Muscle gain is one of the most common fitness goals. Many of us put a lot of time and effort into building muscle. Along with exercise, diet and general lifestyle can also affect muscle gain (or lack thereof). You need to follow a disciplined diet if you want to build muscle and everyone’s exact requirements are different. But the key macronutrient that you need is protein. Your muscles are actually composed of protein – this is why it is often called one of the “building blocks” of the body. So what exactly should you be including in your diet? Find out below.
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Which are the best foods for muscle gain?
Animal-based protein, including chicken, eggs, turkey, shrimp, tuna, etc. are considered some of the best for building muscle. Animal protein is said to be more digestible and also tends to be denser in amino acids, as compared to plant-based protein. This is why it may be easier to gain muscle by consuming animal protein. But that doesn’t mean a vegetarian diet is ineffective. Animal protein offers a concentration of nutrients in a single food item. Thus, those wanting to build muscle through vegetarian foods need to choose different protein sources. In this way, they can ensure they get all the nutrients they need – from multiple sources rather than one. They might also require more quantity of protein in general, as plant protein has a lower digestibility.
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Here Are 5 Vegetarian Foods That Can Help Build Muscle:
Soybean or soya beans are one of the best sources of vegetarian protein. They also contain good unsaturated fats and a range of nutrients. Soybean is low in carbohydrates, but high in fibre. It can promote satiety and also keep your blood sugar under control. They also contain antioxidants and plant compounds that boost your overall health.
2. Paneer (Cottage cheese)
Good old paneer is a great addition to your diet, not just because of its benefits, but also its versatility. Depending on the amount of calories you need (to build muscle), you can choose cottage cheese made from low-fat milk or high-fat milk. Apart from protein, vitamins and minerals, paneer also provides amino acid leucine, which further supports muscle gain.
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3. Channa (Chickpeas)
Another desi food you must have is channa or chickpeas. It can be used to make healthy chaats, salads, sabzi dishes, dips, snacks, soups and much more. Along with protein, channa is also rich in fibre and minerals including manganese, copper, iron, zinc and others.
Looking for a protein-rich snack that may help muscle gain as well? Then peanuts can become your go-to option. Like paneer, they contain a good amount of leucine too. Peanuts also provide unsaturated fats and carbs, which also play a role in building muscle.
5. Rajma (Kidney Beans)
Beans are considered to be one of the best vegetarian sources of protein. In India, kidney beans or rajma is commonly found in many households. Apart from traditional preparations, you can also add it to your salads and other dishes in innovative ways.
Apart from these foods, consider including milk, Greek yogurt, seeds, oats, quinoa and buckwheat in your regular diet. They are also decent sources of protein. While vegetables are not very high in protein, they can provide other benefits that help your fitness goals. Broccoli, spinach, beetroot, sweet potato, etc. are generally recommended.
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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.