Nutrition is vital to man’s health, especially those who want to keep themselves fit and healthy. In line with fitness, people consider appropriate proportion of macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which is dictated by their health goals – whether to lose excess fat or gain muscle. Most people who have the ectomorph or skinny body type, value nutrition along with exercise and rest, for them to gain mass, weight, and muscle and improve their physique. But, what foods should they eat in order to build muscle?
Along with meat and milk, certain vegetables are known to help build and grow muscle. According to Bodybuilding, vegetables are packed with various vitamins and minerals that are important to the growth, development, and health of the body. As per the publication, the body can maximize such nutrients in their plant form. Such nutrients include the B vitamins in green leafy vegetables, which help in the integrity of the nervous system’s function and in the conversion of the food that people eat into useable energy, in addition to the normal regulation of various cellular processes. Also, vegetables are rich in antioxidants; thus, they help get rid of free radicals, as well as harmful toxins and chemicals in the body.
Beets are some of the vegetables that help in building muscle. According to Bodybuilding, athletes consume beetroot juice and beet extracts, which are also ingredients in various pre-workout supplements in the market. Thus, eating them in plant form would be more beneficial to the body’s health and muscle growth, since vegetables have not yet undergone mechanical and chemical procedures. This suggests that the body may be able to obtain more nutrients when compared to the artificial supplements that can be accessed in local stores. Beets also help in building muscle by aiding the conversion of nitrates into nitrite, which produces nitric oxide. Physiologically, it is a gas that increases the diameter of blood vessels for enhanced flow of blood, which means improvement in oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscles. Thus, muscle growth is possible. To add, beets also have folate and betaine, which aid reduce inflammation in the body. This implies that there would be faster muscle recovery after training, promoting muscle growth as well.
Spinach is also part of the list of vegetables that help in muscle building. As per WH Foods, spinach has glycoglycerolipids, which are labeled as a new category of health-supportive nutrients. According to the publication, the said nutrient helps protect the digestive tract lining and prevent damage linked to unwanted inflammation. Thus, the vegetable is also helpful in reducing pain and soreness of the muscles after workout. Spinach tofu scramble is one of the dishes that can be prepared in the kitchen. As per Scrawny to Brawny, the ingredients are olive oil, garlic, cumin, turmeric, water, black pepper, sliced avocados, white onion, dried thyme, seas salt, yeast, block medium firm tofu, and chopped spinach. The spices are combined with water while the olive oil is heated over medium heat in a skillet. The onion and garlic are cooked for five minutes and the tofu is crumbled and sauteed for eight to ten minutes. The spinach is added to the spice and water mixture and is simmered for two minutes. Once cooked, sliced avocado is served on top of the dish.
Sweet potatoes are also agents of muscle growth. According to Eat This, they are some of the cleanest sources of energy, with four grams of fiber and 27 grams of carbohydrates per serving. As per the publication, a cup of sweet potato cubes contain four times a person’s recommended dietary intake of vitamin A, which reportedly helps in protein synthesis. In addition, they have low glycemic index, which means that they are slowly burned by the body’s digestive system. This is the reason bodybuilders include them in their nutritional plans; they offer long-term energy source, fueling them during training and allowing the recovery of muscle glycogen after workout.
Along with the aforementioned vegetables, other food sources that help in muscle growth include meat, nuts, milk, and cheese, among others. Also, nutrition is coupled with proper training and adequate rest for best results.