December 22, 2020 4 min read
Some people leave the protein out of their diet because they don't want to eat animal products. What they don't know is that plant-based proteins are just as good as animal protein at building up and repairing tissues, which is what proteins mostly do. You can't do without protein, and you don't have to. Veggie protein has the same nutritional benefits as animal proteins. Here are some of them.
Lentils are a tiny legume but they're high in protein. 25% of lentils are protein, and when you combine them with whole grain, you get the same amount of protein as you would get from meat. In addition to this, they're also a good source of plant-based iron. To get the most out of this iron, though, you have to combine it with a source of vitamin C to help in absorption.
In addition to high-quality protein, lentils are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. This is good for digestion, lowering blood cholesterol, and preventing type two diabetes. Because lentils are rich in protein and fiber, they're very good for weight management because they keep you full. That way, you eat less and avoid unhealthy snacking. They also make it to the colon, where all the beneficial gut bacteria live and feed on the lentils.
Polyphenols in lentils have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They're also rich in vitamins and minerals which improve immunity.
Another legume high in protein, chickpeas can be enjoyed roasted or cooked into curry or sauce. They're also known as garbanzo beans. They're a great alternative to meat in a veggie diet. They're rich in fiber and protein and low in calories, which makes them good for weight management. They'll keep you full without adding a lot of calories to your diet.
Compared to other plant-based sources of protein, chickpeas have higher quality protein, as they have all the essential amino acids except methionine, so all you need to do to complete your proteins is to pair them with something like wholegrain.
A major drawback about veggie protein is that they almost always lack one essential amino acid and you have to pair them up to make sure you're getting all the amino acids you need. Soybean is one of the few exceptions. Although it's a plant protein, it contains all the essential amino acids. Soybeans can be eaten in different forms but the health benefits are the same.
All these forms of soybean are complete proteins, in addition to having a lot of iron and calcium.
Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is related to the marijuana plant, but they don't have the marijuana effect. Like soybeans, they are a great source of protein because they contain all the essential amino acids. The protein is also easily digested and absorbed, with very little going to waste.
They're rich in omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, which are good for heart health, reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause.
In addition to protein and healthy fats, hemp seeds are rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and selenium. They can be added to morning cereals, mixed into smoothies, or added to salads.
Although amaranth is at times lumped together with other cereal grains, it isn't technically a cereal. Unlike other cereals, it doesn't grow from grasses, so it's considered a "pseudo cereal". In addition to being gluten-free, it has other amazing health benefits.
Unlike many veggie protein products, amaranth contains all the 9 essential amino acids. It contains 14% protein, almost double of what is found in corn and rice. It is rich in manganese, which is useful in metabolizing proteins. As a wholegrain, amaranth is high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium.
A lot of digestive problems are due to a lack of fiber in the diet. Amaranth is an excellent source of fiber and greatly improves the movement of food in the gut.
Oats and oatmealhave risen in popularity in recent years because, in addition to being highly nutritious, they are gluten-free. They are not a complete protein but they have better quality protein than other whole grains. They are the only grain source of avenalin, which is high in essential amino acids and very similar to legume protein.
Oats are also rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which make them excellent for the digestive system. They also prevent the quick release of sugars into the bloodstream, which prevents a spike in blood sugar levels. This is useful in preventing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to being a good veggie protein, oats have lots of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, phosphorous, manganese, iron, copper, and selenium.
When it comes to chia seeds, size doesn't matter. These tiny seeds are packed with so many nutrients they're considered a superfood. They contain about 19% protein which is higher than most wholegrain cereals. What's more, they're a complete veggie protein, so they cover all your essential amino acid needs.
The carbs in chia seeds are almost all fiber, so it's also good food for weight management, as most of the carbs are not absorbed into the body. The high fiber content improves digestion and encourages the growth of friendly gut bacteria. High fiber is also useful in keeping diabetes at bay.
If you're looking for an alternative to animal protein, try out these veggie protein foods, which also come with other amazing nutritional benefits.