One of the most argued topics when it comes to nutrition revolves around protein. Some people argue that we humans need protein specifically from meat, while others say that plant-based protein is much better for both your body and the environment. If you were a meat-lover, you might have been wondering if the latter argument is even valid. Well, let us tell you that yes—plants do give you protein.
In this article, we will talk about how you can get protein from plants, as well as the benefits of doing so.
Where can I get protein from plants?
There are plenty of plants that give you protein, specifically seeds and beans. Here are a few examples of plants that provide you with an excellent amount of protein: black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas, kale, lentils, quinoa, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal.
If you have read through the list, you might notice how your regular diet might already include one or a few of these food items. However, if you do not have any of them in your diet, then don’t worry! They are super easy to incorporate into your meals. For example, quinoa can be an excellent replacement for rice, meaning that your next rice-packed meal can be quinoa instead. Lentils make great soup as well, so the next time you decide to boil some soup, throw in some lentils. Beans and legumes work well in soups and add a punch of protein!
What are the advantages of plant-based protein over meats?
If you do not know, your body requires twenty different amino acids that form the proteins. While the body can naturally produce eleven of these, the remaining nine comes from your diet.
Where do you get the remaining nine amino acids? Simple. From plants! Food items like quinoa contain all nine of the amino acids, as well as other nutrients that helps boost your body's health. That means that not only are you giving your body what it needs in terms of amino acids, but you’re giving it so much more, such providing it with fiber, vitamins, and various minerals.
The biggest benefit plants have over meat, however, is that plants do not add to your caloric intake. In other words, plant-based protein is an extremely healthy form of protein and one you do not have to be guilty about eating.
How much of this plant-based protein must I eat daily?
This will depend on how much protein you need, which is based on your lifestyle. For example, if you were to compare someone who just sat all day and did nothing versus one who goes out to jog every so often, the latter will require more protein to build muscle mass and retain their weight. For that reason, you must first calculate how much protein you need daily. Only then can you do the math for how much of the protein you will need to consume, plant-based or not.
As for plants, most of them will come with a protein per serving. For example, quinoa comes with 8g of protein per serving, which means that if you need around 60 grams of protein during the day, you will need approximately 7.5 servings to fulfill that number.
If you are worried that eating only vegetables is going to leave you protein-less, think again. As you can see, not only are plants packed with protein, but they are super easy to incorporate into your meals. To add to that, they are packed with all sorts of other nutrients that help further boost your body's functions and overall health. So, if you want to take protein in the healthiest way possible, you know what to do! Grab that bag of quinoa the next time you head to the grocery store!
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