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.
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.
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.