Is there Protein in a Plant-based Diet?
There seems to be some genuine concern about protein when someone chooses a Plant-Based Diet over the tradition Standard American Diet. There are many sources of protein available to satisfy both men and women. Did you know you can find protein in Vegetables, Grains, Nuts, Seeds and Fruit? There are more and more people who are becoming aware of their health and nutritional needs as well as the benefits of a Plant-based Diet.
According to WebMD, Men require 56 grams of protein and Women 46 grams of protein and Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women need 71 grams per day. Protein builds muscles and is fuel to our bodies.
Although as we age and our bodies change; “The Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program suggests for women over the age of 50 (post-menopausal) to take steps to modify their diets as their bodies change. When you eat enough protein it reduces the impact of muscle wasting. Women over 50; experts recommend 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. 1 Kilogram = 2.2 pounds. (Example; if you weigh 140 lbs. you will need at least 63 grams of protein per day).” Plant-based diets offer a variety of healthy proteins to choose from; eat more quinoa, nuts, seed, lentils, an assortment of beans and soy, as well as Vegetables and Fruits. (See this article for more information: https://mayocl.in/3mTS6Zu)
Here is a list of vegetables that have high protein contents:
Cooked Legumes (a/k/a Beans) Black Beans (1 cup/14.47 g.), 1/2 c. = Adzuki Beans (8 g.), 1 cup of Cannellini Beans 15.4 g, Navy Beans, Northern Beans (14.7 g.), Kidney Beans (15.3 g.), Lima Beans (14.7), Wax, Pinto (11 g.), Mung (13.6 g), Vegetables: Kale (67 g/1 cup), Asparagus (16 g/1 spear), Mushrooms (5.2 g per/1 cup ), Broccoli (148 g/1 medium stalk), Green Peas (7 g/1 cup), Artichoke (1Medium/4.2g), Hummus (6g. per 1/2 cup), Lentils (18g/cup), and Chickpeas (7 g.), Split Peas (16.3 g./cup)
Sure canned beans are convenient; however, dry beans are economical and more servings per bag. Cook only the amount you need. It is important to soak dry beans overnight (easier to digest). I recommend draining off the liquid and rinsing the beans one to two times in a colander with cold water for the soaked and the canned beans.
Gluten-free Grains: Millet, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Teff and Quinoa (Red or White) and Brown Rice. Quinoa can be eaten as a hot cereal (4.3g per 1/3 cup) or as a replacement for rice. Teff (10g/one cup cooked). Teff flour is great for making pizza.
Ancient Grains: (Contain Gluten: Barley, Faro, Bulgar Wheat, Freekeh, Israeli Couscous, Wheat Berries, Buckwheat Groats).
Fresh Fruit: The Top High Protein Fruits: Guava 4 g. and Avocado 4g./both per cup.
Nuts: Almonds (6 g/1 oz), Cashews, Hazelnuts (4 g/1 oz) Walnuts (4 g/1 oz), Natural Peanut Butter (7 g/2 TBSP), Brazil Nuts. Seeds: Sunflower (6 g/1 oz) and Pumpkin (9 g/1 oz), Flax Seeds (6 g/1 oz), Hemp Seeds (10g per tsp) and Chia Seeds are digestible (4.7g/per 1 oz); etc.
Has anyone tried to use Almond Flour as an alternate baking flour? Especially when going Gluten-Free, Almond Flour is a nice substitute. Oftentimes, all the recipe takes is a little experimenting to find what works and what does not work.
There are a lot of Vegan Protein Powders on the Market. There are several that are high in Protein. Please be sure to read the label. There may be hidden sugars in the mix that you may not be aware of. I will give my recommendations for the ones I have tried. We will discuss this topic in another article.
In the long run, the Health Benefits of a Plant-based Lifestyle outweigh the concerns of many.