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10 Vegetarian Friendly Foods to Help Build Muscle

These vegetarian options will help you build muscle.

Add these Vegetarian friendly foods to build muscle into your diet.

It is a myth that vegetarian athletes (or vegan for that matter) cannot build muscle. BOXROX has compiled a list of vegetarian friendly food to help build muscle so that all you need to worry about is your training and not your diet.

Unfortunately, the only way to build muscle is to consume protein. Although most people associate protein with meat, there are many vegetarian options with plenty of protein to help you achieve your goals.

Although protein is necessary to build muscle, you also need to be consuming enough calories.

If you are on a caloric deficit diet trying to lose weight, gaining muscle can be difficult. That is because it is easier to gain muscle weight if you are in fact gaining weight, and not fighting to lose it.

Check out our guide on diets.

For that, you probably need to be in a caloric surplus eating habit. That means that you are consuming more calories than you are burning. That way, your chances of losing lean muscle mass is much smaller.

If you are looking for ways to build muscle according to your eating habits, you have come to the right place. Although eating is one of the main variables when it comes to building muscle, you also need to train properly.

If you are still unsure how to add muscle to your body with exercises, check out these links below:

Understanding Hypertrophy

Top Training Programs to Gain Size and Mass

5 Strength Training Barbell Programs You Need to Know About

Check Out 10 Vegetarian Friendly Foods to Help Build Muscle

1. Eggs

Vegetarian Friendly Food to Help Build Muscle - eggs
Fresh brown eggs on rustic wooden table

The first item in our list of vegetarian friendly food to help build muscle is the egg.

Eggs are incredibly nutritious and are packed with protein and B vitamins. Not to mention the vast ways you can add eggs into your meal.

It is versatile, nutritious and delicious. What more could you ask?

2. Lentils

bowl of lentilsSource: Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Another good option to add protein to your daily intake is by eating lentils. Each cup of cooked lentils has around 18 grams of protein. You can add them to your salad, make a soup out of it, or have it as the main dish together with rice.

Lentils are also full of fibres that promote a healthy gut and also reduce your chance of heart disease.

3. Certain Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh broccolini on a wooden round board.

Broccoli, spinach, artichokes and sweet potatoes all contain around 5 grams of protein per cooked cup.

Fill your plate with it and you are on the right track to building more muscle.

4. Protein Powder

supplements guide

They are easy to find and are made especially to increase the amount of protein one takes daily. Most commonly are whey protein, made out of milk, but if you are vegan, there are other options such as hemp protein powder and peas protein powder.

Check out our Guide to Supplements to learn all about it.

5. Quinoa

Quinoa is not the most protein-dense food on this list, but it has plenty of carbs, which is necessary to fuel your body so you can train harder and lift heavier weights before feeling depleted.

A cup of cooked quinoa contains 40 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein. It is also full of magnesium, an important mineral that helps keep your blood pressure normal and strengthens your bones.

Vegetarian Friendly Food to Help Build Muscle

6. Chia Seeds

chia seeds on spoon eating right
Alternative protein source

A cup of chia seeds has 5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fibre, but it also contains iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, omega-3 and antioxidants.

You may use chia for main dishes, side dishes, or even desserts.

Read more: Healthy Vegetarian Protein Sources for Athletes

7. Tofu

A list of vegetarian friendly food to build muscle without tofu is an incomplete list, right?

Tofu is produced from soy milk and is often used as a meat substitute by vegetarians and vegans.

Half a cup of raw tofu contains 10 grams of protein and only 2 grams of carbs, which is perfect if you are looking to only increase your protein intake, but not your overall calorie consumption.

8. Buckwheat

Buckwheat has recently gained popularity because it can substitute traditional flours. Half a cup of buckwheat flour contains 8 grams of protein and a lot of fibre and carbs.

It contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals that help your body perform muscle-building exercises.

9. Chickpeas

bowl of chickpeasSource: Clark Douglas on Unsplash

Chickpeas are another vegetarian option if you want to have protein and carbs at the same time to fuel your muscles and build them.

A cup of canned chickpeas contains 12 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs, plus 10 grams of fibre.

10. Greek Yoghurt

You can have Greek yoghurt as a snack, dessert, breakfast, or part of your salad. As most dairies contain high amounts of protein, Greek yoghurt goes beyond and often contains double the amount of protein as regular yoghurt – about 10 grams for every 100 grams.

This dairy contains a mix of fast and slow-digesting protein which helps increase your lean mass.

Read More: 5 Essential Nutritional Components to Help You Build Muscle

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