Get Your Protein The Plant Based Way
Plant-based diets are on the rise, and for good reason: research shows that adopting a more plant-based diet can lower the risk of heart disease, chronic illness, and inflammation. Not to mention, vegetarian diets tend to be much more affordable compared to meat heavy diets. But the big question on everyone’s mind when they start looking at plant-based eating is where is the protein? How do you get enough? As it turns out, getting protein on a plant-based diet is not nearly as hard you think, and, even if you eat meat, you can still reap the benefit of eating more plants in your diet!
What is protein?
First things first: protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks that our bodies require to make muscles, tendons, skin, neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes—the list goes on. Without protein, we cannot function properly. It’s even beneficial in boosting the body’s metabolism, reducing appetite and aiding in weight loss.
There are nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce, meaning we have to get it from our diet.
What are good sources of protein?
Typically, we think of animal sources as being the best source of protein, as they are complete proteins—meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. But there are plant-based sources of complete proteins, and more importantly, we can eat a variety of different foods with different amino acids to get all the protein we need.
Vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, and kale all contain protein. Beans and rice, when paired together form a complete protein source—even if they’re spaced throughout the day and eaten at different meals. Other complete protein sources include hemp seeds, chia seeds, and avocado—all of which are easy to digest and have the added benefit of being high in fiber (something completely lacking in animal products)—as well as pseudograins like quinoa and amaranth.
There you have it: proof that you can get enough protein on a plant-based diet! What are your favorite plant proteins? Let us know in the comments!
-Simple Sciences Juices is an organic juice bar with locations in Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri and Overland Park, Kansas. We aim to provide the highest quality organic cold pressed juices along with gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, Ketogenic and paleo foods.-