The major food groups include dairy, fats, fruits, grains, meat or meat alternatives, and oils. All of these are essential to a healthy and balanced diet. In particular, this article focuses on fruits and vegetables, as well as their roles in building muscle mass.
If you are serious about gaining muscle mass, then you should pay more attention to your daily diet. This diet should include fruits and vegetables as they bring great benefits to your health. To the bodybuilder, there are two main benefits: antioxidants and fiber.
Benefit # 1 – Fruits and Vegetables Contain Antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemicals that can help prevent the oxidation process in the body. Oxidation can damage cells and lead to major diseases. To combat oxidation, your body needs antioxidants.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants. When you eat more fruits and vegetables, your immune system will be stronger. Your energy level will be high enough to cope with the training involved in building muscles.
By eating fruits and vegetables, you can make sure that your body is healthy and physically fit. This is because they contain various antioxidants, such as the following:
- Beta-Carotene. This nutrient is an excellent anti-oxidant. You can find it in vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, collards, kale, tomatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. You can also get it from fruits like apricots, cantaloupe, and peaches.
- This nutrient can help prevent cell damage. You can find it in most vegetables. To be sure, you can always ask if the vegetables you buy are grown in soil that is rich in selenium.
- Vitamin C. This vitamin serves as our body’s first line of defense in combating viruses and illnesses. You can find it mainly in citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. You can also find it in vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, green pepper, and potatoes.
- Vitamin E. This is a fat-soluble nutrient that has many uses, including the treatment of sunburn. You can find it in green leafy vegetables as well as in vegetable oil. Other sources of Vitamin E are whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
Benefit # 2 – Fruits and Vegetable Provide Bulk and Fiber
Most people think that muscle-building means you should consume plenty of protein and carbohydrates. While this is true, you shouldn’t forget to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. These can provide the bulk and fiber you need for gaining more muscle mass.
When it comes to providing bulk and fiber, here are the advantages of consuming fruits and vegetables:
- Low Calories. Compared to other types of food, fruits and vegetables contain low calories. This means that even if you consume a lot of fruits and veggies, you will not gain too much weight.
- Increased satiety. Eating vegetables and fruits can make you feel full easily. If you eat five chocolate cookies, for example, you won’t feel full but you have just consumed 1000 calories. In contrast, munching on five celery stalks will make you feel full at just 25 calories.
- Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Fiber can help ensure that your digestive process is going smoothly. It can also help your body to flush out substances that you don’t need.
Reminders on Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Compared to meat and other types of food, it is often safe to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables. But you also need to consider the following matters:
- Some vegetables contain a high amount of starch, which adds more calories to your diet. These vegetables include corn, peas, and potatoes. Make sure that you eat these in moderation.
- Fruits contain sugar, so you need to consider the time of the day when you plan to eat them. The best times for eating fruits are early in the morning and during the periods when your body is most active. Bananas, in particular, contain potassium, which plays an important role in muscle function.
If muscle-building is one of your fitness goals, then make sure that you include veggies and fruits in your daily diet. These contain antioxidants, which can help keep your body fit and healthy. They also contain bulk and fiber, which can help you gain more muscle mass.