Our body stores fat and carbohydrates, but NOT protein. So its importance in the diet lies in the need to consume them daily; being essential to build and repair: bones, muscles, skin, and organs. As a result of the publication of many studies, the Western diet is currently related to higher cardiovascular mortality , risk of type 2 diabetes, and other alterations; Therefore, the increase in the consumption of vegetable proteins has been a trend.
There has been a lot of research that indicates that People who increase their consumption of foods of plant origin (including proteins), reduce the risk of disease and / or death due to cardiovascular problems. Now, if the studies have been published for years -and oriental culture has centuries with that pattern of consumption-. Why don’t we hear about its benefits until recently?
An Australian research dating back to 2006 found that if the vegetarian diet had not been extended before in the West it was due to lack of information about its benefits. And I would add that, in addition, many taboos created by society delayed the rise of this type of food.
They are only for vegans and vegetarians: false
We can all consume this type of food. This balances our diet even more, since it allows us to reduce some risks that may arise from abusing certain animal proteins, such as the increase in uric acid levels in the blood. Although animal protein has been a fundamental source of protein that continues to be in demand, and 60% of the protein added to food worldwide comes from animal sources; It has been proven that we can further improve our health by starting to include plant-based proteins in our diet .
So the invitation is for you to start looking at these proteins as another option … not to become a strict vegetarian if you don’t want to . Everything is in balance! The important thing is that you feel comfortable with the changes that you are including, and that they feel better to your body. Vegetable proteins are an excellent option to improve the quality of your diet, and provide greater variety.
Plant proteins make us feel full faster: true
It has already been scientifically proven that proteins in general, as macronutrients, make us feel full faster since they favor the release of the satiety hormone in our body . However, plant proteins should not be seen as a panacea for weight loss. Remember that a healthy lifestyle is based on intertwining a series of habits, beyond an isolated action.
What is clear is that they are a much better option to be satiated and obtain energy than carbohydrates or sugar, which cause rapid glucose peaks and short-term energy that goes as fast as it has come . It is much better to eat a snack between meals that gives us a good protein intake, especially before or after exercising , in order to strengthen our muscles.
Being cheaper, they are of poorer quality than animal proteins: false
In many cultures -as well as in certain periods of history-, the fact of NOT consuming proteins of animal origin at home (such as meats) became ‘frowned upon’, as it was related to limitations economic. However, this belief is dying. Today there is greater awareness of the benefits that the consumption of food sources of vegetable proteins provide, which has allowed them to make their way, their nutritional properties being more important than their price in the market, or the false “status ” established by some.
Its benefits are many! Among them, they provide a high content of amino acids, fiber, and micronutrients such as vitamins A, B1 and B2, and C, and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Some research has even highlighted antioxidant properties , making them even more beneficial to our health.
Good alternative for lactose or casein intolerant: true
Vegetable proteins, as they do not contain lactose or casein (milk protein and some of its derivatives), are an excellent option for include in our diet if we have any of these limitations. Hence the boom that vegetable drinks have had in recent years. In this sense, we always recommend consuming the most natural and / or homemade version of this type of vegetable drink, such as almond milk.
Today, many consumers still associate protein only with the consumption of meat. It’s time to get that concept over with! Here are some vegetable sources that you can include more frequently in your meals to increase the intake of this nutrient:
Quinoa: e the famous pseudocereal that has even been sold as a “superfood” due to its nutritional properties . Among them, it provides the eight amino acids considered ‘essential’ for children and adults. It is considered the largest source of vegetable protein.
Nuts: c like peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and cashews. Also the creams of this type of product are a good option.
Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seeds chia and flax. Ideal to use as salad toppings, bowls, or creams.
Algae: although they have been seen as something eccentric or too exotic, little little by little they have been incorporated into the shelves of some supermarkets in various formats, and foods such as sushi have popularized the commercialization of this marine treasure.
Vegetable or vegan protein blends: p products that are available on the market today and that emerge as an additional alternative to whey protein. They are a good option for vegans or vegetarians who want to supplement their diet and avoid deficiencies; or simply if we want to add a higher protein content to our diet (as is the case with athletes). Here we find, for example, pea, rice or hemp protein.
As we have seen, there are many advantages that vegetable proteins provide us in the search for a more balanced and natural diet. It is necessary that we overcome the prejudices that consumers of a western diet often have (rich in processed foods and refined sugars) and give this type of food a chance.