The human body is quite amazing. It can repair itself, rejuvenate itself and perform many basic and intricate functions. When it comes to building muscle, there are certain high-protein foods that can help get your body in excellent shape. 

Our nutritionists have done the research and come up with the best vegan foods to help you achieve strong muscle tissue with a healthier physique. Why vegan, you ask? Because these foods don’t involve saturated fat, and vegan protein comes from clean sources free of antibiotics and chemicals.

1. Beans/Legumes

Many people have adopted a vegan lifestyle because it presents multiple benefits that include helping you maintain healthy body weight and avoid cancer and heart disease. A vegan diet is also often adopted for ethics surrounding animal treatment.

Nutrition plays a key role in muscle development, and high-protein foods with a surplus of calories lead to muscle gain. When you’re a vegan, however, you want to ensure that the foods you are eating provide a sufficient intake of protein, calories, and micronutrients.

Plant-based protein is the way to go, and beans and legumes are a superb muscle-building food. Best of all, there is a wide variety of them to choose from such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans (edamame), split pea, etc.

Nutritional experts say that legumes and beans can deliver anywhere from 20 to 25 grams of protein per 100 grams and are filling and tasty. Also, these “meaty” foods contain lots of fiber to keep your body sleek and keep fat off the belly.

2. Tofu

Tofu comes from soybeans, and you would assume that it would be categorized under plant-based protein. However, tofu is actually classified as a vegetable protein and grouped with meat and eggs because it is processed into a protein food.

Either way, many vegans become addicted to tofu because it is a pure organic food packed with vitamins and minerals, including calcium. Tofu adds immense texture and flavor when mixed with other foods as in stir-fry, spaghetti, salads, curries, and more. It also results in being an incredible, complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids.

Here’s one way to absorb the wonderful muscle-building benefits: Try a delicious tofu dinner if you work out in the afternoon doing vegan strength training. The very versatile meat substitute boasts 12 grams of protein per 100 grams.

3. Seeds/Kernels

If you enjoy snacking by the handful, then seeds and kernels are a healthy way of getting that much-needed protein for building lean, strong muscle as you stay active and work out. Once again, a vegan diet gives you plenty of yummy options and crunches.

For example, sesame seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds are some good ones to start with. All of them contain a whopping 20 to 30 grams of protein per 100 grams. In addition, there are many delicious ways to add these seeds and kernels to your daily diet.

You could make a smoothie or have a bowl of hot oatmeal (another great vegan muscle-enforcer) and toss some seeds in. Or how about mixing several seeds together and sprinkling them over salads or into that cup of yogurt you enjoy each afternoon. Any way you eat them, seeds and kernels offer that big, energetic boost of protein to help your muscles as they build up and gain strength.

You may be wondering how such tiny foods as seeds and kernels could have a major impact on the body and its muscle-building efforts, but it’s true. Hemp seeds alone are another one of those complete protein sources, and if you’ve never sampled hemp seeds, they taste like a combination of sunflower seeds and pine nuts. 

Don’t worry about getting a buzz off eating hemp seeds. It won’t happen and won’t affect a drug test you take. What you will get in return are fiber, zinc, magnesium, thiamine, and excellent vegetarian protein.


If you’re working out and trying to maintain a fit body, vegan foods can help you reap the rich benefits that come from including these foods in your daily diet. Find vegan foods containing the nine essential amino acids for optimal muscle-building. Here’s to the vegan lifestyle!