For the past couple of years, the number of people who started following a vegan meal plan rose exponentially. This is mainly because of the purported health benefits of a vegan diet. Many people have also started questioning different animal treatment practices. Many studies have proven that a plant-based diet can provide several healthy nutrients that could improve your overall health by preventing many health disorders, like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, bone diseases, etc.
According to some experts, following a healthy vegan diet can help you maintain normal body weight and also helps in building muscle mass. This is very beneficial for athletes, especially bodybuilders. In this article, we will take a look at how a vegan meal plan can help bodybuilders and which are the best plant-based foods that they should take.
A Vegan Diet For Bodybuilders
Bodybuilders build their muscle mass through intensive resistance training. However, that only cannot help them build a great body. They also need proper nutrition to maintain their body weight and muscular development. Many experts suggest adequate protein intake for optimal muscle growth. If you are planning to become a bodybuilder, you may have to take 0.7 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily.
Many experts also recommend a calorie surplus of 10-20 % for muscle development, especially for those who are new to bodybuilding. One thing you should note is that the traditional bodybuilding diet includes many animal-based foods because of the high protein content and calorie content. However, the vegan bodybuilding diet replaces animal protein with plant protein. Several plant-based foods can provide good amounts of protein and calories.
One problem is that animal sources of protein are easily available while plant-based sources of protein are not. This will be a challenge to the vegans who are planning to become bodybuilders. However, careful planning is all it takes to overcome it. You can seek the help of a reputable dietician to draw a vegan bodybuilding diet plan that ensures adequate intake of protein, calories, and other nutrients that help in muscle development.
Benefits Of Vegan Bodybuilding Diet
In addition to muscle development, following a vegan diet can provide a lot of other health benefits for bodybuilders. A few significant benefits are explained below.
Reduces Cancer Risk
According to some recent studies, following a plant-based diet is very beneficial in reducing the risk of developing certain forms of cancers. This is because of the presence of plant compounds that can impede the advancement of cancer cells. These plant compounds include antioxidants that can forestall cell damage catalyzed by free radicals. According to some studies, including more soy foods in your diet can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Promotes Healthy Body Weight
Many studies have shown that the body mass index of the ones who religiously follow vegan diets is lesser when compared to the western dieters. This will help in lessening the imminence of several health disorders. A recent study looked at 75 overweight people who transitioned to a vegan diet. It was found that a vegan diet can effectively help in shedding excess weight and helps in improving insulin resistance.
Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
Following a vegan diet can help in lowering the risk of developing heart diseases by alleviating its risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, etc. This is mainly because of the lower level of consumption of saturated fats and a higher degree of consumption of fiber. Many studies point out that vegans have decreased blood pressure together with nether bad cholesterol levels. Increased intake of fiber is very helpful in reducing the danger of being diagnosed with heart disease.
Plant Foods To Include In An Ideal Vegan Bodybuilding Diet
A vegan bodybuilding diet includes a wide range of plant-based foods that can provide a variety of healthy nutrients. For getting high amounts of fiber and protein, you can include more beans and lentils in your vegan diet. Seeds, including sunflower, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds, can provide a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Other plant foods that are a great source of protein are amaranth and quinoa.
Several vegan meat substitutes can provide a good amount of protein and Tempeh and tofu, made from soybeans, are two of the most common vegan meat substitutes available in the market. They are packed with protein, fiber, and many other plant compounds that can provide various health benefits.
Another plant-based food that you can include in your vegan bodybuilding diet is spirulina, which is a blue-green alga that is loaded with a lot of nutrients, mainly protein. Fruits and vegetables are also great at delivering protein. Nuts can also provide good amounts of protein that is beneficial for bodybuilders. In addition to that, vegan protein powders are also available in that market that is made from hemp, peas, and brown rice.