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Plant Based Foods: Your Answer to Weight Gain, Energy Gain and Recovery

The T-20 World Cup season has just ended with Australia winning their first ever T-20 World Cup. It has been quite an eventful season, I must say. 

It is said that the feeling the players get after winning a game is surreal, thousands of people chanting the team’s name, the stadium echoing with cheers, smiles and laughter everywhere. It is indeed a magical moment. Even thinking about the adrenaline surge these guys experience after each game gives me the chills.. 

Now, imagine a player injures himself during a training session or during a game, but he has to be up and about for the next game as soon as possible. How does one do it? 

The players look at intense physiotherapy sessions and a change in their diet.

Let us look at one such story of James Wilks. He is a former professional mixed martial artist and the winner of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom (2009). 

Being a successful UFC player, during one of his fights, he was severely injured and was unable to train for his upcoming fight. 

To speed up his recovery process, James Wilks does extensive research on plant-based diets and looks for backed-up evidence on it. The entire process of his journey has been explained in the Netflix documentary, The Game Changers.

The documentary goes on to explain how the misconception of non-vegetarians being more strong came into existence and following a plant-based diet dates back to the Roman Era. 

On an interesting side note, upon analysing the bones excavated from Ephesus, Turkey, the gladiator burial ground, it was found that these fierce fighters followed a carefully regimented plant based diet and intense training.This gave them the nickname, “Hordearii” meaning, beans and barley muncher. Fascinating right? 

The next obvious question, how does a plant based diet give you so much energy, help in gaining weight and also speed up any injury recovery process? What does it contain? What are the other benefits?

Benefits of a Plant Based Diet

1. Keeps Your heart Stronger and Healthier 

Studies have shown that following a plant based diet can reduce the risk of heart diseases by 52%.

Meat carries saturated fat, which can cause heart problems if consumed in large amounts.

Whole plant-based foods are high in fibre, have no dietary cholesterol, and have low saturated fat content, making them ideal for heart health.

2. Lowers the Level of Bad Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels can cause fatty deposits in the circulation, restricting blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. A nutritious diet, on the other hand, can help keep cholesterol levels in check. 

Plant-based foods like whole grains or fruits and veggies also have healthy substances called sterols and this can help in reducing the bad cholesterol levels. 

3. Supports your Immune system thereby speeding up your recovery

Plants contain critical elements that are unavailable from other sources. Plants contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that help maintain your cells healthy and your body in balance, allowing your immune system to perform at its best. 

The antioxidants also help in reducing oxidative stress in your body caused due to an injury.

4. Gives You More Energy

A plant based diet offers you approximately 70% more protein than required for an average human being. Any plant based food is a powerhouse of proteins

Proteins are strings of amino acids and it is found that every single plant contains all amino acids making them healthy, easy to absorb and keep you energised. 

5. Helps in Healthy Weight Gain/Bodybuilding

Plant-based diets can help you maintain a healthy weight by naturally suppressing your hunger, but they can occasionally be too effective.

When you eat a plant-based diet, you will naturally consume more fibre, which promotes feelings of fullness and helps you control your weight. Bananas, potatoes, cereal, bread, and rice cakes are examples of high-calorie, high-carbohydrate plant foods that can help you gain a healthy weight.

5 Best Additions to a Plant-Based Diet

1. Channa

Channa or Chickpeas are a wonderful plant-based protein source. A 1-cup (164-gram) portion has roughly 14.5 g of protein, which is comparable to black beans and lentils. Chickpea protein may aid in promoting fullness and controlling your appetite. 

Protein is also renowned for its weight-loss, bone-health, and muscle-strengthening properties. Chickpeas have nearly all of the necessary amino acids in them. So, go channa to get in shape!

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense root vegetables. They’re high in fibre and antioxidants, which help protect your body from free radical damage while also promoting gut and brain health. They’re also high in beta-carotene, which is transformed to vitamin A and helps to maintain strong vision and immunity.

Sweet potatoes are a flexible carbohydrate that can be used in both sweet and savoury meals, making them a great choice for most individuals. Go Sweet potato for recovery and Healthy carbs!

3. Almonds

Almonds are a nutrient-dense food. They include a variety of vital elements and can be a decent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. They’re also versatile, you can add it to any of your favorite smoothies, desserts, rice or just munch on some roasted almonds. Go almonds for bodybuilding!

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious powerhouse. Broccoli has a number of powerful antioxidants that may help your body’s cells and tissues stay healthy. It also provides an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient known to support healthy immune response. Go Broccoli for good health!

5. Makhana 

Makhana or popularly known as Fox nuts are low in fat and high in carbohydrates, proteins and minerals; a combination eagerly desired by today’s health-conscious society. 

The nutritional profile is similar to wheat and other power-packed cereals. Similar to almonds, makhanas are also versatile, you can add it to dishes, desserts or just roast them and munch on it. Go makhana for goodness and health!

Final thoughts

Equipped with knowledge and awareness of plant based diet, what it means, its benefits, and a few options for the diet plan, it’s now your turn to earn the nickname “Hordearii”. 

Start with ordering your favourite flavour of Nummy Makhana here.  

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided solely for educational reasons and is not intended to replace medical treatment provided by a healthcare professional. Because each person’s needs are different, the reader should check with their doctor to see if the material is appropriate for them.

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