Are you concerned about your level of protein intake just because you are not eating animal products, well there’s no need, because all this talk about needing meat for your protein is a myth.
An idea that has been pushed around for years and has people unnecessarily worried that they may not be getting enough protein from a plant based diet, is not only false, but may be destroying peoples health in the process.
One of the first questions that usually pops up when you tell people you don’t eat meat is “where do you get your protein from”, this question really sums up the lack of knowledge out there when it comes to nutrition.
How much protein do we need
Are you wondering how to get enough protein on a vegan diet? we actually don’t need as much protein as you might have been told. The majority of people are consuming about 100g per day, much more protein than they need, the recommended amount is about 50g per day, this can cause detrimental damage to our health.
Protein is a macronutrient, the three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrate, and fat, the body use’s protein to build and repair tissues amongst other things, but we only need a moderate amount for optimum health, if we over consume then it can start to cause problems, such as stimulating growth hormones that leads to disease such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
When we consume a lot of meat and most people do eat meat every day, our intake of protein becomes overwhelming, our body can only deal with so much and the excess has to go somewhere. It raises our IGF-1(Insulin-like growth factor 1) levels, which is important for childhood growth, but as adults when this hormone is at high levels it can lead to disease.
Animal products such as meat and dairy raise IGF-1 levels significantly, but plant food which contain an abundance of protein does not have the same effect. So what is a good source of plant based protein.
Green vegetables are rich in protein, broccoli for instance contains good amounts of protein, green veg have more protein per calorie than meat. One of the main advantages of getting your protein from super greens is that they contain an abundance of disease fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals compared with meat which doesn’t have any of the same beneficial compounds.
Even fruit contains protein, maybe not in high quantities but they have a certain amount of protein, and they also have incredible health benefits, so why not make this part of your daily diet.
Some of the strongest athletes in the world have a plant based diet, that’s right, no meat, so do you think they are lacking in protein, not with those muscles.
Take an elephant for example, they eat nothing but vegetation, sure I mean they spend most of their day doing it, but look at the size and strength of them, they get all the protein they need from plant food.
Beans are an excellent source of protein, with a cupful containing about 15g they pack a powerful punch, there are several types of beans, listed below are a few common types.
- Cannellini Beans
- Black-Eyed peas
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Navy Beans
- Soy Beans
- Edamame Beans
- Adzuki Beans
Beans are not just a good source of protein, they have many benefits, one of those is that they contain a compound called inositol pentakisphosphate (IP-5) which prevents cancer cells from growing. They are full of phytonutrients which helps prevent disease and promotes longevity. What a food!
Another great fact about Beans is that they keep you feeling fuller for longer, they have resistance starch which means we don’t have the enzymes to digest it, therefore, not all the calories are absorbed, this makes them a great tool for losing weight while gaining muscle.
Nuts and Seeds
A handful or 1 ounce of nuts or seeds will provide about 15% of your daily requirement, and what a way to get your protein. Nuts and seeds not only provide protein but have many protective benefits for the body.
Many studies have shown that nuts and seeds have dramatically extended lifespan, they are high in omega 3, walnuts, hemp, chia and flaxseeds are particularly rich sources, as well as having many more benefits.
A plant based diet gives you the opportunity to get lean and build muscle, by not eating animal product you are not putting all that unwanted bad fat into your system. Instead, you are getting your fat from a much more healthy source such as nuts and seeds which contain an array of healthy compounds.
What better way to get your protein than with food that supplies so many extra benefits.
If you are on a plant based diet or thinking about it, then you can be reassured that once you are getting a good variety of plant food, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes then you will be getting sufficient protein.
The bottom line is there has been no evidence or reports that I am aware of that shows, individuals that are following a plant based diet have insufficient levels of protein.
The fact that animal products have high levels of protein does not make them a health food, matter of fact the opposite is probably true. As I mentioned earlier in the article IGF-1 is raised significantly by animal products, this is a major factor that leads to disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and so on.
It has been promoted by industries for years simply for financial gain that animal products must be consumed to get enough protein, this is a myth, you don’t need animal products to get enough protein, you can obtain much better health and well-being by reducing them dramatically or eliminating them altogether.
We will not only get enough protein from a plant based diet, but we can get all the nutritious goodness that we need to stay in good health, free from disease and illness.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject. Please comment below!