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The best sources of plant-based protein

There are plenty of sources of plant-based protein.

Whether you follow a vegan diet or not you might want to add more plant-based foods to your diet. Choosing a plant-based diet is not only beneficial to your health, but promote environmental sustainability.

A typical question when moving towards a more plant-based diet is ”But where do I get my protein from?”

High quality protein foods are essential for a healthy and balanced diet. However, there is a common misunderstanding that people following a plant-based diet are unable to consume enough protein. (Harvard Health Publishing; Healthy Eating Plate)

 

What is protein?

Protein is made up of amino acids that our bodies use in almost every internal process we have. The primary function of protein is growth and repair of tissues and cells. Protein also has a transport function (act as a carrier for other nutrients), hormonal function (e.g. insulin), immune function (antibodies fight illness), buffering function (maintain PH balance of the blood) and enzymatic function (all enzymes are proteins).

Essential amino acids: These are the amino acids that your body cannot create on its own, and that you must obtain by following a various diet;

Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.

Non-essential amino acids: These non-essential amino acids exist and are synthesized by the body. Hence, although they are an important part of building proteins, they do not need to be included in an everyday diet;

Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Tyrosine, Proline and Serine. (sproutliving.com)

 

Protein combining

It’s definitely possible to get all the nutrients from only plant-based foods, you just might have to put some extra thought into your meal planning.

A protein is considered a low quality if one or more essential amino acids are missing. Protein quality is usually defined according to the amino acid pattern of egg protein, which is regarded as ideal. Plant-based foods are referred to as Low Biological Value -> For example grains tend to be short in Lysine and pulses short in Methionine. However, when these two foods are combined they create a high quality protein. This is referred to as protein combining = Combining different foods in order to obtain a high quality protein (beans with toast / peanut butter sandwich / black beans & rice etcetera). For more information about vegan protein combinations.

 

Below you’ll find some of the best plant-based protein foods;

Spirulina

Tempeh

Black beans

Quinoa

Amaranth

Buckwheat

Lentils

Seeds; Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds

Chickpeas

Green peas

Nuts; Almonds, peanuts and cashews

 

We’ve to take responsibility, and start taking better care of our planet. Make it a better place for generations to come. And one easy way to do it is to choose more plants. Open up your eyes, please. Sometimes I feel humans are so narrow-minded, and not willing to change old habits. Habits that aren’t even good for us; we’ve gotten so used to them so we couldn’t think it would be possible to live without them. Newsflash – it’s possible! You might not feel ready to completely stop eating meat, fish and dairy products, but I ask you to become more aware, and maybe even cut down on your consumption. Your body and home will thank you ❤

 

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