The human body comprises around 20% of protein. Since the body doesn’t store protein, it is crucial to get a sufficient amount of protein from the diet every day. Apart from animal proteins, you can consume protein from plant sources.
Yes, you heard it right!
While some experts believe that animal protein offers more benefits, others propose that plant protein is far superior to the former. Here is what you should know about plant protein.
What is a Plant-based Protein?
Plant protein is a source of protein that comes from plants, such as nuts and seeds. Similar to animal protein, plant protein is highly nutritious. Apart from protein, it offers other important nutrients, such as fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
What Are the Benefits of Plant Protein?
Diets high in plant-based protein like the vegetarian diet are associated with several health benefits. Several studies propose that vegetarians manage to have lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as lower body weight. Also, compared to non-vegetarians, they have a lower risk of cancer, stroke, and death from heart illnesses.
The following are some health benefits of plant protein according to research:
- Decrease the risk of heart disease: One study discovered that a diet rich in protein, where half comes from plant sources, helps lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, and the risk of heart illness more than a healthy high-carb or standard diet. Also, compared to a high-carb, low-fat diet, a low-carb, high-plant protein diet helped decrease blood pressure and cholesterol level.
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes: A small study found that replacing two servings of red meat with legume three days every week helps improve blood glucose and cholesterol level.
- Protect against weight gain: An observational study of more than 20 years discovered that consuming more nuts was associated with weight loss. Moreover, consuming one serving of lentils, beans, chickpeas, or peas every day helps increase fullness and might result in weight loss and better weight management.
- Promote a healthy gut: A study released in the Nutrients journal has shown people who consume a plant-based diet have a distinctive gut profile with a great gut microbiome diversity, containing less disease-causing organisms and more protective species, which help keep their inflammation levels low.
- Boost athletic performance: Many NFL players who consume plant protein have seen improvement in their athletic performances, energy levels, and recovery times.
What Are the Best Sources of Plant Protein?
Although most plant sources only consist of a small amount of protein, some foods are loaded with this essential macronutrient. Here are some of the best sources of plant protein:
- Almonds and almond butter
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Edamame beans
- Green peas
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Tofu and tempeh
- Nutritional yeast
Aside from the above list of plant protein sources, people may also opt for plant-based protein powders. Protein supplements may offer complete or incomplete proteins depending on the plants used. Nevertheless, while food supplements can help people to achieve their daily nutrition goals, experts recommend consuming a wide range of nutrients rich in protein.
Also, people should pay attention to the nutrition labels before buying a plant-based protein supplement since some of them may contain a high amount of sodium or sugar to enhance the flavor.
In a Nutshell
Plant-based proteins, which are found in many plant sources like kale and almonds, are linked to many positive health effects, despite often portrayed as inferior compared to animal protein. Plant proteins help lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, promote gut health and weight loss, and improve athletic performance.
Emily Smith is a talented content writer, wielding words to create captivating stories and informative articles across a wide range of topics. With a passion for effective communication and a love for research, Emily consistently produces engaging and valuable content. She’s dedicated to conveying ideas clearly and compellingly, making her a sought-after voice in the digital sphere. When not writing, Emily enjoys immersing herself in art, nature, and culinary adventures for fresh bursts of creativity.