Today we will be talking about fruits and their role in a bodybuilding vegetarians diet.
Many vegetarian bodybuilders do not incorporate fruits into their diet because they are typically high in sucrose and sucrose is bad for you, right? WRONG. Sucrose (a simple sugar), CAN be bad for you. However, in moderation, it is good for your body and gives you natural, healthy energy. This natural sugar that is found in fruits converts into energy more quickly than artificial or granulated sugar which takes longer for the body to utilize and will quickly convert into fat. These bursts of natural energy are needed for any vegetarian bodybuilder to work on his daily routine. Apples for example, are very high in fiber and (good) carbohydrates. Fiber has two main components: soluble and insoluble. Both help you with your digestive track and decrease the risk of colon cancer. Fresh fruit is obviously going to be your best choice when choosing how to get your fruit intake. But keep in mind, fruit juice is always a very fast and easy way to get most of the benefits associated with consuming fruits. Just make sure the bottle says “100% Juice”. Don’t fall for tricks companies will play on you, like putting “100% Delicious” or “100% Juice Blend”.
Remember, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. A famous saying I try to live by. Though it is recommended to consume 3-4 servings of fruits each and every day, everything that you put in your body that is good for it will help it.
Oranges, pineapples, and other “Citrus-y” fruits will help your body by giving you primarily Vitamins A, C, and E. Important anti-oxidants.
Another benefit of fruits is their bright color, yes, BRIGHT COLOR! The fact that fruits have bright colors means they contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are some of the most powerful anti-oxidants and help your body from aging, cancer, and different types of brain disease.
Consume as many different types of fruit that you possibly can. Below is a list of the different benefits that fruits will give you as a vegetarian bodybuilder:
- Help digest food and build strong bones
- Reduce depression
- Reduce risk of cancer (brain, colon, breast, and more!)
- Increase brain activity
- Give your body more natural energy throughout the day
- Curb your appetite and keep you from craving candy
- Cure BAD BREATH
- Lower blood cholesterol
- Help your body naturally heal itself
- Help with skin appearance and anti-aging
- Reduce the risk of blood clots and heart attacks
- Reduce fat deposit in arteries
- Stronger bones
Keep in mind when eating fruits, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing! If you consume solely acidic fruits for example (oranges, pineapple, etc.), this will very quickly give you too much sugar which can lead to fat, gas, and can lead to a more acidic PH level in the body which can even start to deteriorate bones over time!
Simply put, make sure you eat your fruits, just consume them wisely. You don’t need a wheelbarrow of apples to be healthy or a handful of carrots every hour. Just make sure you get enough fruits in your diet (3-4 servings) and make it as wide a spectrum as possible. Think of each fruit as a jealous friend. Make time for each of them throughout the week, don’t spend too much time with one over another, and you’ll be golden (like pineapple)!
Hope this helps guys and don’t forget to like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BodybuildingVegetarians and follow us on Twitter @VegBodybuilding!
As always, have a healthy day, and keep to The Vegetarian Lifestyle!
Protein and carbohydrates tend to be the first types of foods that come to mind when we speak about bodybuilding. A lot of people tend to forget about what an important role vegetables play in our day-to-day diet. Vegetables do quite a bit for us; everything from giving us essential vitamins to helping our skin and hair health! I know, I know, I AM speaking to vegetarians here. We still can’t overlook the importance of vegetables in our bodybuilding vegetarian diet.
Did you know the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans actually recommends having 3-5 servings of vegetables a day? That means, if we eat 1 serving of vegetables at each sitting, we should be consuming vegetables at EVERY meal. Keep this in mind when planning your meals for the week. One serving of vegetables is typically about half a cup, or enough to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. Almost all vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked, just be wary when cooking up your vegetables, that you aren’t greasing it up or putting so much sodium in them to where it actually becomes harmful for your body as opposed to good for it. Remember: Eating something good doesn’t balance out eating something bad!
Incorporating vegetables into your diet is a very easy way to make a poor diet become healthier again. Even if eating something good doesn’t balance out eating something bad, every good thing you put into your body will make you healthier! It is proven that vegetables contain different types of antioxidants and cancer fighting agents to help you live a longer and healthier life. For example, vitamin C will help your body repair after long bouts of stress and/or illness and help your body prepare itself so it can further protect itself in the future.
