5 Muscle-Building Foods For Vegetarians

HuffPost India | By Aashmita Nayar | April 21, 2015

If you’re a vegetarian looking to gain muscle mass, don’t let animal protein stop you from achieving your body goals.

“Most vegetarian foods provide carbs, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals in ample amounts, but not protein,” says nutritionist Krupa Mhatre of Gold’s Gym India. Mhatre has observed that several vegetarians who work out rely on protein supplements.

“But there there are several vegetarian foods, that are hugely underrated, even though they provide a good protein source to build muscle,” she says.

While a leaf could be taken out of wrestling champion Sushil Kumar’s dietary plans (the two-time Olympic medallist and his best buddy Yogeshwar Dutt are strict vegetarians), here are some more foods that put fitness-conscious vegetarians’ minds at rest.

Here are five protein-rich foods that according to Mhatre will help gain muscle naturally.


“Chickpeas contain significant amounts of all essential amino acids except sulphur-containing amino acids, which can be complemented by adding cereals to the daily diet,” says Krupa Mhatre, Nutritionist at Gold’s Gym. While she does not recommend indulging in chole-bature all the time, hummus is an excellent alternative. According to this seven-year survey, the consumption of chickpeas/hummus was associated with higher intake of several nutrients of public health concern, including dietary fiber and potassium, as well as higher intakes of shortfall nutrients for some populations, including vitamins A, E, and C, folate, iron and magnesium. The study also shows that chickpeas also complement grains to form a source of complete proteins for vegetarians or low socio-economic individuals.

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