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Six Plant Based Foods Found in Nigeria That Help You Build a Lean Muscular Look

Looking to build lean muscles and not wanting to rely on animal proteins to help you achieve that? Here are some plant based proteins that could help you achieve your goal. Apart from helping you look good, plant based meals also protect against inflammation and heart disease, and have been promoted to help ward off diabetes and hypertension.


Oats are one of the most unique grains known to man. Just half a cup of oats can provide about 5 grams of protein along with a number of vitamins and minerals to boost your metabolism and build your muscles. Oats promote lean muscle mass, fight abdominal weight gain (a large waistline predisposes you to diabetes and heart disease), and keep you full for a long time. They are also good for blood sugar as they do not contain as much starch as other grains such as rice and wheat.


This is still relatively new to most Nigerians but can be purchased in a number of supermarkets or online. Quinoa contains all essential amino acids, is a rich source of the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and folate and is a rich source of the dietary minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. It is also a good source of the B vitamins niacin and pantothenic acid, vitamin E, and the dietary mineral potassium. You can have either as a meal or a snack.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Apart from keeping your muscle mass lean, leafy vegetables are also great for the skin, as they are packed with iron, which is essential for optimal oxygen circulation during exercise, and contain a good amount of protein to help build the muscle even further.  You can whip up a salad or add the vegetables to whatever you are eating for variety. Spinach has a higher protein content that other green vegetables but bitter leaves, water leaves, wild lettuce leaves (efo yanrin), afang and ugu are also great options to include in your meals.

Green Peas

Though all legumes and beans are great sources of protein, the green pea is packed with protein to help sculpt a lean mean body. It is contains an amino acid called leucine which is rarely found in plant-based protein and is critical to help build lean muscle mass and preserve it once it is formed. Add half a cup of green peas to your diet each day or least four times a week for the best effects.


As one of the best nuts to consume for their protein content an influence over lean body mass, almonds are also rich in magnesium (helps with blood pressure), potassium (helps control inflammation and blood pressure) and b vitamins (boosts immunity and metabolism).  The best option is to eat then raw and unsalted, and in regulated portions to help lean you out.


The humble groundnut is one of the best foods to eat for their protein content as well as one of the most delicious. A cup of groundnut can provide about 12 grams of protein, plus plenty of iron, B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. 

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