Put these muscle building fruits and vegetables into your diet for serious gains.
When looking to build muscle, we always hear about the macronutrients needed to consume in order to build muscle and the most effective gains, but muscle building fruits and vegetables can be of great assistance to us. Those whole foods we often hear about are lean meats, red meats, eggs, fish, whole grains, nuts, and leafy greens. Seems to be the case most of the time at least. But too often do we forget that there are fruits and vegetables on the shelves that can greatly help us with building muscle.
The nutrients packed into muscle building fruits and vegetables are hard to ignore and will help keep us in the gym and off the couch. Whether for immunity, inflammation, recovery, or muscle building, these nutrients are key in helping us see only the best gains possible. It should be said that you can get these nutrients from a multivitamin supplement so you never suffer any deficiencies, or a super greens product to give you all of those essential vitamins and minerals, but why not enjoy the taste and spruce up your meals?
Let’s take a look at some awesome muscle building fruits and vegetables to see just what these can do for our overall gains. While this might not be the same as eating tons of protein, what these fruits and vegetables can do are still pump you with vital nutrients so you see the growth and results you want most.
Benefits Of Fruits
For your bodybuilding goals, a common myth around fruit exists that can stop you from taking in these valuable nutrients. Fruit can assist with weight management, and with some fruit containing fiber, this will aid in digestion and help keep you full. Packed with nutrients, these can help with immunity and inflammation while also boosting cognitive function (1). So, while fruit does contain sugar, that is natural and something your body doesn’t mind taking in.
Benefits Of Vegetables
Similar to fruits, vegetables contain valuable nutrients perfect for helping you see gains inside and out of the gym. For those looking to lose weight, green vegetables, and all vegetables for that matter, can help you feel full and aid in digestion, given the amount of fiber in them. Also, nutrient-dense and carb-rich veggies are necessary for you as you look to build that overall shredded aesthetic (2).
Best Muscle Building Fruits & Vegetables
Let’s dive into these muscle building fruits and vegetables to see just how they can help build muscle. While they aren’t like protein serving as the building blocks of muscle, the benefits around each of these whole foods can assist muscle growth and give you those gains you want most.
Bananas are high in antioxidants and potassium and will help relieve oxidative stress and inflammation. Great for relieving muscle cramps and soreness, these will help keep you in the gym longer so you see those valuable gains (3).
Apples are high in fiber and can keep you full for longer. They also contain pectin giving them prebiotic qualities to help with good bacteria in your gut. More weight loss gives more room for those muscles to fill out and show off that shredded physique.
Also containing great antioxidants, blueberries are perfect for muscle recovery. By allowing your muscles to recover, you build muscle since recovery time is where the muscle can heal. Putting an emphasis on recovery is equally as important as putting an emphasis on the actual workout (4).
Avocados are great for strengthening bones and supporting joints while also keeping you full. Known for its fiber content, this is great for digestion and losing weight. Healthy fats and tons of antioxidants pump you with necessary nutrients, so you see serious gains unfold.
We all know oranges as that fruit to help with immunity, containing high amounts of vitamin C. Keeping you healthy overall will keep you in the gym and working hard to see gains. Polyphenols also in oranges can help with brain development and memory functions, keeping you more mentally alert during those grueling workouts (5).
An anti-inflammatory food, kale is great for digestion while being high in iron and vitamin K. This is the perfect ingredient to mix with any dish and will provide for those leafy green needs. This, along with spinach, can round out your green repertoire in such a way that you won’t want anything else.
Beets have the ability to improve blood flow by increasing nitrate levels and allowing for better movement through the blood vessels. This will give your muscles blood to operate at full capacity and improve overall performance (6).
A nice alternative to certain dishes, cauliflower has been used for pizza crusts, to replace chicken wings with cauliflower wings, and even as a rice replacement. Great for fighting inflammation, aiding in weight loss, and being in high in fiber, the nutrients in cauliflower are hard to ignore.
A versatile food, butternut squash is a nice alternative to pasta or a potential side dish among other things. Helping with immunity, inflammation, weight loss, and regularity, what you will find is that squash can add color to your diet while also assisting with your muscle building goals.
It is hard to ignore the benefits of muscle building fruits and vegetables for they can add variety and versatility to your meals. Having the option to diversify and give yourself the right nutrients is important as you look to build muscle. Protein is the building block of all muscle. We won’t refute that. But we will say that by adding muscle building fruits and vegetables to your diet can make all the difference as you seek the best for all your muscle building needs.
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*Images courtesy of Envato
- University of Kent (2021). “Consuming fruit and vegetables and exercising can make you happier”. (source)
- Edith Cowan University (2021). “Green leafy vegetables essential for muscle strength”. (source)
- Miller, K. (2012). “Plasma Potassium Concentration and Content Changes After Banana Ingestion in Exercised Men”. (source)
- McLeay, Y.; et al. (2012). “Effect of New Zealand blueberry consumption on recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage”. (source)
- Lamport, D.; et al. (2021). “Polyphenols and Cognition In Humans: An Overview of Current Evidence from Recent Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses”. (source)
- Kolluru, G.; et al. (2012). “Beets, Bacteria, and Blood Flow”. (source)