What is a plant based bodybuilding?
This article on plant based bodybuilding seeks to direct bodybuilders to plant based foods as an optimal source of nutrition for muscle building.
Most bodybuilders focus on eating large amounts of animal protein for muscle building. Much emphasis is not paid to other food sources at times.
According to Marion Nestle, “Protein is most definitely not a synonym for meat” (cited in stonepierspress.org, 2019).
In this series, I will therefore attempt to establish the overall benefits of eating plants as sources of proteins and other nutrients.
The US Government has launched MyPlate, which pays greater attention to the plant based diet
In defense of my position, I draw to your attention the US Government's 2011 retirement of the food pyramid in favor of MyPlate.
MyPlate models five food groups on a plate and pays special attention to a plant based diet. These five food groups are:
MyPlate divides each plate into four unequal sections to represent different food groups. The sections are:
- Vegetables - the largest section.
- Grains - the second largest.
- Fruits and vegetables fill half of the plate.
- Proteins and grains each fill the other half.
- A dairy product is on the side.
The protein section of MyPlate is "open." In other words, proteins can originate from sources like fish, shellfish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds in addition to meat. Dairy is on the side of the plate and is represented by a small blue circle.
Two observations are that some of the complex carbohydrates like tubers are not included. Examples include yams, sweet potatoes, cassava and others. These types of complex carbohydrates provide a greater degree of energy and fullness throughout the day in my personal experience.
Good fat sources are also not identified. However, MyPlate is a great improvement over the previous food pyramid in which the volume of plant intake was smaller.
What is the MAIN overall health benefit of the plant based diet?
Humans need to eat green plants because they give off oxygen. This is how it happens:
1. Green plants absorb Chlorophyll, a substance in sunlight.
2. Chlorophyll uses carbon dioxide (which is released from human and animals) and water to make energy.
3. Plants give off oxygen as an end product of energy creation.
4. Humans need oxygen for every body function and survival. We can live only about 4 minutes without oxygen supply.
5. Therefore, bodybuilders can increase oxygen supply for optimal muscle function by eating green plants.
What is the MAIN overall health benefit of eating fruits in the diet?
1. Fruits contain yellowish to reddish pigments called carotenoids which are antioxidants.
2. These carotenoids are actually the form in which chlorophyll exists in fruits.
3. Therefore fruits will also oxygenate your body and provide necessary life giving elements to muscle cells.
Fruits and vegetables in the plant based diet are antioxidants which provide important protective functions
Fruits and vegetables are rich in natural substances called antioxidants. Examples of antioxidants include
- Vtamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Antioxidants protects healthy cells from injury. They have also been found to be protective against cancer, heart disease and other lifestyle related diseases. Therefore, bodybuilders will enhance overall health and well being by paying attention to eating fruits and vegetables since they posseess the oxygenation and anitoxidant benefits.
Eating fruits and vegetables protect bodybuilders from free radicals which are injurious substances released during exercise
Free radicals are substances that are produced internally under two conditions. One of these is during exercise and the other is when the body converts food into energy.
Environmental elements are other external sources of free radicals. These include cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight, to name a few.
In turn, free radicals can cause the body to go into a state called “oxidative stress.” Oxidative stress triggers cell damage. Oxidative stress is linked to diseases including cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and eye diseases.
Can you imagine the amount of free radical damage and oxidative stress that occurs during each bodybuilding activity, This is the reason why fruits and vegetables are highly recommended to prevent this kind of damage.
When we think of all the activity that muscle cells go through during exercise.
What foods in the plant based diet are particularly high in antioxidants?
Antioxidant rich foods include:
Citrus fruits - oranges, grapefruit etc
Tropical fruits like banana, dates, mango and guava
Legumes — such as kidney beans, edamame and lentils
Veggies like artichokes, kale, bell peppers, asparagus, beets, broccoli, red cabbage and tomatoes.
Note that you should use the fruits and vegetable that are indigenous to your country even if they are not listed here.
We'll continue the discussion in an upcoming article.
Click the link below to see our recommended resource for your plant based bodybuilding transformation
Mayo Clinic. (2019). Healthy lifestyle: antioxidants. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/antioxidants/sls-20076428?s=6
Medline Plus. (2019). Antioxidants. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/antioxidants.html
Moss, M. (2019). Baby milestones: plants in baby's diet. Retrieved from https://babymilestones.info/en/category/babys-diet/
National Center For Complimentary And Integrative Health. (2016). Antioxidants: In depth. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants/introduction.htm
National Center For Health Research. (2011). MyPlate: A New Alternative to the Food Pyramid. Retrieved from http://www.center4research.org/myplate-new-alternative-food-pyramid/