Plant Protein- How it works

Can a vegan or vegetarian get a swole body?  We probably all have that one friend who decided to stop eating meat or animal products.  They post pictures on social media of huge salads and colorful smoothie bowls.

We cannot help but be somewhat in awe of their dedication, but also somewhat worried.  Can they sustain themselves on such a diet?  One of the major concerns is that because they are not eating meat, they must not be getting enough protein.

Is that true?  Keep reading.

To relieve your mind, there are some great sources of animal protein.  These include soy products, tempeh, nuts, seeds, spinach, legumes, etc.

Protein is made up of many pieces.  Think of them as pieces in a puzzle.  You need all of them to make the picture.

Animal protein has all the pieces, and is a complete source of protein.  Some healthy options include chicken or turkey breast without the skin, sliced ham, tuna, etc.

Plant proteins only contain parts of the protein puzzle.  That means we need to eat a variety of plant foods to get our complete set of protein.  It can be done, it just takes mindful eating:  that means being aware of what we are putting in our body.

Here are some plant-based, complete protein combinations to get you started:

  • Beans and rice
  • Peanut/almond butter on whole wheat bread
  • Tofu vegetable stirfry
  • Hummus and crackers with sliced vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds sprinkled on a salad

In conclusion, protein is distributed differently in plant and animal foods.  In plant foods, it is important to eat a variety of foods so as to get enough protein.

Sources

If there are any questions or concerns, it is best to talk to your local registered dietician or nutritionist.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/vegetarian-and-special-diets/food-sources-of-important-nutrients-for-vegetarians

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/vegetarian-and-special-diets/vegetarian-sources-of-protein

 

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