If you’ve been following the last several days, you’re well aware that there are many plant-based foods that give us more than enough protein. There is much controversy over this issue, especially between the omnivorous and vegan communities. Let me assure you: there are lots of ways to ensure you’re getting adequate protein on a vegan diet, and lots of ways to amp up your consumption of plants on an omnivorous diet without sacrificing protein intake.
Combining a variety of plants in your diet ensures you’re getting all 10 of those amino acids we need from external sources (a popular combination is hemp, pea, brown rice, and savi seed proteins). It can help us to develop muscle tissue just as effectively as animal protein; in fact, there is no animal-based protein the body can assimilate any more effectively than a plant-based one. So why not choose the option that’s lower on the food chain (fewer pollutants and toxins), better for the environment, alkaline-forming within the body, and more digestible? Choosing plant-based proteins reduces your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and digestive issues like constipation.
For athletes concerned with needing to put on muscle, it’s easier to maintain a higher strength-to-weight ratio using plant proteins (fewer calories means less weight gain). Plant amino acids re-fabricate muscle in the same way (and you’ll be faster, lighter, and leaner for it!)
Day Five - Protein Suggestion
Peanuts are the most protein-dense of all the nuts (although they’re actually a legume). They deliver 7 grams of protein per ounce (that’s about a handful) – add some peanut butter to your smoothie, toss some whole into a salad, or create a dressing for greens using pureed + whole peanuts. Just mind portion size: they’re high in protein and high in calories.
Stay tuned: tomorrow, we’ll look the effects of protein on the body.