The Truth About Protein & Muscular System Foods
To this day, confusion still reigns as to whether it's possible to have a strong, healthy body without eating meat.
Sadly most people still believe that you need to eat the flesh of dead animals to gain and maintain muscle in the human body - but that is total myth that has been promoted for generations by the meat industry.
If you look into the root etymology of the word protein, you'll see that it comes of the Greek 'proteos' which means 'first source'.
'First source' protein is that which can only be gained from eating plants, which contain the "building blocks" of what we typically refer to as protein (i.e. meat/muscle).
It's no coincidence that animals that instinctively and exclusively rely on 'first source' protein to survive, are among the strongest on the face of the earth, gaining their amino acids (building blocks of muscle) from plants to form their powerful physiques.
Cows, horses, water buffalo, oxen, elephants are all grass or plant eaters, and the strongest 'pound for pound' animal of all is the gorilla which eats nothing but fruit, seeds and leaves and has about 98% the exact same anatomical structure as human beings!
Second source protein is what you get when you eat the meat of a dead animal - in many cases these are animals that have relied on 'first source' protein to build their muscles (the meat that you're eating).
Does that mean you have to go vegetarian?
No, but just be conscious of what you're doing and WHY you're doing it.
I've been a vegetarian my whole life, but I don't judge others who aren't.
The thing to realise, is that most people who eat meat do it simply as a habituated dietary pattern and belief system that has formed over many, many years.
Before a child has been trained into eating meat, you can test which foods they're naturally attracted to by putting in front of them, a plate of chopped fruit next to a plate of chopped meat...and the answer is always clear.
But once that habit is formed, it can de difficult to give it up unless you have a big enough reason to make the change. It is possible to eat all the meat you want and still avoid cancer and dis-ease, so long as you're conscious of 'transit time' and constantly supporting the elimination of it from your body by drinking enough water, eating enough raw plant foods and keeping your body active.
There is a whole other discussion around meat, cadaverine chemistry and the question of ethics and sustainability, but we'll save that topic for another time.
The truest truth is that you don't need meat for any nutritional benefit whatsoever, including building and maintaining strength and healthy muscle.
Instead, realise that fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains have every known identifiable protein building block that exists and make these foods the primary part of your diet!
These are my top 7 muscular system whole foods:
- Chickpeas - Perfect for making hummus, falafels, salads and curries and when combined with wholegrains like organic brown rice or whole wheat pasta, deliver more protein than any meat;
- Oats - Target the health of every body system, but particularly the muscular system for the purposes of movement, strength and power;
- Spinach - Pound for pound, this is one of the most nutrient dense, muscle-feeding plants on earth that also protects against osteoporosis, arthritis, colon cancer, heart disease etc.
- Asparagus - Rich in an antioxidant called glutathione, it helps produce hormone-like messengers called prostaglandins which influence growth;
- Beans, Lentils and Legumes - Packed with protein building blocks for a healthy muscular system, hair and nails;
- Cashews - Target the muscles through enhancing circulatory function and delivering high levels of good fats and nutrients to the muscles. Quick and easy for making nut milk power smoothies!
- Soybeans - Only the organic, non-GMO variety. Grown in pods, featuring edible seeds, soybeans are rich in protein and phytoestrogens. Try them steamed, sprinkled with sea salt (Edamame) as a delightful snack.
Oh and one final thought...
I am also a big fan of free-range, organic eggs which are not only a powerful protein source, they are proven to inhibit blood clots, and for centuries yolks have been mixed with fresh grape juice as a 'blood transfusion' protocol for injured people who had lost a lot of blood.