Whether you are determined to go vegetarian or you just want to reduce meat intake, you should not neglect proteins in your meals, as they are highly required ingredients in the human diet. There are more than 10,000 different types of proteins that construct our bodies. A deficit of proteins in the diet can cause swallowing, skin degeneration, increased risk of bone fracture and infection, fatty liver, muscle wasting, and stunt children’s growth.
In the additional text, a Better Weigh Medical will help you take a step into a plant-based protein diet in a healthy way by exposing the plants rich in proteins that can provide optimum nutrition and supply your recommended daily intake (RDI).
What are proteins and why are they so important in our diet?
Proteins are an essential part of our body as they are principal components of muscles, skin, eyes, heart, brain, and other internal organs as they are vital for every body tissue. With its share, they participate with 17% of the total body mass. Proteins are long chains of amino acids, and in protein foods, they break into 22 proteinogenic amino acids. Out of these genetically encoded amino acids, 9 are known as essential, meaning our body has to extract them from the food.
The approximations are that RDI for an adult should be 0,75 grams per 1kg of body weight. One protein portion should be the size of the palm of your hand, and an average woman roughly should intake 44 grams of protein daily, while an average man a little more which is 55 grams. While a deficit of proteins can cause serious conditions, too much protein intake is considered safe yet there are no benefits in taking an excessive amount of protein.
However, in the cases where a very high protein intake is conducted from processed meat, kidney disease may occur due to the high level of animal proteins, salt, and saturated that processed food contains in large amounts.
The key to supplying the body with a sufficient amount of proteins in a plant-based diet is to combine different sources of proteins.
Animal-based protein and Plant-based protein diet
In most European countries, proteins are supplied by consuming different types of meat and animal products. To substitute animal-based proteins you need to intake plants rich in proteins, and not just every plant is protein-rich. Additionally, some plants have contains proteins that are not qualified for man, meaning their proteins our digestive system can not well digest and absorb. There are variations in protein quantity in plants which is usually lower than in meat, and some plants contain specific substances such as tannins, phytates, and saponins that can inhibit protein absorption. The key to supplying the body with plant-based proteins is in combining different giants and vegetables, for instance, beans with rice or tofu and broccoli.
Now, let’s take a look a plant-based protein food and its protein values in its edible, cooked form:
Quinoa is a seed that comes in various colors: red, white, and black of the mixture. The 100 grams of cooked quinoa supplies 4 grams of proteins. The advantage of quinoa above most plants is that it contains every 22 types of amino acids.
Pulses are considered every kind of seed growing in a pod, which means that every bean, lentil, and peas belong to the group of pulses.
Lentils (puy, red and green) contain 8-9 grams of protein in 100 cooked grams, chickpeas and hummus 9 protein grams in 100 grams cooked
garden peas 7 grams of protein per 100 grams cooked
Beans (butter, pinto, soya, black-eyed, cannellini, edamame, kidney) 7 to 10 grams per 100 cooked grams
Beaked beans are also an adequate resource of proteins 5 grams in 100 grams of baked beans. However, consider the amount of salt they integrate.
Tofu is also known as bean curd and its widely used as it is convenient in preparing by cooking, blending, frying, and baking. It provides 8 grams of protein per 100 grams of tofu. Tofu is a soybean product, therefore keep in mind that GMO soy is 94% of all planted soy in the world.
- Seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts are versatile as they can be added to various recipes in sweet and salty dishes or taken as a snack. The most protein-rich are:
Hemp seed with 5 grams of proteins in a full tablespoon
Ground linseed 3 grams per tablespoon
Almonds 3 grams in six units of almond
Walnuts approximately 1 gram of protein in each whole walnut
Pumpkin seed 4 grams per one tablespoon
Pistachios 10 units contain 1 gram of proteins
Cashew nuts 10 units provide 3 protein grams
Brazil nuts 6 units supplies with 4 grams of proteins
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds are another versatile protein supplier as they can be added almost everywhere, sprinkled in desserts and salads, soups, breakfasts, and various other dishes. A full tablespoon of chia seed provides 3 grams of protein. Their hydrophilic characteristics (their ability to expand when soaked in water) make them a great alternative for eggs.
This seed is a popular ingredient in flakes, pasta, groats, and flours as it contains a high protein content of 5 grams in 100 grams of buckwheat, and additionally is gluten-free and fiber-rich.
Oats are a truly great source of protein as it contains 10 grams of protein in 100 grams.
- Other grains
Brown and white rice, teff, amaranth, and sorghum each contain 4 grams of protein per 100 grams, while spelt integrates 5 grams for the same amount.
Brussels sprouts, kale, and spinach supplies with 2 grams of protein in an 80-gram serving
Sweetcorn 2 protein grams in 6 tablespoons, Jerusalem artichoke 1 gram, cauliflower slightly more with 1,5 grams, while broccoli even 3 grams per 80 grams serving.