Vegetable protein are a great natural alternative to the ones that come from animals. Either if you are vegan or vegetarian or if you know some who is (quite common nowadays) you must have realized something. There are many myths left to bust.
Not eating animal products does not mean that you will be malnourished, quite the opposite. If you do not eat meat, as long as you take the food supplements that you need, you will be healthy as a horse. Here is where vegetable protein comes into play.
But what is a vegetable protein? To put it simply, it is a product whose raw ingredient comes from non-animal sources. When it comes to defining protein, it is basically the macronutrient in charge of performing vital tasks just like animal protein does.
Why do we need to eat Protein?
Above all, protein is an essential element of our diet. Absolutely everyone needs to eat protein according to our requirements.
Not in vain, protein is one of the key nutrients for any biological process. In fact, it is included in all kinds of sport diets.
Some of the most outstanding benefits for our health would be the fact that it supports the digestive process, protects the circulatory system and makes up tissues and organs.
Although we cannot deny that most protein is available in animal products, there is a wonderful alternative if you decide to stop eating said products: food rich in vegetable protein.
Did you know that some of these products have benefits that even meat does not have? Even though many of them are the base for the diet of vegan athletes, you should know that you can also combine them with animal protein. All in all, they provide many benefits for fitness diets. So we can say it loud and clear, let’s eat vegetable protein!
Foods rich in Vegetable Protein
Advantages of Proteins of vegetable Origin
Vegetable Protein will only provide positive benefits. Write down the main ones!
- Providing a low fat content
- Helping to lower the cholesterol
- Preventing cardiovascular diseases
Where can we find them? An energizing cocktail!
You saw some of the best sources of vegetable protein above, with their protein content every 100g. But we also need to include soy, cereals and thereof, nuts, sunflower seeds, legumes and mushrooms.
If we combine them in a balanced diet, they will make up a “cocktail” of vegetable protein that will provide a considerable amount of protein.
Find out the 11 delicious types that exist
Now, we are going to go through the 11 main sources of vegetable protein. Some of them are quite trendy right now and you will find them in almost every recipe. Innovate or die, am I right?
1. Soy and Tofu
It is one of the best sources of vegetable protein. In fact, it has around 37g of protein per 100g and it has a low saturated fat content. Tofu, tempeh and soy hamburgers are great alternatives made of soy which have a lot of protein. Moreover, they also provide a lot of calcium and iron. And what about a delicious stew with soy, legumes or chickpeas? If you have not still tried any of these recipes… What are you waiting for!
Quinoa, a very popular superfood, is one of the best sources of vegetable protein. In fact, a cup of boiled quinoa will provide 18 grams of vegetable protein.
This super cereal also provides vitamins, minerals, carbs and a plenty of amino acids. One of its most important properties is the fact it helps to lower the cholesterol and the risk of suffering diabetes. It is also used in diets to control or lose weight and it helps to control the blood pressure.
If you want to find out more interesting things about this trendy food, check our post – https://www.hsnstore.eu/blog/nutrition/plants/quinoa/
Also known as “vegetable meat”, it is made of wheat gluten. Apart from having a similar percentage of protein to meat (20g every 100g), it is practically cholesterol-free. Moreover, it is quite versatile when it comes to cooking it. In order to enhance its benefits you can combine it with cereals to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies.
Legumes, particularly lentils, chickpeas, beans, or soy, are one of the best sources of vegetable protein. Together with some cereal, they provide a high quality protein we could even compare to meat. In addition, they are low in fat and provide a lot of carbs and fiber. A cup of lentils is capable of providing 18g of protein.
It is a basic and universal food. Its main benefits are due to the fact that it does not have cholesterol or sodium. Above all, it is a complex carbohydrate, easy to digest that also provides high quality protein. Did you actually know that brown rice has around a 40% more protein than white rice? You can make up for the lack of the amino acid lysine in rice by combining it with lentils in order to get a complete protein.
