5 reasons for eating more plant-based protein
Proteins are fundamental building blocks in our body. Animal products in particular are often said to contain lots of it. But we’ll show you five ways you can cover your protein requirements by eating purely plant foods, and why this can be so beneficial for our health and our environment.
1. You can’t build muscles without protein
Proteins are a vital part of a healthy diet, and they are responsible for building and regenerating our muscles. Whether this protein comes from an animal or plant source, however, is not especially important. Plant proteins are just as good at beefing us up, and on top of that they’re also less resource-intensive. So we don’t necessarily need to go down the animal route to supply ourselves with some valuable protein. Learn more in this article.
2. Biological value – it’s all in how you mix it
Every protein source comprises a specific combination of different amino acids, with each source thus boasting a different biological value. This describes the quality of dietary protein i.e. how efficiently a dietary protein can be converted into endogenous protein. Although as a rule animal protein has a higher biological value than plant protein, a skilled approach to combining plant protein sources can “fill in the gaps”, so to speak, by covering the missing amino acids and therefore boosting the food’s biological value. Adding some beans to your maize, or spreading some hummus on a slice of rye bread will pretty much automatically get you to this point. Soy beans ‒ indeed all kinds of soy products ‒ are a high-quality source of plant protein; tofu, for example, contains all the essential amino acids as well as being a star in its own right thanks to its culinary versatility. Try it as a delicious lentil tofu dumpling in this soup or as a light, summery meal.
3. Small foods that pack a punch
Lots of plant foods are an excellent source of protein, and also supply our body with additional valuable nutrients. Pulses in particular are full of protein, in addition to iron, calcium and fiber. They are filling and leave you feeling satisfied for longer; they support bowel health and make sure that your digestive system keeps ticking along nicely. Nuts also increase our protein intake, and contain some rich essential fatty acids. They are thought to be good for the heart and help to protect against type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
4. No-risk protein without any side effects
When it comes to supplying our body and muscles with sufficient protein, animal products such as meat, eggs, cheese, etc. have long been considered the first port of call. However, plant protein not only matches up to its animal counterpart in terms of supply ‒ it also contains less cholesterol and usually less fat too. In a study, health experts discovered that excess consumption of animal products can have negative effects on the cardio-vascular system. When these animal-based foods were replaced by plant proteins, however, significant improvements to health were reported.
5. Plant protein: the land of plenty
Whether chia seeds or oat flakes, chickpeas or almonds, soy beans or hemp seeds – once you’ve embarked on the search for plant protein, you’ll find there’s a whole world of treasure out there. So as long as you eat a full and diverse range of plant proteins, you won’t have to worry about not covering your protein requirements. Much more pertinently: which of the many, many options shall I go for today? The gorgeously fluffy Protein Breakfast Muffin or maybe the protein-rich Lentil Salad to Go? Hey, why not even both! ;-)