So you’re on a good path! Eating good-quality, balanced plant-based proteins, listening to your body, adjusting your intake as needed. But if you’ve been wondering all along how that protein is making the magic happen, today’s your day! Chew. Swallow. Read on.
When protein reaches your stomach, it is “unfolded” by acid. Digestive enzymes then pull the amino acid chains apart into smaller units called peptides. These move to your small intestine, where pancreatic enzymes continue to work on the peptides until they’re reduced to single amino acids. These are absorbed through the lining of your intestine and directed to cells as needed, via the bloodstream. This is why it’s essential to have high-quality proteins in your diet: they are directly contributing to the building of blood and cells – and in effect, your thoughts, mood, and physical capacity to do everything you do!
Day Four - Protein Suggestion
Soy is a tricky one: many people are allergic to it without knowing it, and the cheap mass production of soy means it’s in just about every packaged product out there. The key to getting the protein-tastic benefits of this plant is to avoid heavily-processed products like soy ice cream and faux meats; instead, look for whole, organic options prepared in traditional ways (tempeh, tofu, miso, or edamame are great options). Tempeh contains 41 grams of protein per cup! While soy can be difficult to digest, it is often easiest on the body in these forms.
Check back tomorrow for information on why animal proteins aren’t your only (or best) option.