10 Vegan Foods for Building Lean Muscle

Veggies not only help with keeping our bodies lean, they also prevent inflammation and preserve and build lean muscle.

If you’re looking to build lean muscle without having to eat animal protein, you really don’t have to because there are vegan foods that can get you the body you want.

There’s a lot of proven scientific and anecdotal evidence around specific dietary and training elements that are more important than others. In this case, optimal protein intake for building lean muscle, according to research, is between 0.8-1.2 grams (exact amounts) per pound of body weight, every day.

However, all proteins aren’t made equal, especially for muscle building. Your body needs 21 amino acids, the building blocks of tissues (including muscle tissue) and protein in the bodies, nine of which are essential and have to be obtained from food. Of these nine essential amino acids, one – called leucine – is related to muscle building.

Through activation of the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) enzyme, which is responsible for cell growth, leucine directly stimulates the synthesis of proteins. Research has also shown that the content of leucine in a meal affects the protein synthesis amounts that occur as a result. In other words, meals that are high in leucine have a higher potential for lean muscle building compared to those with low leucine.

Vegan foods are some of the top consumed choices for many vegan bodybuilders and athletes alike.

Here’s a rundown of vegan food options for building lean muscle, while enhancing the health of your heart, and reducing inflammation.

1. Oats

These unique grains deliver protein, minerals and vitamins that help with building lean muscle, and metabolism.

Most bodybuilders start their day with some oats, in different forms, so as to build lean muscle mass, stay full for longer, and fight abdominal weight gain.

Oats are also lower than wheat or brown rice on the glycemic index so they’re great for your blood sugar, besides being lower in starch, which makes them better and leaner.

2. Leafy greens

Leafy greens help build lean muscles as they contain a good amount of protein.

Among these are kale and spinach, which have a higher content of protein unlike most other greens, and you can rotate them for the best variety.

3. Almonds

These are one of the best nuts you can take what with their influence on building lean body and muscle mass owing to their protein content.Almonds are a rich source of potassium, but also contain B vitamins for metabolism, delivering seven grams of protein per serving.

They’re also a rich source of amino acids. You can consume them raw or unsalted but keep the portions in check.

4. Chia seeds

These seeds are full of potassium and iron, needed for the proper functioning of your muscles. Chia seeds are a complete protein, but also contain omega-3 fats that help in protein synthesis while preventing inflammation.

You can have them with your fruit salad, smoothie, or your morning cereal.

5. Tofu

Tofu is another lean muscle building food, rich in protein, low in fat, and has no saturated fat. It’s a great natural alternative for burning fat too which means you don’t have to take supplements.

You can add it to salads, grill it, or make it into vegan tacos.

6. Green peas

Green peas help build lean muscles as they’re a rich source of vegan protein. Unlike beans and legumes that are also rich in protein, green peas have leucine, the specific amino acid for lean muscle building and in high amounts too.

7. Quinoa

This gluten-free vegan food is high in protein, and contains all the nine essential amino acids. Like oats, quinoa is a top source of protein for lean muscle building that you can opt to have as a snack, or for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

8. Hemp seeds

These are protein packed seeds that deliver about 13 grams in just two tablespoons. You can add to your salads, oatmeal, or you can even make energy bars from.

9. Lentils

These are a great source of nutrients packed with iron, potassium, B vitamins, fiber, and protein. One cup of lentils contains about eight grams of protein, good for lean muscle building.

10. Vegan protein powder

One of the best vegan protein powder options is that which contains hemp as it is easily digested and rich in protein. Go for sugar-free vegan protein powder, to help you build and preserve lean muscle mass and get enough essential amino acids.

Proteins help your body repairs its cells, but also build healthy, lean muscle. Vegan food is an abundant source of protein, like animal foods, but they’re also low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

These vegan foods are sure to help you build lean and healthy muscles. Try them today!

10 thoughts on “10 Vegan Foods for Building Lean Muscle

  • January 14, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    This is an excellent piece that tells the truth, you do need to eat a lot and you do need to get really friendly with eats lots of carbs.Very excellent article. I look forward to reading more by you.

  • January 14, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Quinoa is my all time favourite and it’s just so versatile that it doesn’t even feel like you’re missing out on a lot. What an informative read this was, thank you for sharing.

  • January 15, 2019 at 1:34 am

    This year ..i am trying to eat healthy food.this is definitely healthy..hemp seed is something i have not tried ..really should add that to my health foods

  • January 15, 2019 at 9:53 am

    I already eat leafy veggies, green peas and lentils in my diet but need to incorporate chia seeds, hemp seeds, tofu and other good foods you mentioned in this post. Very useful read Rohini.

  • January 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Leafy vegetables are a key for good health. Beautifully summed up things for a perfect blog post. Loved it.

  • January 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    These are some great options to build lean muscles. Soya and Chia seeds are something that I yet need to inculcate in my diet. Quinoa and Oats are very much a part of my diet.

  • January 15, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Such a brilliant post. I have recently started my fitness routine & I was looking for vegan protein sources to include in my diet. Thanks a lot for sharing this informative post.

  • January 15, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    That’s very informative read. Never know that so many options are available in vegan food for building muscle


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