Your body, your diet, your choice. We all need protein if we want to build muscle. So whatever your diet, check to make sure it’s meeting your needs.
Protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3, heme-iron, and zinc. Beans, lentils and nuts aren’t complete protein providers, because they lack one or more of the essential amino acids your body needs to build protein. Seitan is a good alternative that’s high in protein, and also contains iron, too. Tofu and tempeh are good sources of protein along with some B vitamins too.
The health kick: A diet high in good foods such as lentils, chickpeas, seeds, vegetables, and tofu can help reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
If you’re eating a wide variety of foods, you should be getting decent amounts of all you need. If, however, your diet leans heavily towards meat and carbs, youll need to up your intake of vegetables and fruit. You could be lacking in flavonoids and antioxidants found in plant foods, as well as fiber, which aids digestion, promoting weight loss and helping your body process the nutrients from the food you ingest.
The health kick: A diet high in processed meat has been linked to cancer, among other diseases, but as long as you’re focused on eating fresh farm produce (vegetables, meat and fruit, along with other food groups), your body will be getting all the nutrients it needs without the need for supplementation.
While heme-iron is found in spinach and other dark green-leaf plant sources, it’s not as easily absorbed by your body as the same iron in animal products, but eating vitamin C can help combat that. Nutritionists recommend that you take the recommmended amount of plant food (in terms of iron) and double it in order to get what you need each day.
The health kick: The main advantages which vegetarians tend to enjoy are lower body weight, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of cancer and heart disease.
Heme-iron needs to be your focus as this is found mainly in animal protein sources such as beef, pork and lamb. This means eating plenty of molluscs, which are higher in iron than most fish.
The health kick: A fish-heavy diet has been shown to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and other diseases. Eating fish-based protein (like animal protein in general) has been linked with increased muscle mass and a reduction in muscle loss as you age.