If you are on some variation of a plant based diet chances are you will come across one or many people who ask you how you get your protein. While it may be irritating to explain yourself time and time again they are likely genuinely concerned for your health or curious about the sources.
I have been eating primarily plant based since I was 5, so as you can imagine I have been asked this countless times throughout the years. I am here today to shed a little insight on the power of plant based protein.
So, let's first discuss how much... How much protein does one need... One needs .8 grams of protein per every kg. of weight. This is actually fairly easy to accomplish, most will accomplish this and beyond without so much as trying. In fact, protein deficiency in America is basically non existent. It really only exists in third world countries struggling to get their nutrients and calories.
The power of plants... Plants really are the epitome of health, nutrition and balance. There are 9 essential amino acids that we cannot produce. Therefore we must rely on our nutrition and diet to infest these into our bodies.
The majority of plants contain some or a few of these amino acids. Which means as long as you are eating a diet filled with nuts, legumes, whole grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables you are for sure going to get enough protein. In fact to simplify this for you, what if I told you in order to make complete protein you really just need to combine two of the four plant based food groups. These groups are classified as Legumes (black, red, pinto beans etc.), Pulses (chickpeas, lentils), vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peppers, etc?), and grains (quinoa, pasta, rice, etc.) in order to gain 'complete protein' you must add two of the above groups together.
For example beans+rice =complete protein, pasta and broccoli=complete protein. This is one way of thinking of it but really just remember if you eat a balanced mix of plant based whole foods throughout the day you will end up with more than enough protein in your diet.
Of course as with everything there are some exceptions to the rule. Soy, quinoa, chia seeds, hempseed, and buckwheat are actually sources of complete protein on their own.
Side effects. Everything these days comes with side effects, cause and effect. Let's talk about a few of the side effects of animal based protein. Animal based protein comes with saturated fats, cholesterol, added hormones, and potential added antibiotics. These side effects are a number one cause in heart disease and cancer.
Plant protein also comes with some side effects, antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Truly the only side effects are beneficial to
one's health and well being. In fact these side effects not only prevent disease but they reverse disease also.
So the next time someone asks you how you get your protein, you will confidently be able answer. Meatless Monday anyone?