There is a notion among people that in order to gain muscle weight in your body, you must consume a non-vegetarian diet. This is said because of their high content of proteins, which are essential for building up your muscles. But what about people who do not wish to consume meat? Can they not gain the required proteins for building up their muscles? Are there muscle building vegetables?
Of course, you can! And there are muscle building vegetables that are available. Vegetarianism and veganism are no inhibitors in your way to gain muscle mass. Especially with today’s rise in awareness about animal rights and wanting to eat clean, there are plenty of people making this lifestyle choice. This means that there also exist researchers who are looking at ways that these growing vegetarians can find a veg diet for muscle building.
Here are some of the muscle building vegetables, or rather, the vegetarian options:
Vegetables containing high amounts of proteins is not something we hear of very often, despite the fact that many of them contain more proteins than chicken or eggs. We usually associate proteins with a non-vegetarian diet, but it does not have to be that. Spinach is made up of high amounts of proteins and is one of the go-to muscle building vegetables. It is the very reason why Popeye had spinach for that instant pump and Rambo chest.
You probably have seen a lot of health freaks and gym professionals talk praises of broccoli. And you know what, it isn’t exaggerated. It has high nutritional value, of which a large part is proteins. Broccoli is commonly eaten either boiled, with salads or cooked with cream pasta.
The cauliflower is one of the more commonly available muscle building vegetables in India, as compared to the broccoli. And with its protein content almost equal to the broccoli, you can easily have the cauliflower as your vegetable for building muscle. Cauliflower is commonly eaten in Indian households as cooked for chapatis or as filling for parathas. This makes the cauliflower a convenient veg diet for muscle building.
Another great component of a veg diet for muscle building, you can have this vegetable in the classic homemade bhaji or mix them up with your veg salad as a replacement of lettuce.
We aren’t exactly sure if mushrooms qualify as vegetables, but we are pretty sure they are not non-vegetarian. Another great source of proteins, the mushroom is excellent for those trying to gain their muscle mass after working out.
Because of its versatility, you can cook mushrooms in a variety of ways. You can cook it to make a meal out of it, make mushroom soup and even add them to your salads and sandwiches.
Also known as pulses or daal, lentils are leguminous plants and hold high percentages of proteins in them. Lentils, in general, serve as the most common source of proteins in the vegetarian households of the Indian subcontinent. They are either cooked in a curry or can even be eaten as sprouts, for an easy snack.
Another leguminous plant, the beans are essential to a veg diet for muscle building. When plucked early off the plant and eaten as green pods, it is known as French beans; and when plucked off later after the beans inside have developed, they are consumed as red kidney beans. It’s not just a good source of proteins for muscle building but is also a great diet food.
Another surprise on this list, firstly because it’s a fruit, but secondly and more importantly because of being a high protein source. The cucumber is not just a good source of water for the body, but also its nutritional value. It is easy to eat, which makes it a great option for a veg diet for muscle building, especially someone who cannot spare time to cook the vegetables.
9. Green pepper
Also another fruit, but nevertheless a good addition to the veg diet for muscle building, the green pepper has a good amount of protein content. You can cook it for full meals or lightly roast them and add them to your salads. They feel fresh and have high water content too.
A fruit too, the tomato is can also be a good addition to your diet in general. It contains proteins and other nutrients, which make it great for the body, along with their great taste and versatility.
A vegetarian, but not a vegan option, milk is one of the basic sources of proteins along with calcium. As children, we have all been encouraged to drink milk twice a day because of its protein content.
12. Cottage cheese
A variant of milk, but a more easily digestible version, cottage cheese or paneer is a great addition to a veg diet for muscle building. You can cook it in a nice gravy, add it to a salad or just eat it as it is. Not only is a replacement for chicken in food dishes, but can also be used as its replacement for its proteins.
If you are someone who calls yourself an egg-tarian and is looking for just non-meat options as a source of proteins, then go for the egg. The egg has a high protein content, especially the egg whites. If you are looking to lose weight, leave out the egg yolk as it is high in fats.
We are pretty sure there are more vegetables out there which also have high protein content and can keep you away from being over-dependent on chicken or other meats. The notion that one needs to eat non vegetarian foods to build muscles is wrong. The bigger part of trying to bulk up is exercise and weight training.
So if you are a vegetarian because of your beliefs and choice, don’t think that you can’t bulk up. There are plenty of options available in the veg diet for muscle building and muscle building vegetables.