Are you going vegan or vegetarian or you are an old-school veggie who wants to level up your diet? Here’s all to know about good quality plant-based proteins.
Whether you’ve been meat-free for a long time or you are new, you might be looking for ways to boost your diet. Protein is the building block of our body, so finding good quality plant-based proteins is paramount to stay fit. But don’t fret! There are plenty of options for you! Plant-based sources of proteins are accessible and fairly inexpensive.
The importance of protein
- Proteins make up about 17% of our weight and it is the main component of our skin, organs, heart, brain, hair nails, and especially our muscles.
- Proteins also help make our immune system make antibodies that are paramount to fight infections.
- Proteins help regulate blood sugar, energy function, and fat metabolism.
- Protein is made up of 22 amino acids –these are the building blocks of protein. Out of those 22, there are 9 amino acids our body cannot produce and we must get from food. To provide optimum nutrition it is important to include all these in a plant-based diet.
How much protein should you eat a day?
The reference for an average adult is about 0.75g of protein per kg of body weight per day. So, a person who weighs about 60kg should eat around 45g of protein a day.
Is there anything as eating too much protein?
Eating too much animal protein can contribute to bone loss and kidney damage –if you have a kidney condition. But plant-based proteins are much more benevolent for your kidneys.
Can vegans be athletes?
Though it might be challenging, with the right nutrition and some supplementation a vegan diet can meet the needs of any athlete.
Good-quality plant-based protein foods
All grams refer to edible, cooked food.
Quinoa provides 4g of protein every 100g. It’s an excellent superfood that contains 22 amino acids.
Pulses include several types of beans, peas, and lentils. They are inexpensive, low-fat and an amazing source of protein.
Lentils: around 8-9g of protein per 100g
Chickpeas, including hummus: 7g of protein per 100g
Garden peas – around 7g per 100g
Beans: between 7-10g protein per 100g
Every 100g of tofu provides 8g of protein. It is super versatile you can find many recipes here.
4. Nuts and seeds
Nuts are quite easy to include in your regular diet, they are super tasty and they are also a great snack!
Ground linseed – 3g per heaped tablespoon
Almonds – 3g of protein for every six almonds
Walnuts – around 3g of protein for every three whole walnuts
Pumpkin seeds – 4g per tablespoon
Pistachios – just over 1g of protein over 10 pistachios
Cashew nuts – 3g per 10 cashew nuts
Brazil nuts – 4g per six Brazil nuts
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are my number one staple when in smoothies. Just one tablespoon of chia seed provides 2g of protein –plus, they are great when it comes to replacing eggs.