How can Plant-based Proteins benefit you?
Reduced quantity or absence of meat in your diet can make it difficult for you to meet your body’s optimum protein requirement. Every meal should include protein since it contributes to satiety, energy and helps maintain and build muscle. If you are someone who has chosen to stay away from animal sources of protein, plant-based proteins can be your go-to source of proteins.
Our food supply now has plenty organic protein sources. Hemp and chia seeds weren’t sitting on grocery store shelves five years ago; neither were high-quality vegan protein powders. Today, we can now meet our protein needs without meat burgers or chicken wings.
One of the most common misconceptions about plant-based diets is that they lack in protein. Not only is this completely untrue, but plant-based proteins are also known to provide some amazing health benefits —
How much protein do you need?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends a daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight – that translates to about 0.35 grams per pound. A person weighing 165 pounds would need a minimum of 60 grams of protein per day. Keep in mind that this is a minimum. If you are trying to lose weight, build muscle mass, or if you exercise regularly, your protein needs may be higher – somewhere in the range of 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.
What are the benefits of plant protein?
Proteins are made up of amino acids and there are 20 of them in total. The human body is able to synthesize or create 11 of them – the remaining 9 are known as “essential amino acids” because they must come from your diet. A complete protein is one that contains all 9 of those essential amino acids and there are several plant foods that fit this description such as quinoa, buckwheat, hemp and soy.
In addition to providing the building blocks for healthy muscles and tissues, plant protein may also be beneficial for weight loss. Plant based protein tend to be lower in calories and fat than animal proteins but higher in fiber and essential nutrients. By swapping animal proteins for plant proteins, you can reduce your caloric intake and boost your daily nutrient profile. You may need to consume a variety of plant proteins to get all of the essential amino acids, but that’s also the best way to make sure you get all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you may need.
Where can you get plant-based protein?
While most plant foods contain a small amount of protein, certain foods are richer in this essential macronutrient than others. Here are some of the top sources of plant-based protein:
- Almond Butter
- Chia seeds
- Beans with rice
If you feel like you aren’t getting enough protein, you can always boost your smoothie with a plant-based protein powder. This is a particularly helpful option if you love intense workouts and want to retain and build muscle shortly after a training session. You can also opt for plant-based protein products. Buy them here.