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September 27, 2012

How Fruits and Vegetables Can Help to Build Muscle

build muscle fruit vegetablesWhen most people think of building muscle they think of getting enough protein, however, the best way to build muscle is from a balanced diet which contains all the major macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats in the right amounts.  Fruits and vegetables play a much more important role than you might think in the muscle building process for reasons you will discover.

They Create an Environment in Which Muscle Growth Can Take Place

Organic products (fruits and vegetables) are nothing short of miracle foods due to the high levels of antioxidants which not only slow down and even reverse the aging process, but also create an environment in which muscle building can take place.  How does this happen?  Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables act as scavengers by tracking down and eliminating free radicals which would cause damage to your cells and in these ways antioxidants help in the regeneration of muscle tissue.

The Vitamins and Minerals in them Are Essential to Muscle Growth

Fruits and vegetables supply the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals essential to muscle growth.  One of the most well known is Vitamin C which is present in many fruits and vegetables most notably the orange.  Vitamin C reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol which is responsible for breaking down muscle tissue.  By halting the catabolic actions of cortisol you are preserving your muscle tissue and promoting an anabolic state.

Potassium is a great mineral to build muscle and it is present in leafy green vegetables and bananas.  Potassium prevents muscle cramps by regulating sodium levels in your body.  Potassium is also important for muscle contractions necessary for an active person.  During a workout a lot of potassium is lost through sweat and this need to be replenished afterwards to restore energy levels.  In this way bananas are a great post workout snack.

The vitamins and minerals are most effective when obtained directly from a direct and constant supply of fruits and vegetables.  These vitamins and minerals cannot be stored in the body since they are water soluble hence one has to constantly get it from consuming a steady and consistent supply of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables Are Excellent Pre and Post Workout Snacks

Fruits and vegetables are excellent foods to have to get lean since they increase muscular strength by providing the energy necessary to power through your workout.  Fruits and vegetables are excellent pre workout snacks because they provide long lasting energy that will be beneficial to keep your energy levels high throughout your workout.  The fructose and fiber in fruits are responsible for the long lasting energy to perform at your best.  Great sources of fructose and fiber are found in apples and bananas.  In fact, the polyphenols present in the skin of apples has been proven by research to directly increase muscular strength.  New research has also shed light on the muscle building properties of blueberries.

Fruits are flexible in that although they provide long term energy from the fructose and fiber it is also a source of immediate energy from the glucose it contains.  Glucose unlike fructose and fiber impacts the bloodstream quickly.  As a result, fruits make a great post workout snack at a time when glycogen levels are low and one is in need of instant replenishment to restore glycogen levels back to normal.  Foods like watermelon and pineapple tend to have this effect as these foods impact the bloodstream very quickly.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to carbohydrates, most persons worry about getting fat from the calories.  The calories in fruits and vegetables are not empty calories as what you would get from consuming sodas and cakes and as such your body will make better use of them which prevents them from being stored as fat as easily.  Additionally, taking into account the vitamins and minerals present in fruits and vegetables they should form a critical part of a diet that puts health as the priority.

Chris Brown is a 25 year old fitness enthusiast who blogs at Gain Build Muscle.

He also has a presence on twitter.

Vegetarian Food

5 comments already

  1. The History Of The Banana As Food : Vegetarian Meals on 05.07.2013 at 10:13 pm | permalink
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  4. [...] Eat your veggies. When your mom used to spoon-feed you with vegetables for your nutrition now is the time to thank her for it. At least the taste wouldn’t be so foreign to you now. Vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals but the best thing about it is that it contains fewer calories. So you can indulge in vegetables all you want and worry less about the calories you’re taking in. [...]

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