What? You’re Vegan?! Where Do You Get Protein From?
Meat Is the Only Source Of Protein Right?
Proteins are basically the building blocks of life: In the body, they are broken down into amino acids that promote cell growth and repair. You probably know that animal products such as, meat, eggs and dairy, are good sources of protein; unfortunately, they can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. When you hear about one protein source being better than another, it’s in reference to the amino acid makeup. On a side note, one big benefit of plant proteins is that they take longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer periods of time and while ingesting fewer calories. This is a good thing if your goal is to lose weight.
Is Meat The Best Source Of Protein?
Animal foods contain all of the amino acids we need. However, if you ate only beef and nothing else for months at a time, you probably won’t get an amino acid deficiency, but a host of other ones. The same could be said about eating only lentils. You may not get enough of the amino acid called methionine and therefore the body would be significantly deficient. However, no one eats like this. We eat a variety of foods, most of which have some protein, and through the combination of this variety, we get all of the amino acids we need. What you may not know is that you don’t need to eat meat or cheese to get enough protein. The idea that meat is the best and only source of protein is a myth which is believed by most; regardless of nationality. Plant-based proteins are far more beneficial to your body and overall health as opposed to animal-based protein.
5 The Benefits Of Plant Protein
- They take between 2-4 hours to be processed post meal. Conversely, animal proteins can take up to 72 hours, and end up sitting and rotting in your colon! A predominately based animal diet can lead to colon cancer; among other cancers of the stomach and liver.
- They are easier to digest within the stomach. For those suffering from digestive issues, a plant-rich diet will foster less bloating, gas, bowel pain and easier elimination of waste. Conversely, an animal-based diet creates more fermentation in the stomach, which leads to bloating, pain, gas a laboured exit of waste.
- They do not cause osteoporosis and bone loss. Plant-based diets, in which a proper variety of foods are ingested, promote good bone health. On the flip-side, a diet rich in animal proteins leads to the weakening of the bones, as the body creates higher levels of uric acid, in order to breakdown the complex animal proteins. In fact, nations which have the lowest levels of meat and dairy consumption have the lowest incidences of osteoporosis and hip fractures! However, nations which produce and consume the highest levels of dairy products have the highest level of osteoporosis!
- They prevent heart attacks. Typically, vegans do not have heart attacks if they are not consuming high quantities of processed foods. A plant-rich diet not only promotes clear arteries and veins but the elasticity of those vessels, which allows smooth circulation. Animal-based diets are high in complex fats, which the body does not utilize as food. And because our food turns into blood, a meat eater will have elevated levels of fat circulating within their blood. This leads to the clogging and hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
They promote faster athletic recovery and healing.
- Olympians and most professional athletes are aware that a plant-based diet will give them an edge in competition. Ironically, many will switch their diet as they prepare for a competition, but will often switch it back to a high-fat diet post event. The reason why plant-based diets heal the body quicker is due to the shortened processing time of the protein, which the cells require in order to repair exerted muscles and other bodily injuries. The other added benefit is that these proteins are not inhibited by animal fat and can easily repair cells in the body.
It’s About Preventing Disease
Plant-based diets not only repair and heal the body, but they prevent disease and increase our longevity. They also directly impact our quality of life, so that we can be disease-free. And for you who are beginning your fitness journey or for those who have already embarked on it, it may be time to up your good proteins and reduce the bad. Not only will you notice a benefit by how you feel, but it will give a boost to your workout. Be healthy!
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