Muscle-Building Vegetables to Pump You Up

Many vegetarians and vegans hear this very annoying question at least once (okay, 100 times, at least) during their lifetime: how do you build muscle and not get weak all the time if you don’t eat meat? We know it’s hard for meateaters to imagine, but there are plenty of plants that aid muscles. Don’t believe us? Read on to get the scoop on muscle-building vegetables.


Yellow and split peas are filled with plant-protein that can be easily digested, and muscle building amino acids, such as branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine. You can easily sprinkle some peas in a summer salad, or make pea soup.

All Things Beet

Planing an intense exercise session? Make sure beets are on the menu for dinner because the ruby red roots can help improve your tolerance to super difficult workouts. How do they help? The “dietary nitrates in beets are converted to nitric oxide which enhances vascular function,” reports Young and Raw. My favorite way to eat beets? When they are pickled.

Green Intensity

Dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and spinach, are perfect choices. Broccoli is filled with fiber, iron, vitamin C, and calcium. Spinach is filled with arginine (an amino acid that helps metabolism) and chlorella contains chlorella growth factor (CGF has amino acids, vitamins, and nucleic acids) in spades. Other greens to consider include spirulina, microgreens, and sprouts. All these veggies would be great raw in a salad.

Go Herb Wild

Herbs, such as leeks, chives, and parsley, are packed with lysine. Lysine, an amino acid, “helps support the growth of connective tissues found in your tendons and cartilage,” reports Young and Raw. Use any of these herbs to give a summer dish a little extra seasoning.

How do you like to eat the vegetables we mentioned above? And meateaters: are you surprised by how many vegetables can aid muscles?

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