
There are so many incredible recipes that include beans, tofu, and a wide variety of vegetables. When you eat a varied diet, you consume everything you need to build muscle, while maintaining your overall health. Start getting creative in the kitchen, making meals that taste great, providing you with everything needed to build lean muscle.