Lean, Mean & Green! Four Reasons to try Plant based Proteins
1. They are complete and so much more!
Proteins are long strings of amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids you need for good health, but our bodies can only make eleven of them. The remaining nine are referred to as essential amino acids. Because we can’t make them, it is essential for us to get them from our diet. Foods that contain all nine essential aminos are known as complete proteins, although they are not necessarily better protein sources.
And did you know that many plants have complete proteins? A few examples are pea, soy and hemp seeds. Other plant proteins are only slightly incomplete, so if you’re eating a variety of them you’ve got a complete protein powerhouse. You don’t even have to eat them all at the same meal or even on the same day.
Plant Proteins are rarely found in isolation; a wide variety of other nutrients come along as co-passengers with protein in plants. These nutrients include fiber, vitamins (e.g. Folate, B12, D), and minerals (e.g. Iron, Zinc, Calcium). As a result, diets high in plant protein are associated with health benefits. Studies suggest that vegetarians tend to have lower body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
2. They are as effective as Animal Proteins!
A considerable amount of research has demonstrated that when compared to whey protein, certain plant proteins generated increases in muscle thickness and lean body mass that were either equivalent or insignificantly less than the results generated by participants taking Whey protein.
3. They protect us more ways than we know!
There’s no comparison between animal foods and plant foods when it comes to providing immune-boosting and cancer-fighting nutrients. Animal foods are either exceedingly low or devoid of antioxidants and tend to offer concentrated amounts of individual nutrients, like protein or calcium, while being deficient in many others. By contrast, plant foods are rich in antioxidants and provide a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting nutrients.
Only plants contain powerful substances called phytochemicals, which scientists are now discovering protect us from cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses. Plants are also the primary source of all minerals in our diet. Minerals are derived from the earth and make their way into the food supply via plants. The only reason animal foods contain any minerals at all is because the animals eat plants. And plants are our only sources of dietary fiber, which binds in our intestines with fat, cholesterol, environmental pollutants and disease-causing hormones to eliminate these dangers from the body.
Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than animal-based diets due to the use of fewer natural resources and less environmental damage caused by their production. Livestock are typically fed with plants rich in protein, so if we consume the plant protein directly instead, we can avoid the resource inputs required to raise the livestock. For example, to produce 1 kg protein from kidney beans requires 18 times less land, 10 times less water, 9 times less fuel, 12 times less fertilizer and 10 times less pesticide compared to producing 1 kg protein from beef (AND, 2016). By eating less meat and dairy, the diet-related environment impact can be cut by nearly one-half while also reducing agricultures pressure on the environment
As consumer demand for plant-based and vegan proteins continues to rise, Plant-based proteins are here to stay! And rightfully so!