There is also a large amount of fiber in vegetables, which helps the digestive system pass through food and absorb nutrients a lot more easily. Eating large amounts of fiber will help your digestive system stay clear and healthy and able to process foods easily. Remember, your digestive system is like a muscle in and of itself, and you want to keep it operating correctly. Your colon is how you get nutrients to your blood-stream. When your colon is not operating correctly, it will release toxins in your blood-stream as opposed to nutrients.
As always, we hope you have a healthy day fellow bodybuilders, and don’t forget to like our page on Facebook! It would really help us get the word out there!
Compiled below is a list of some of the best vegetables for bodybuilding:
|Vegetable Type||Serving Amount||Calories||Carbs
|Asparagus||4 medium stalks, 2oz||11||2.2||1.3||0.1|
|Kidney Beans||boiled, 1/2 cup, 3oz||108||19.4||7.2||0.4|
|Brocolli||1 cup chopped, 3oz||35||5.6||2.4||0.3|
|Cabbage||1 cup shredded, 5oz||41||9.8||2.1||0.1|
|Carrots||1 cup chopped||52||12.3||1.3||0.3|
|Cauliflower||1 cup chopped, 3.5oz||23||4.1||1.8||0.4|
|Celery||1 cup chopped, 3.5oz||14||3.6||0.7||0.2|
|Corn||1/2 cup kernels, 3.5oz||354||82.3||10.8||4.3|
|Cucumber||1/2 cup slices, 2oz||7||1.3||0.3||0.1|
|Lentils||1/2 cup boiled, 3.5oz||115||19.9||8.9||0.4|
|Iceberg Lettuce||1 cup shredded, 1.9oz||8||1.7||0.5||0.1|
|Mushrooms||1/2 cup pieces, 2.5oz||20||3.8||1.4||0.4|
|Onion||1/2 cup chopped, 3oz||36||8.6||0.8||0.1|
|Peas||1/4 cup, 1.5oz||36||6.7||2.3||0.1|
|Bell Peppers||1 cup sliced, 3.2oz||18||4.2||0.8||0.2|
|Pumpkin||1/2 cup mashed, 4oz||23||5.6||0.8||0.1|
|Spinach||1/2 cup, 3oz||20||3.2||2.6||0.3|
|Sweet Potato||1 cup, baked, 7oz||180||41.4||4.0||0.4|
|Brown Potato||1 potato, 7oz||255||58.1||7.0||0.4|
|Tomato||1 tomato, raw, 2.2oz||11||2.4||0.6||0.1|
In any vegetarian bodybuilding diet, there is the necessity for carbs, or carbohydrates. This is one key point that is easy for any vegetarian or vegan to incorporate into their diet because they are found in beans, potatoes, bran, rice, cereals, fruits, sweets, soft drinks, breads, and pastas. All things that are vegetarian! Easy right?! So, why are carbs good for you? Well, these carbohydrates break down in your body and turn into glucose. Glucose directly fuels your body and muscles and allows you to have more energy throughout the day and maintain an active lifestyle.
Carbohydrates are found in pretty much all foods other than meat. Makes it pretty easy for us! Recently, some diets have recommended taking out all carbs from what you eat. Many food companies have bought into this new type of diet and introduced products such as low-carb bread, claiming it is healthier for you. Limiting is definitely a good thing, you never want TOO MUCH of a good thing. However, you should never go so far as to refuse whole grains and fruits since these items have been proven to help extend life and many of them have cancer fighting agents.
These can be broken up into two main categories, simple and complex. Candy, soda, and even fruits contain simple carbohydrates while whole grains and cereals contain complex carbohydrates. The main difference between simple and complex is their chemical structure in a whole. Simple can be made up of just a few sugar molecules when complex can be made up of hundreds, or even thousands of all these molecules put together. In the end, your body creates glucose either way.
Remember, glucose is very simple, so just be cautious when consuming carbohydrates that you are staying active, otherwise you risk it turning into fat. A good rule of thumb- Do not consume carbs after 8 PM if you are serious about vegetarian bodybuilding. When you go to bed at night, you obviously aren’t moving around or using much energy. So if you eat them before bed, they convert into glucose, and turn right into fat while you are sleeping!
Also keep in mind, both simple and complex carbohydrates will need a different amount of time to fully digest. If you consume 200 calories of a simple carbohydrate, your body will digest it a lot faster than if you consumed the same amount of calories through a complex carbohydrate. This is because simple carbohydrates are much closer to the end product (glucose) than complex carbohydrates, which need time to digest. Therefore, if you take the meal of simple sugars, you will be hungry a lot quicker than if you ate a meal that was based around complex carbohydrates. So if you run around eating candy bars and drinking soda, that will add up to a lot of calories that your body has digested at the end of the day!