Behind its exotic name hides one of the most nutritious plants in the world. This pseudocereal is rich in protein and lysine as well, which is a great advantage. This is due to the fact that this amino acid is not available in most cereals. In addition, it also provides other nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, healthy fats and magnesium. Its active ingredients mostly come from its leaves and seeds.
7. Spirulina Alga
The next superfood in the list is used as food supplement specially in fitness diets. Apart from being a safe source of nutritious elements like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, its protein is are more digestible than that animal protein. Above all, it is an extraordinary source of vegetable protein. In fact, a spoonful of dry spirulina provides 7g of protein and practically no calories!
8. Chia Seeds
Among the general population, chia seeds are one of the most valued superfoods. Although it is no surprise, due to its important supply of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants an fatty acids.
The maca root is a multivitamin with approximately an 11% of protein. Moreover, it contains minerals in their natural state, apart from having energizing properties. It is used to treat diseases like tuberculosis, anemia, leukemia, due to its essential nutrients for life.
This food is indispensable in the Mediterranean diet, even though it belongs to legumes, we also wanted to include it in this classification.
They are an impressive source of nutrients such as vegetable protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals. They do not provide fat at all and just a few calories. Therefore, pea protein is slowly becoming an excellent alternative to the other sources
Nuts are much more than just a simple snack. Some of you will be surprised to read what I am about to right, but a bunch of nuts daily are a great nutrient supply for the body. In fact, almonds provide approximately 20g of vegetable protein per 100g, while walnuts provide 14g and hazelnuts 12g.
Another advantage is that they provide a high percentage of fat. Try to combine them with legumes, whole cereals, or vegetables. You will surely enjoy the result cannot get healthier than that! Also, do not forget about other less known nuts that can also be a good source of protein: pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts or Macadamia nuts.
Hemp protein shakes are becoming very popular among sport nutrition lovers. It is no surprise, since like the others, it is a 100% vegetable protein perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets.
Although it is not a complete protein and it does not have the appropriate proportion of essential amino acids. However, hemp is the closest thing to a complete source of protein when compared to other products made from seeds, except for soy.
Even though some vegetable foods cannot replace animal protein on their own, we can always combine them obtain additional benefits sometimes.
It is important to follow a balanced diet and to eat different types of protein sources in order to obtain a complete and quality protein.
Now that you know the sources of vegetable protein, it is time to talk about their extraordinary benefits for our health.
Find out its incredible benefits
Vegetable protein provides a series of benefits such as:
These are the main ones!
- Providing amino acids for the growth and regeneration of the muscles
- Cholesterol-free, since it is only available in animal products
- Lactose-free, lactose is a carbohydrate from milk, which is why it cannot be available in vegetable sources
- Easy to digest, therefore they will not cause stomach discomfort
Vegetable protein and athletes
The number of athletes who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet is constantly growing. So, even when they are not taking advantage of the amino acids from animal sources, their performance and recovery is still the same. In fact, it has also improved in many cases! Pay attention, some of them are even Olympic competitors!
When it comes to the protein demands, athletes have higher requirements than the general population. Why is that? The workouts are physical activities that break down the muscle tissue. Therefore, it is necessary to supply enough material for their regeneration.
This is when amino acids come into play. Vegetable protein tends to lack or be low in some amino acids. However, taking a daily dose from several different sources of vegetable protein will completely solve this issue.
So, we want to encourage you to use vegetable protein shakes if you do physical exercise since it will definitely support your health. Show the world that athletes and vegetable protein are not incompatible terms.
Did you know that there was still a place left in your kitchen for vegetable protein? Do not forget all their properties and fill your trolley with them the next time you go shopping. Invest in your health with quality products. You deserve it!
- Gain Muscle with a Vegan Diet
- How to Combine Vegetable Protein
- Vegetable Protein for Celiac People
- Buy Vegetable Proteins at HSN