What are the benefits of plant-based protein?
The benefits of eating plant-based protein are abundant and it's easier than ever to incorporate such benefits into your diet. A few benefits of plant-based proteins are listed below. For a comprehensive list, especially of plant-based protein powder, check out this 11 Benefits of using Plant based Protein Powder.
Plant-based diets have been shown to be the most beneficial for weight loss, reversing chronic diseases, and improving overall health as we dive into below.
Since plants are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, they increase good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL). This has many benefits including a lower risk of heart disease. A study involving 41 different countries around the world found that increasing intakes of carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains/cereals was associated with significant reductions in mortality rates. The benefits attributed to this dietary practice were pronounced in developing nations where cardiovascular disease is much more prevalent than in developed countries.
So, let's get right into them. A plant-based diet can:
Help you live longer
Plant-based proteins are rich in antioxidants which prevent damage to cells. A new study from 2016 found that those receiving their energy from legumes and other seeds had significantly lower mortality rates. The protein contained in plants and seeds contributes to long health and good immune systems. It also makes you look younger.
Decrease the risk of disease
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help with cancer prevention, and reduce inflammation throughout the body, especially in joints which benefits people who suffer from arthritis or any other form of chronic pain. The Journal of the American Heart Association states that the consumption of plant protein reduces the risk for cardiovascular diseases. The fiber that cleanses the body and keeps the digestive tract healthy can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
According to this study, eating plant-based protein cuts the risk of cardiovascular infections including pulmonary arrhythmias and coronary artery diseases. People who consumed only 3 to 8 percent less food with plant proteins had an average mortality rate of 20 to 40 percent. Meatless Mondays have made bigger strides than you thought
Ongoing research suggests that high cholesterol is associated with red meat and animal protein levels. Eating high-fiber food will reduce cholesterol levels as well to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Your body needs a bit more cholesterol. This helps it form a number of different cells in the body, as do vitamin E and other substances in the body. This buildup can combine with other substances, leading to the accumulation of thick hard deposits on the internal walls of arteries. This can increase the risk of heart disease including the risk of blood clots. If you're struggling with high cholesterol or a major problem for your body, going plant based may be a very smart choice.
Keep your gut healthy
Plant-based proteins are much easier to digest than animal-based proteins which makes for a much more comfortable digestive system! They have higher amounts of fiber than many meat proteins, and this is great news when you consider that 74% of the population suffers from digestion problems at some point in their life.
Those who eat a plant-based diet have a unique gut profile that provides less disease-causing organisms and more protective species which help keep your inflammation levels low. Bad gut health can have many health consequences — such as fatigue anxiety & depression, skin conditions, and autoimmune diseases. By getting more vegetables into a diet Berghoff explains how this will promote good gut microbiome balance. How good is it to maintain a good microbalance if you get the right diet to boost your overall well-being and reduce pain? Poor digestive health might also worsen your symptoms.
Help increase weight loss
Plant protein may help you reach your goals more effectively than any other protein alternative. This type of protein is usually lower in calories than other options. Thereby, lower calories consumed that fat reduction promoted. To lose weight you must eat fewer calories every day instead of just burning them. This deficit is where the excess weight is burned into the highest possible intake. It can be quite difficult to consume just a portion of the normal calories because it is required to fuel your body with good quality food.
Furthermore, eating plant-based protein has also been linked to weight loss and healthy weight maintenance because it leaves people feeling satiated longer. A meal with 20g of fiber will leave your stomach feeling full for three to five hours whereas a meal without fiber will leave you feeling hungry again in about an hour to two hours.
Improve your athletic performance
Tom Brady has been a big proponent of plant-based protein. His diet is 80% plant-based. Many other athletes are turning to plant-based protein and a vegetarian diet. This becomes many have seen improvement in athletic performance. These athletes have also experienced a higher level of energy, increased recovery, and increased power.
Benefit the planet
Eating plant-based protein has benefits for the planet as well! It's estimated that if everyone in America stopped eating beef, it would be the equivalent of taking 50 million cars off the road each year. By choosing more plant-based proteins, you are doing something wonderful not only for your body but also for your environment.
What are the disadvantages of plant-based protein?
The benefits of plant-based protein come with some disadvantages as well. Many people who go vegan often end up missing out on some very important nutrients such as vitamin B12, calcium, and iron. These benefits can be counteracted by taking supplements of these specific vitamins and minerals every day.
Vitamin B12 is not made by plants or animals, but instead by microorganisms that surround them. The best way to get this vitamin is through fortified foods such as soy and tofu, that contain it or taking a vegan supplement if you are following a plant-based diet.
Calcium can also be found in many green vegetables, but the benefits are much more prominent in dairy products. Calcium benefits bones and teeth health so you will need to find other sources when hypothetically following a plant-based lifestyle. You can find calcium by consuming leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, bok choy, and napa cabbage.
Iron benefits athletes because it carries oxygen in their blood for maximum energy production during training sessions. If you're feeling weak or fatigued, you might want to consider taking an iron supplement.
