More and more people are aware of fitness today, and some choose a more plant based diet to help them get fit. In order to do that and build lean muscle mass, a good source of protein is necessary. Animal protein is complete, meaning it contains all the 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t make. It’s a little more difficult to get that in a plant based diet, since many of the sources are incomplete. Finding the best plant based protein can be difficult, even in Stamford, CT.
There are some complete sources of protein from plants, but just a few.
You have to search for complete sources of protein, since they’re rare for vegans. Buckwheat is one of those sources. It’s versatile and can be made into noodles. Quinoa is another complete protein. Tofu and Tempah are complete sources of protein. While soy, from which tofu is derived is not complete, the processing of the soy to tofu makes it that way. Pumpkin seeds, spirulina, chia seeds and hemp seeds are also complete sources, just as nutritional yeast is. Nutritional yeast is also flavorful, giving a cheesy, yet nutty type flavor. Tofu and whole grain pita,
Even though most vegetable sources aren’t complete, they can be combined.
To qualify as a good and complete protein source, the food has to have an adequate amount of each essential amino acid with a minimum percentage of each. Aside from the aforementioned foods, most plant sources of protein don’t. The good news is that you can combine sources and it doesn’t even have to be at the same meal. However, some combinations often found together are brown rice and beans or hummus and pita are examples.
Most often, vegetarian protein lacks lysine and methionine.
Two essential amino acids most often missing in plant protein sources are lysine and methionine. Good vegetarian sources of these two can be combined with other vegetable protein sources that are incomplete. Food sources for lysine include whole grains, like oats and buckwheat, and most types of seeds. Lysine is found in leafy greens, whole grains and also seeds. You can combine these with beans that tend to lack methionine or nuts that lack lysine and methionine to get a complete protein.
- Ezekiel bread is a flourless bread made from sprouted grains and beans. It’s considered a complete source of protein. The sprouted grain makes all the nutrients more bioavailable.
- Lentils are a good source of protein, just as chickpeas and beans are. If you want to increase your protein intake, toss them in salads and soup. You can add seeds and nuts, as well.
- If you make your PB&J with whole wheat bread it’s a good source of vegetable protein. Peanut butter has 7 grams of protein for two tablespoons. Other nut butters also contain protein, but the amount varies.
- Choosing plant based protein can save you money. Compared to red meat, chicken and pork, it’s far cheaper per serving. If you aren’t strictly vegan, combine it with milk products or eggs to increase the protein.
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