Studies have shown that simple sugars are one of the top factors contributing to obesity and diabetes, especially in younger children. It has also been determined that eating good complex carbohydrates can lead to a long and healthy life, and shield you from many different types of cancer. So next time you pick up a low-carb magazine, chuck it in the trash and go eat an apple!
If you liked this article, check out our post Protein in Vegetarian Bodybuilding. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BodybuildingVegetarians!
Remember, not all carbs are bad. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise sessions, they will help you on the track to vegetarian bodybuilding!
The building block for vegetarian bodybuilding is protein. Without protein and other key items in your diet, it will be very difficult to bulk up. Protein allows you to build muscle mass and fuel your muscles before and after a work-out session. This is one of the most difficult parts of bodybuilding as a vegetarian, due to the fact that protein is typically found in meats.
Your diet should typically be comprised of 4 main points (there are obviously more than just four points in your diet, however those are smaller, these are the “required foundation” for any vegetarian bodybuilder diet)-
Today we will speak about protein, one of the most essential ingredients when becoming a bodybuilder. When you consume protein, it absorbs into your muscles to allow them to grow and recover quickly. The main issue-protein is primarily found in meats. So, how do you get the needed protein without consuming man’s best friend? Below is a list of vegetarian alternatives to meat that are high in protein.
Soy– Soy foods are the most common way for vegetarians to get protein in their diet. They include soybeans, soy milk, and tofu.
|Soybeans, 1 cup cooked||29 g||298||10 g|
|Tempeh, 4 oz cooked||21 g||223||13 g|
|Edamame, 1 cup shelled||20 g||240||10 g|
|TVP, 1/4 cup dry||12 g||80||0 g|
|Soy nuts, 1/4 cup roasted||11 g||200||1 g|
|Tofu, 4 oz raw||9 g||86||5 g|
|Soy nut butter, 2 tablespoons||7 g||170||11 g|
|Soymilk, 1 cup sweetened||7 g||100||0.5 g|
|Soymilk, 1 cup unsweetened||7 g||80||0.5 g|
Legumes- Legumes are made up of dried beans, peas, and lentils. And are the second most common way to get protein in your vegetarian bodybuilding diet. Enjoyed by both vegetarians and omnivores alike! These will typically have a lot more “bang for their buck” in reference to the amount of protein they typically contain per cup.
|Legumes, 1 cup cooked||Protein||Calories||Fiber|
|Soybeans||29 g||298||10 g|
|Lentils||18 g||230||16 g|
|Split peas||16 g||231||16 g|
|Navy beans||16 g||258||12 g|
|Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)||15 g||269||12 g|
|Black beans||15 g||227||15 g|
|Kidney beans||15 g||225||11 g|
|Lima beans||15 g||216||13 g|
|Pinto beans||14 g||234||15 g|
Keep in mind folks, just because something has protein, that doesn’t mean it is the correct choice to revolve your meal around or gives you everything you need for energy. Make sure you are not just looking at whether or not a food choice has protein, but that it is a Complete Protein. When referencing complete proteins, that means that it contains the Nine Essential Amino-Acids. Incomplete proteins will only have some or few of these amino acids. Amino Acids are known as the building blocks of protein (what makes up a protein macro-nutrient), and all together are essential in creating enzymes, antibodies, and muscle tissue. Keep in mind, it is very difficult to find protein in a vegan bodybuilding diet that has all amino acids, so typically you will want to combine different proteins together to create a “complete protein”.
The Nine Essential Amino Acids:
Leucine– Used in the liver, muscle and adipose tissue, and muscle protein synthesis.
Isoleucine– Creates Ketone Bodies (broken down for energy in the liver, heart, and brain) and fatty acids.
Lysine– Important in calcium absorption, building muscle protein/recovery, and producing enzymes, antibodies, and hormones.
Phenylalanine– Helps convert into dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
Methionine– Used in the liver, skin tone, nails, and hair. Helps the body process and eliminate fat in the body.
Threonine– Helps the body with keeping teeth healthy, digestion, immune system, and nutrient absorption.
Valine– Helps with muscle endurance, growth, repair, and maintaining the proper amount of nitrogen in the body.
Tryptophan– Helps the brain produce serotonin (lack of serotonin is what causes depression), niacin, and melatonin.
Histidine– Helps with sexual function, detoxification in the body, the immune system, and digestion.
There are also many different protein supplements for vegetarian bodybuilding, how do YOU get your protein in your diet, comment below!