You should speak with your doctor regularly about your dietary choices just like if you were taking any medication so they know if there are any deficiencies which they can help fix! It can be quite complicated for people who try to maintain a plant-based diet to meet all their nutritional needs. As you can see, there are benefits and disadvantages to a plant-based diet. If you aren't ready for a complete shift from an omnivore diet to a plant-based one, incorporating more plants into your daily meals is the best way to go. This will ensure that your body doesn't get too deprived of any essential vitamins and minerals while still getting benefits such as increased weight loss, decreased risk of heart disease, and more energy all day long!
What are the types of plant-based protein?
As you start your journey towards consuming plant-based protein, there's an easy way to think about how to add more plant protein into your diet. The ingredients below along with some easy ways to create recipes will give you an idea of how to consume more plant-based protein.
One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams of fiber. These are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Chia seeds can be added to smoothies and puddings because they increase protein content; they're also good friends of savory food. You can mix up your seeds as well as adding pesto or dressing in a smoothie.
One cup gives you 14g of protein and 12 grams of fiber. In the whole form, chickpeas become simple additions to savory salads. Try them at wrap-ups falafels hummus or chickpeas-cakes. There is no shortage of options for mashes and hummus.
One slice contains 5 grams of protein. No other bread can give you that. Because of the base of lentils, soy and sprout, and whole grains - Ezekiel bread has a robust nutrition profile that is much higher in protein than other bread products. With many ingredients, this loaf offers a rich and hearty texture.
One tablespoon of spirulina can contain 20 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein. The protein is in fact a sort of algae, therefore it doesn't surprise most people when it is described as flavoring like saltwater. To put it into meals or blending it into smoothies or simply mixing it into water and juice. You can take spirulina tablets in smoothies or even in cooking. The most common approach to use it is mixing or combining it in smoothies and adding it to juices or using water in food.
Regular eggs contain 6 grams of protein, whereas fake eggs contain 5 grams. Eggless egg is very close to replicating taste and texture as the real thing but contains more sodium than the real ones. Utilize as you would regular eggs.
Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts contain a high level of monounsaturated fat that promotes optimal immune health. They each contain between 20 to 30 grams of protein per cup! Nuts can be used as snacks, on top of desserts, or as different nut butters.
Mycoprotein is another meat replacement that goes by the brand name "Quorn", that's made by a naturally occurring fungus. It is available in various formats and tries to mimic chicken. One serving gives you 15 grams of protein. Though Quorn is made of plants, it must not be baked before the meal. Lastly, note that the primary ingredient needed to make Mycoprotein can act as an allergen for some people, so be careful before trying this plant protein.
Another commonly used plant protein, in just one scoop of pea protein, you get 24 grams of protein, 90 calories, and 36 percent of your daily dose of iron. Pea protein is commonly used in store-bought products including pea milk as well as a meat alternative. As a stand-alone food, you will most probably see it offered in powder form but it's not chalky or gritty and blends well in recipes. For vegans, a combination of pea protein and rice protein is known to help build muscle mass, as it combines the right essential amino acids to form a complete protein. Why combining pea and rice protein can build muscle mass.
One cup of lentils is made up of up to 14g of fiber plus 18g of protein. Lentils are available in several colors including Green, Brown Yellow, Red, and Black. You can expect their flavor at a different temperature as well as a slightly creamy texture during cooking. Their relatively neutral flavor and velvety smoothness lend themselves well to soups, curries, and salads. You can also substitute them with a fraction of ground meat in dishes like Tacos, casseroles, and burgers.
Quinoa is one of the world's most popular health foods. It is an excellent plant protein, as it has a great balance of fiber, calcium, potassium, complex carbohydrates, and contains sufficient amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. Oh, and did we mention the 8 grams of protein per cup? It has a texture similar to couscous and is gluten-free. It is most commonly paired up in bowls as a substitute for where you would add rice.
Soy Foods: Tempeh, Tofu, and Edamame.
Soy food is the highest protein vegan option! One 3-ounce serving of tempeh provides up to 15 grams of protein, where tofu provides 8 grams, and edamame supplies seven grams per half-cup. Crispy firm tempeh and tofu create a tasty base for stir-fries, tacos, and even sandwiches. Edamame has a creamy almost buttery flavor right out of the shell. Use silken tofu when adding protein to a smoothie or as a substitution for ricotta cheese. Enjoy trying soy crumbles as a partial substitute for all dishes in which ground meat is needed.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods
Beyond meat has different products such as Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage. They are both meat alternatives made from plants. The goal of the company is to make plant based foods indistinguishable in taste, texture, and even smell from animal-based foods like beef or chicken. Beyond meat is made using ingredients such as pea protein, soy, and sunflower oil. Impossible Foods is a similar product that makes their own version called the "Impossible Burger" which is made using wheat protein, potato protein, and coconut oil; ingredients they say closely resemble real beef. This vegan burger cooks up just like any ground beef patty on the stovetop or on an outdoor grill. And it doesn't taste half bad. So if you're bonding over a bbq, one of these two burgers may be your answer.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to consuming plant-based protein. You can get plant-based protein from several sources such as soy products (such as tofu), legumes (including lentils and peas), nuts, seeds, vegetables, grains, and even some fruits. Furthermore, it benefits the environment as well as your health. The benefits of plant-based protein include muscle building, weight loss, cholesterol reduction, and better heart health. Plant proteins are also rich in fiber which helps lower cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss. As you can see, even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, consuming more plant-based protein benefits everyone!