A lot has been made about the importance of protein in building muscle, but more could be said about the importance of fruits and vegetables in this regard. The fact of the matter is that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of important vitamins and minerals that facilitate muscle growth.
One of these vitamins important to muscle growth which is often times overlooked is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in fresh fruits and vegetables such as oranges, pineapples, grapefruit, cabbage, broccoli, okra and spinach to name a few.
Vitamin C speeds up recovery of your muscles after an intense workout, and prevents injuries and inflammations that might keep one away from the gym.
During weightlifting your body is placed under a tremendous amount of stress, but Vitamin C present in fruits and vegetables help to boost your immune system to fight against possible infections and muscle damage.
Another great benefit from Vitamin C is the reduction of cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone produced when the body undergoes extreme stress like weightlifting, and is responsible for the breakdown of muscle tissue. Therefore, the less cortisol your body produces the better.
Potassium, Calcium and Fiber
During intense exercise a lot of potassium is lost during sweat. This can be replaced by having fresh fruits and vegetables rich in potassium, such as bananas, pears, mangoes, cucumber, cabbage and lettuce. Potassium is a necessary element to build muscle as it aids in muscle contractions, digestion and retains calcium.
Calcium is an important element to build strong bones which is a prerequisite if you want to put on muscle.
Fiber present in vegetables helps to reduce body fat, and keep the digestion system healthy. Vegetables are also packed with antioxidants which serve to destroy free radicals, boost the immune system and help to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Vitamins and minerals obtained directly from fruits and vegetables are better than taking vitamin or mineral supplements, because the vitamins obtained directly from fruits and vegetables are absorbed more readily by the body.
To get the maximum benefit from vegetables, it is best to have them raw or steamed. Cooking or microwaving them destroys the vitamins and minerals in them so much so that having them would be as beneficial as having a bag of banana chips.
Despite the tremendous emphasis placed on protein for building muscle, your efforts can be thwarted if you do not have a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are important because they contain the vitamins and minerals necessary for chemical reactions that promote muscle growth.
About the Author
This blog post was written by Chris Brown who blogs at Gain Build Muscle