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Protein for vegetarians: Why It Is Crucial to Include More Protein Your Diet & How Plant-based Supplements Help?

Protein is known as the building block of our body and this is why it is mandatory to include a sufficient amount of protein in your daily diet. Ideally, a balanced diet consists of 0.75g protein per kilogram of an individual’s body weight. It is often thought that vegetarians cannot have much protein as there are very few vegetarian or vegan sources of protein and even if there are, those are not as rich as animal protein.

It doesn’t matter how popular this belief is, it is nowhere close to the facts. There are ample protein sources for vegetarians, they just need to be smart enough to choose the right ones. Plant-based protein is not inferior to animal protein in any case. It is also rich in all the essential amino acids. Plant protein has lesser saturated fat as compared to meat protein.

What is protein and why do you need it?

We bet that you have been told multiple times that you should never skip protein from your diet and eat plenty of it. Protein is a very essential macronutrient along with carbohydrates and fats. It is made up of nitrogen-based molecules. These long-chain molecules are known as amino acids and each one of these has an important role to play in our body. Protein helps in building and repairing our muscles and various body parts.

From your enzymes to cell transporters, cells’ scaffolding, your hair, fingernails, bones, mos of your muscles, to internal organs; and many hormones in your body are made up of protein. So, you are basically a pile of protein!

Protein is also very satiating in nature and this is why it helps with weight loss and management as well. Our body uses 20 amino acids for various functions, but out of these, there are 9 such amino acids that our body cannot produce. These are the essential amino acids that can be obtained from a variety of foods and supplements. The remaining 11 amino acids are produced by your body using the essential ones.

5 Reasons to eat protein

  • Curbs appetite and controls hunger levels

Protein is the most satiating component and keeps you full for longer hours. Protein helps in reducing the level of the ghrelin hormone, which is popularly known as the hunger hormone. To reduce belly fat, you can start eating more protein by replacing some of the carbs and fats with it.

  • Helps with weight management and weight loss

A high-protein diet can help in enhancing metabolism and result in reduced calorie intake and cravings. This can help with weight loss and also helps with weight management. It can help people with obesity to control their weight. A study showed that indivudals who increased their protein intake from 15 to 18%, experienced 50% lesser weight regain.

  • Helps in enhancing muscle mass and strength

Since protein is regarded as the building block of muscles, eating sufficient amounts of protein can help in the maintenance of muscle mass and also supports muscle growth while strength training. There are various studies that support this claim. Increasing your protein intake can also help in restricting muscle loss while losing weight.

  • Enhances metabolism and boosts fat-burning capacity

Your body utilizes the calories to digest and utilize the nutrients in foods. This process is called the thermic effect of food. But every food is different. Protein has a higher thermic effect as compared to carbs and fats. This is the reason why increased protein intake can lead to improved metabolism and enhanced calorie-burning capacity.

  • Helps in speedy recovery post-injury

If you are involved in workouts, it is quite common to deal with injuries. Protein helps in accelerating the repair and recovery process post injuries. There are multiple studies that have suggested that consuming protein can actually improve the recovery process.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, then too you need protein to avail all the benefits mentioned above. It becomes even more crucial to consume protein on a daily basis as vegetarians are likely to be protein deficient. Therefore, it becomes important to include plant-based protein in your diet, if you fall under the category of vegetarians.

A common misconception is that if you aren’t involved in physical activities like sports or bodybuilding, you don’t need protein. The truth is, that you need protein every day irrespective of your activity levels.

How much protein do I need?

If you maintain a healthy weight and aren’t much into exercising or lifting weights, you can consume around 0.8 to 1.3g per kg of your body weight. This translates roughly to:

  • 55-90g per day for a healthy average male
  • 45-75g per day for an average healthy female 

It’s often thought that eating more protein can lead to kidney damage, which is not true. Only if you have pre-existing kidney or liver issues, you need to be careful with your protein intake. Currently, there is no concrete evidence that supports the theory that eating more protein can cause kidney or liver damage.

Plant-based protein supplements can help you met your daily protein requirements if you are a vegan or vegetarian. 

Best protein sources for vegans and vegetarians

  • Tofu, edamame, tempeh

These are all originated from soybeans and thus fuel you with the essential amino acids. Edamame is nothing but unripened soybeans that need to be steamed or boiled for consumption. Tofu is popularly known as soy paneer are usually doesn’t has any taste of its own. Tempeh has a bit of nutty flavor. All these are rich in iron, calcium, and protein. Edamame fuels you with folate, vegetarian vitamin B, and minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium.

  • Broccoli 

This vegetable offers vegetarian Vitamin C along with protein. It has got higher protein content than most vegetables. It is a low-fat vegetable with no fat content. Broccoli is also a great vitamin B12 vegetarian support.

  • Mushrooms and forified cereals

Mushrooms are a great source of vegetarian vitamin D. these are the only plant sources to be rich in this vitamin. These offer vitamin D-2 that helps in enhancing vitamin D levels. There are many kinds of cereal that come packed with this vitamin and added protein. You can consume these to fulfill your protein needs.

  • Almonds, peanuts, seeds

Seeds like pumpkin seeds, nuts like peanuts, and almonds are a good source of vegetarian vitamin E.  this vitamin is a fat-soluble nutrient that functions as an antioxidant and protects your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E also helps in boosting immune function and supports healthy skin and hair. Both almonds and peanuts are also great sources of protein.

  • Lentils 

Apart from being rich in protein, these are also an excellent vegan source of folate, iron, and manganese. These are rich in antioxidants.

  • Chickpeas and beans

Kidney beans, black beans, pinto, and various other forms of beans make for a good source of protein for vegetarians. Beans and chickpeas contain around 15g of protein per cooked cup. They are also rich in minerals such as folate, iron, potassium, phosphorous, fiber, etc.

How do I fulfill my extra protein needs?

Plant-based protein supplements are a great way to boost your daily protein intake, whether or not you are working out. These supplements are a hassle-free way of consuming your protein on a daily basis. One might miss out on the daily required protein from the food alone, so these supplements help.

Why should you choose plant-based protein supplements?

  • Rich in essential amino acids
  • Light on stomach
  • A hassle-free way to consume your daily protein
  • Faster absorption
  • Lower in calories and fast when compared to other protein sources
  • Boosts your daily nutrient profile

bGREEN plant protein made with a blend of pea protein and brown rice protein to help you meet your daily protein needs and support your workout and fitness routine as well. It contains plant-based enzymes for better absorption and digestion. Each serving offers 25g protein to support lean muscle growth. This is a 100% vegan supplement that is enriched with a special antioxidant repair blend to support muscle recovery and restrict cell damage. This product has got no added sugar or other harmful ingredients or preservatives.

bGREEN is a brand crafted exclusively for vegans, to help them in their fitness journey. You can try out other supplements offered by the brand as well and experience vegan nutrition like never before.

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