People go on diets for a number of reasons, which can range from health concerns, trends, or earnest attempts to change their lifestyles. Plant-based diets put a premium on the consumption of foods sourced from plants, with little to no animal products. As we discussed in this post, food affects the functions of the body and the brain. However, people may continue to worry that they will not consume enough protein because of the lack of meat. Protein is a macronutrient necessary in building and repairing tissues and transporting nutrients throughout the body. It's also beneficial for our bones, skin, hair, and immune system. While the debate on sufficient protein intake can be overwhelming, experts currently recommend that adults consume 0.36 grams per pound of their body weight daily. If you want to make the switch, or if you already have but are still worried about your protein intake – all you need to do is open your eyes to the great big world of alternatives. Here are some tips to get you started:
Incorporate more grains
There are several grain options out in the market, from wild rice to quinoa, amaranth, and several others. These are packed with proteins and are gluten-free. Moreover, they go with practically every meal and serve as a good base for building Buddha bowls or as a complement to hearty stews. If you’re unsure of the cooking methods needed for some of these grains, this website features chef Ji-Hyun Hall who can help guide you through thorough reviews about a variety of rice cookers – this can simplify your grain-cooking process. These appliances do all the work for you, and therefore give you no excuse for eating less than the recommended daily serving of protein.
Explore the wonders of nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are pretty much a given for plant-based diets. They can be consumed in their natural form, but there are other creative ways of adding them to your repertoire. Hemp seeds are considered complete proteins and can be thrown into your morning smoothie, porridge, and even salad. You could sprinkle other seeds on your toast and for an added crunch, blend them into sauces for extra creaminess, or bake them into pastries. If you’re feeling experimental, you can make your own nut butter too.
Sneak in protein powders
If you don’t want to exert much of an effort preparing your plant-based proteins, consider protein powders that you can easily sneak in anywhere. Green pea protein powder is loaded with micro-nutrients and vitamins, and all nine amino acids. It’s even safe for most specialized diets. Consuming peas in their powdered form is even more nutritious than eating them as is. If you have an aversion to the taste, you don't have to worry as the powder can be easily masked in shakes or stirred into soups at the last minute. Its high fiber content may also aid in your digestion. Ensuring that you get the right amount of protein in your diet is essential in supporting your immune system, and in turn, in safeguarding against viruses. It’s never been more necessary to do so than now, so start measuring your protein intake today. Of course, if you're still on the fence about preparing your own meals as you adjust to your new diet, you can always turn to pre-made meal services that cater to plant-based and gluten-free diets with the freshest ingredients.