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Skip the meat and try these vegetarian muscle builders

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Plant based proteins build muscle as well was red meat

Results of a new study reveals you don't have to be a meat eater to build strong muscles, which is great news for vegetarians. Our animal friends and your pocketbook will benefit too from these vegetarian muscle building foods.


The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found out switching from meat to plant protein just might help you live longer.

Eat more plant protein for muscle strength

We all know protein is necessary to help muscles grow. But until now researchers weren't sure if vegetarians could build muscles as efficiently as meat eaters.

Critics of vegetarian diets and some studies as well have suggested there are essential nutrients in meat that vegetarians might be missing.

The study, carried out by researchers at Universit of Massachusetts in Lowell suggests high protein foods are the most beneficial - but the protein doesn't have to come from meat.

Study author Dr Kelsey Mangano said: 'High protein diets do benefit most individuals." And that's especially true as we age in order to help maintain strength and muscle mass, Mangano added.

The finding showed people getting the most amount of protein, whether it was from legumes or meat, had the same amount of muscle mass. Eighty two percent of people studied met the minimum daily protein requirement - 0.8 g · kg body weight.

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Researchers compared six types of diets that were self-reported - fast food and full fat dairy, fish, red meat, chicken, low fat milk, and legumes among 2,986 men and women, ages 19 to 72 who were part of the Framingham Third Generation Study.

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Other reasons to eat more plant protein

A study published August, 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine found substituting plant protein for meat just might extend your life. There was an association between eating more plant protein and a 10 percent lower risk of dying from all causes.

The finding, in all fairness, didn't take into account other healthy lifestyle factors, but it may be mindfulness about eating also means vegetarians are overall more health conscious.

7 Reasons Baby Boomers should Adopt a Vegetarian Diet

Processed meat especially is linked to cancer, , red meat is thought to increase our chance of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease,
If youre looking for the best sources of plant protein consider:

  • Organic edamame
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Wild rice
  • Chia
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

There are plenty of reasons to eat more vegetables and the new study shows legumes and other vegetarian muscle building foods can do the trick. Incorporating more protein from plants into your diet might also help you live longer.

Updated 2/12/2017