So, you’re a vegan looking to bulk up? Perhaps you’re looking at the omnivorous bodybuilders chomping down chicken, and guzzling milk and eggs, and thinking “I can’t keep up with them!”, but you truly can! Not only do people tend to overestimate how much protein they actually need to build muscle, they also underestimate the role a plant-based diet can play in providing it. So, without further ado, let’s get into Muscle Building: Top 5 Highest, Vegan Protein Foods!
Like its soya-sister tofu, tempeh is a rich source of vegan protein. Packing 11g in an 85g serving, tempeh is just one route to bigger biceps. Moreover, unlike tofu which is notoriously bland, tempeh has a naturally nutty, almost meaty flavour. A nice recipe is marinating it in olive oil, lemon juice, coriander and garlic, before baking it for twenty minutes for a crispy finish!
Carbs that are also protein-packed? Perfect! While something like brown rice isn’t necessarily high in protein (2.6g per 100g), it still boasts more nutritional value than white rice. Moreover, in a single wholemeal pitta bread, there’s a whopping 8.7g of protein! Switching to wholegrains is a good way of subtly increasing your intake.
Lentils are the protein shake of the legume world. They’re also naturally tasty, and can be supplemented into most dishes. In a 100g serving of red split lentils, there’s approximately 25g of protein. Omnivores will be kicking themselves for ignoring the plant world.
Nuts are my go-to food throughout the day. They compliment breakfasts (sprinkle walnuts on your porridge), lunches (bake hazelnuts and crumble them on your salad), and dinners (add pecans to a hearty soup!) Nuts traverse the full culinary lands of sweet and savoury. They’re a really useful and easy way of boosting protein intake. In 23 almonds, there’s 6g of protein – making them a solid choice of muscle-building snack!
The bean is the humble handyman for the muscle-building gym-goer. They’re incredibly cheap, and easy to integrate into a myriad of recipes. They are, for example, perfect stirred into a fajita mix. Black beans are among my favourites. In one cup (172g) of black beans, you get 15.2g of protein. Their salty taste and creamy consistency will also help you feel satiated.