With an increase in awareness and advancement of nutritional sciences, more people are turning towards a plant based diet. You may be a meat lover but do not go away, continue reading on the article as it can actually change your mind. Through this article, we will explain how a plant based protein diet has been taking the nutritional world by a storm and has been providing abundant health benefits to its consumers.
What is a plant based diet?
Plant based diet is an eating pattern which focuses on food procured only from plants. The diet plan not only includes fruits and vegetables but also nuts, seeds, oils and whole grains.
You may wonder if vegetarian diets do not produce much variety but according to dieticians and nutritionists, vegetarian comes in different variations and they can cater to a wide range of people. Some of the popular variations in th eplan based diet are:
- Semi-vegetarian and flexitarian diet which includes eggs, dairy foods and occasionally meat, poultry and seafood.
- Pescatarian diet which includes eggs, dairy food and seafood but excludes meat and poultry
- Vegetarian may or may not include eggs but includes dairy and plant based ingredients. It entirely excludes meat, poultry and seafood.
- A vegan diet which entirely restricts every animal-related foods.
Plant based proteins
Nutrition plays a very important role in our general well-being and it is a significant tool to reduce the risk of getting sick, increase longevity in life and enhance your immune system. Therefore one of the most powerful steps that one can take to improve health, boost energy levels and prevent chronic diseases is by slowly and steadily shifting towards a plant based diet.
You now may wonder that by consuming a plant based diet, one cannot fulfil the protein level in their body. But that is not true, plant based diets consist of seeds, fruits and vegetables and therefore are abundant in protein levels. It is true that for people consuming a plant based diet, having the proper intake of proteins, vitamins and minerals can be a difficult task. However, that being said, planning your daily diet can help you to include every nutrient in your meal and not suffer from any insufficiency.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Every cell and tissue is composed of protein and therefore maintaining proper levels of proteins in the body is absolutely necessary and to make your work easier we bring to you the best plant based proteins that you can include in your daily diet.
Here are some sources of plant based protein in every day life:
Soy products are considered to be the biggest source of proteins in a plant based diet.
- ½ cup of firm tofu- 10g of protein
- ½ cup of edamame beans- 8.5g of protein
- ½ cup of tempeh- 15g of protein
People usually use tofu as a meat substitute and since it has a very mild flavour of its own, it beautifully blends in with the flavours of the dish it is being cooked in. These soy products are also abundant in calcium and iron and provide other micronutrients to the body.
½ cup of cooked lentils- 8.84g of protein
Lentils are abundant in proteins, vitamins and other nutrients like iron and potassium. Being a versatile ingredient, lentils can actually be added to a variety of dishes including stews, curries and salads.
2 tablespoons of spirulina- 8g of protein
Biomass of cyanobacteria, spirulina is abundant in nutrients like proteins, iron, manganese and Vitamin B. It is found in both powder or supplement form. Sprinkle it over your salads or snacks and you can amp its protein content in a minute.
Known as the multifaceted superfood, quinoa is the complete protein that one can ask for.
1 cup of quinoa- 8g of protein
Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal and has a high protein content. It is also rich in magnesium, iron, fiber and manganese. Being a versatile ingredient, it can also be used in a wide range of dishes.
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds- 2g of protein
- 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds- 5g of protein
Seeds are low-calorie foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and are considered complete proteins. These seeds contain all the essential amino acids and therefore provide abundant health benefits to the body. These seeds are versatile ingredients and can be abundantly used from puddings to salads.
6.Protein rich vegetables
Green leafy vegetables have time and again shown us how they are an abundant source of nutrients and micronutrients. They are not only rich in proteins and help in muscle growth but also helps in enhancing our immune system.
- A single, medium stalk of broccoli- 4g of protein
- 1 cup of kale- 2g of protein
Eating these may not be able to meet the daily protein intake but it can be easily combined with other vegetables and be eaten with salads and soups or curries.
Seitan is also one of the biggest sources of proteins for people consuming a plant based meal and is made from gluten which is found as protein in wheat. It is made out of washing wheat flour dough with water until all granules have been removed leaving behind the sticky mass of insoluble gluten. Seitan is also considered a complete protein.
⅓ rd cup of seitan- 21g of protein
Apart from the above-mentioned plant based protein, there are also some other ingredients that can also be included in your daily diet to meet your daily protein intake like:
½ cup of cooked chickpeas- 7.25g of protein
½ cup- 20.5g of protein
½ cup- 16.5g of protein
½ cup- 13g of protein
A large baked potato- 8g of protein
5 medium mushrooms- 3g of protein
- Ezekiel bread
Per slice- 4g of protein
- Sprouted whole grain bread
Per slice- 6g of protein
Peanut butter, oats and nutritional yeast are also good sources of plant based proteins that can be used in your daily diet.
It is quite common to notice people being apprehensive before starting a plant based meal thinking about their protein and other nutrient intakes. It is true animal-based ingredients have a high percentage of proteins in them and can easily meet your daily protein intake. But that being said, moving towards a healthy plant based diet will not only enhance your immune system and reduce inflammation but will also help you to maintain a healthy weight for the body.
More and more people are getting interested in trying a vegetarian and vegan diet, moving towards a healthy lifestyle and reducing their animal product consumption. By properly planning your diet, you can easily include every nutrient in your diet and meet its daily intake level.
We hope that this article will be a great help for you and we can now hope that by including these in your daily diet, you will be walking towards living a healthy life.