Proteins are the building blocks of the body. They boost metabolism and increase fat-burning capacity. People are often recommended a high-protein diet for better metabolic health and weight loss. Whenever one thinks of protein-rich meals, the images of meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood pop into our heads.
But what if you practice vegetarianism? Well, you also have many plant-based protein options that will fulfill your protein requirement.
Advantages of Eating Plant-Based Protein
Plant-based protein sources are packed with amino acids, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to function well and live healthy. These are extremely beneficial and health-giving with merits such as the following.
1. High Energy & Reduced Appetite
Protein-rich, plant-based foods make for a nutrient-rich diet that delivers high energy and keeps cravings at bay by making you feel fuller for a long. Their easy breakdown also ensures better absorption.
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2. Quick Muscle Recovery
Plant-based proteins are rich in amino acids that help in muscle growth and building via faster muscle repair. They help those on their fitness journey to build their muscles better and stronger.
3. Strong Immunity
Plant-based proteins are a rich source of other nutrients as well and make for fibre-rich diet. They strengthen the immunity to ward off infections and function optimally.
4. Cardiovascular Health
Switching to a healthy, plant-based protein diet ensures least intake of saturated fats and contains monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats which keep cholesterol levels in check. Consuming it ensures healthy blood pressure and reduces the chances of stroke.
5. High Phytonutrients
Plant-based foods contain Phytonutrients which are known to promote human health and wellness. Consuming phytonutrients shields us from chronic diseases and is potentially anti-cancer and anti-heart disease.
Now, the question is what plant-based food items can you eat to meet your protein requirement and stay in the pink of health? In this article, we explore this and bring to you 8 plant-based proteins that you should include in your diet.
Plant-Based Protein to Include in Your Diet
Tofu is made of soy and is among the richest plant-based protein sources. Its protein content differs in how it is prepared. The versatility of tofu lies in its ability to take in the flavor of the dish it is prepared.
Tofu is popularly used as a meat substitute which can be used in sandwiches, soups and chicken recipes. It is also a rich calcium and iron source, which also makes it a good alternative for dairy products.
Lentils are protein and fibre-packed and contain key nutrients such as iron, potassium, and phytonutrients. You can include them in your meals to fulfill your body’s protein needs, have them salads, in veggie soups or curries.
Peanuts are protein-rich, wholesome favorite foods that people love too snack on, you can munch on roasted peanuts or have a peanut butter sandwich. They are nutritious, being full of healthy fats, and effective in improving cardiac health. A serving of 100 g of offers one with 24 g of protein.
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Almonds are an amazing source of plant-based protein that also provides fiber, and other nutrients to protect against chronic diseases. They are packed with vitamin E, which promotes skin and eye health. Almond protein’s high fibre and low-fat content give it a balanced taste that’s appealing to the senses.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain low calories and are rich in fibre and heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. They prove to be a complete source of protein containing 2 g of protein per tablespoon. Add chia seeds to your smoothie or sprinkle them on your yogurt.
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Did you know that a cup of quinoa offers about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It makes a complete protein as it enriches our body with all nine essential amino acids that it needs to obtain from outside. It is also rich in nutrients such as magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese and exhibits a highly versatile profile.
Chickpeas are a rich protein and fibre source that decreases bad cholesterol, ensures better gut health, and reduces heart disease risk. Chickpeas are loaded with essential nutrients and are easy to add to the daily meals.
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There are numerous varieties of beans such as Kidney, black, and pinto that are staple foods across cultures and are known to contain high protein per serving. Most beans are an excellent source of complex carbs, fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and several beneficial plant compounds. Thus, a diet that’s rich in beans and legumes helps decrease cholesterol levels, manage blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and reduce belly fat.
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In the nutrition world, there is an increasing emphasis on plant-based proteins as they support individual health while contributing to a sustainable and environmentally conscious lifestyle. Meet your nutrition requirements by including different plant-based protein sources from lentils to beans in your diet. Be energized every day and smash your health goals with protein-rich foods that build your body.