In order to build lean muscles properly, the essential amino acid Leucine is required. Here are some easy to include vegan foods that contain it.
Vegan-Friendly Leucine Amino Acids
Vegan fitness fundi’s don’t need to miss out on good nutrients which will help them to build lean muscles.
While we’ve covered protein options for vegans previously, here are some Leucine-rich amino acid building food items that are vegan friendly, which will help your body along.
What Is Leucine?
Leucine is one of the essential amino acids which human bodies cannot produce on their own and can only be ingested through dietary means. While there are plenty of animal products that contain this essential amino acid, mainstream media doesn’t usually cover alternative ways to incorporate it into your diet.
What Does Leucine Do For You?
Leucine is part of the branch-chain amino acids which are important when it comes to building and repairing muscles, and it just so happens to be the king of this group (the others are valine and isoleucine).
These three branch-chain amino acids help several bodily functions, such as regulating the blood sugar, helps with wound healing, assists with producing human growth hormones, and assists in the muscular system about muscle building, muscle recovery and preventing muscle loss. Leucine also helps to control weight as it assists with increasing the leptin response in the body which regulates appetite and hunger.
Leucine Rich Foods
While animal products contain ample amounts of leucine, and vegetarians can meet their levels with dairy and eggs, vegan options are few and far between – though supplement companies are starting to fill this gap in the market. If you prefer to eat it, then the below foods are high in leucine and easy to incorporate into your current fitness regimental diet.
Oats: A quick and easy morning porridge to make, oats contain a fairly high amount of Leucine in their makeup. This is why you’ll often find bodybuilders utilising oats in various ways within their diet. Another benefit oats can give you is to help with regulated energy release as well as assisting with blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Quinoa: A superfood in its own right, a cup of quinoa has all the essential amino acids in it that you need an day, including a high amount of leucine. It also includes magnesium; as well as B vitamins and iron, and each cup also boasts 8g of protein. It is very easy to swap it into your diet in place of rice or polenta, and it can also masquerade as a sweet breakfast option with a bit of plant-milk and date syrup.
Soya: Best consumed as soybeans, and a good protein source, soy is another good protein option that has a good amount of leucine in it. Eat the soybeans dry roasted while you learn more for the best benefits or consume it in a different form such as miso paste, tofu, soy milk, or edamame beans.
Along with these options above, you can also incorporate various beans and lentils which have smaller – but still effective – amounts of leucine within them. Lentils, chickpeas, cashews and adzuki are all good options to consider.