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Calling All Vegans: We Have a List of 12 Powerful Sources of Protein
As word gets out about factory farming and the horrible ways in which animals are kept and slaughtered, more and more people turn to a vegan diet or at least look for alternate sources of protein.
The USD recommends that adults should consume at least 0.37 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. That means if you are a male weighing about 225 pounds, you need about 83 grams of protein every single day. That is an awful lot of protein if you don’t plan on getting it from meat or eggs.
This is your lucky day, however! We have a list of plant based proteins that will fit the bill! Even if you don’t want or plan to go completely vegan, eating a mostly plant based diet has been linked in numerous studies to a longer, healthier life. To top it all off, you can save yourself quite a bit of money by substituting these plant based proteins for meat two or more times per week.
You might have heard the term “complete protein” when people are talking about plant based proteins. There are 20 different amino acids that can make up a protein. Nine of these are called “essential” amino acids because the body cannot make it on their own, so we must consume them. In order for a protein to be considered “complete, it must contain all 9 of these essential amino acids. However, the human body doesn’t need every single amino acid in every single meal that is consumed. As long as we get a sufficient amount of each amino acid during a 24 hour period, we will be fine. Eating a wide variety of plant based proteins will ensure that you get all the necessary amino acids at one time of the day or another.
If you are living a vegan lifestyle, or looking for ideas for that Meatless Monday program, we have a list with 12 great sources of plant based protein, so keep reading!
Perhaps the best of the best! With a huge 8 grams of protein in just one cup of cooked quinoa, this is really one terrific source of protein. In fact, NASA has high hopes that they can grow it on space flights to feed astronauts! Although quinoa looks very much like couscous, it has a great deal more nutritional value. Quinoa is loaded with iron, magnesium, manganese, fiber and, of course, protein. Find out more 10 reasons why you should be eating more quinoa.
2. Spinach and Broccoli
These have similar protein profiles so we are lumping them together. One cup of cooked broccoli has about 5.7 grams of protein while one cup of cooked spinach has about 5.35 grams. Both of these vegetables contain many other health benefits and you should find ways to include them in your diet several times per week. Meatless Mondays can be salad night with plenty of broccoli florets and baby spinach.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
These are a winning snack, especially if you are looking for extra sources of protein during the day. One ounce of pumpkin seeds has a whopping 9.35 grams of protein. You can add raw pumpkin seeds to just about anything including a smoothie, on top of baked goods, in salads, in vegetable dishes, or sprinkled over soups.
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