Are you getting enough proteins from your diet? As a vegan or as someone who is in a search of plant-based foods, are you searching for the plant-based protein sources? You should make sure you are taking enough proteins in addition to the rest nutrition. It plays vital role in the production and maintenance of every body cell.
Why Does Human Body Need Protein?
Protein is made up of amino acids which are known as the building blocks of proteins, which are arranged in long peptide chains. Interestingly, proteins are widely known as Macronutrients, which means you need it in large amounts for a healthy body.
Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women
Protein helps build nails, hair, bones and muscles. It helps you feel full, even if you have not eaten much. And, unlike nutrients that are found only in a few foods, proteins are abundantly present everywhere
Protein is an important aspect in building of bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. Hair and nails comprised most of proteins. These proteins are used by your body to build and repair tissue. Red blood cells are comprised of a protein compound that carries oxygen throughout the body. This helps nutrients supply to the rest of your body. Proteins are used in enzymes making aiding in food digestion. Proteins also play an important role in hormone regulation.
Is Plant-Based Diet Sufficient?
A diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, beans, soy foods, and nuts and seeds, that is a complete plant-based diet, provides enough proteins essential for your growth. Interestingly certain plant foods comprise of much more proteins than others.
Plant-based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you may have been proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
Which Plants Are Good Sources of Food?
Soy milk is a high-protein plant used as an alternative to cow’s milk. It can be used in a variety of ways.
Oats are not only nutritious but also are an easy and delicious source of plant protein.
Chia seeds are also used in variety of plant protein sources. They contain important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants.
Nuts, seeds and their butters are an easy source of adding plant proteins to your diet. Consuming them raw and with no other additives usually enrich their nutrient content.
Seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten. Its high protein content, meat-like texture makes it a popular plant-based protein choice.
Fresh fruits generally have a lower protein content than vegetables. Fruits like Guava, Cherimoyas, Nectarines, Mulberries, Blackberries And Bananas are the primary source of fruit-based proteins
Potato is one of the highest amino acid foods consumed globally. Both potato and sweet potato, are the richest sources of glutamate.
Quinoa is called as a complete protein. Almost all whole plant foods contain all the 9 essential amino acids. Still, quinoa, like tofu, has a large amount of all of the essential amino acids making it a great plant-based protein option.
Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame are all soybean products and are considered a complete source of protein. They also contain good amounts of several other nutrients and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Lentils are nutritional powerhouses. They are rich in protein and contain good amounts of other nutrients.
Beans, especially chickpeas are health-promoting, protein-packed legumes that contain a variety of beneficial plant proteins.
Yeast is a popular plant-based ingredient often used to give dishes a dairy-free cheese flavor. It is high in protein and various nutrients.
Green peas are high in protein and can be used as more than just a side dish.
Spirulina is a nutritious protein rich food with many beneficial health-enhancing properties.
Amaranth and quinoa are pseudo cereals that provide you with a complete source of protein. They can be prepared and eaten similar to traditional grains such as wheat and rice.
Ezekiel bread made from sprouted grains have an enhanced protein and nutrient profile, compared to more traditional breads.
Broccoli actually has more protein than some types of beef.
Pumpkin Seeds are one of the excellent sources of plant-based proteins
Buckwheat is a type of grain that doesn’t grow on grasses but is used similarly like other cereals.
Rice, as a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population. Amino acid content in rice grains is affected by high temperature during the early grain-filling period. Histidine, Lysine & valine are the amino acids present in rice.
Black Beans are complete proteins similar to oats, black beans too contain all nine essential amino acids necessary to make up a complete protein. but they don’t have quite enough of the amino acid methionine to qualify as a complete protein.
Oats contains all nine essential amino acids necessary to make up a complete protein. However, oats don’t have quite enough of the amino acid lysine to qualify as a complete protein.
Protein deficiencies among vegetarians and vegans and those who just love plant-based foods more than nonvegetarian foods are far from being the norm, or you may be one of those people interested in increasing their plant protein intake for some other reasons. Whatever the reason may be, the above lists can be used as a guide for anyone interested in adding more plant-based proteins into their diet. The plant-based foods are excellent sources of protein and other nutrients, supporting the vegan foodies, easily and abundantly available in your nearby store, cheaper than meats and often with fewer calories than animal products.