Protein! What is it? How much do we need? and do Vegans get enough of it?

Protein! What is it? How much do we need? and do Vegans get enough of it?

Have you ever heard of someone going to the hospital for protein deficiency? Yeah, me neither. Protein is, of course, an abundant macronutrient needed for our bodies to function properly. However, there are massive amounts of protein gimmicks out there from bars, to supplements, to powders but I’m here to give you a breakdown of it all.

First off, proteins are here to give us energy. Amino acids grouped together are what make up a protein. There are 20 amino acids; 11 of them we synthesize already in our bodies and 9 of them (essential) we need to get from our diet and cannot synthesize on our own. These essential amino acids are important factors for our overall health. They provide the beginning structures of many neurotransmitters such as Phenylalanine which is useful in treating fatigue and depression.

The body only needs .8g per kilogram of body weight when it comes to protein. So let’s say you ingest even more, like 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and you are 160 pounds. That means 160 lbs (72.5kilograms) x1.2= 87 grams of protein. That is plenty right there and some people consume much less. Many people load up on meat, eggs, fish throughout the day and although that gives the body plenty of fuel, B Vitamins, and minerals, it can be a little excessive when it comes to protein intake. Excess protein is converted as an inefficient energy source and stored as fat. Now, if you are an endurance athlete, you may definitely satisfy your protein requirements throughout the day and, during heavy training, might even need more. Try adding more shakes throughout the day filled with veggies, hemp protein, and spirulina which is a blue-green algae fresh water plant and is one of the best superfoods made on this earth.

 

If you are a plant-based eater, I would suggest these specific plant proteins throughout your day. You’d be surprise how much protein you can get from plants, grains, and legumes. I would also suggest investing in a Vitamix. This machine can literally blend up an avocado pit in a second and doesn’t strip any nutrients from your juicy creations like juicers do. Here’s a link to purchasing a Vitamix blended, it’s worth the investment!

 

Plant-based protein options:

 

Tempeh (1 cup is 31g of protein!)

Tofu

Kale

Seeds- chia, sunflower, pumpkin are great.

Beans – mung, kidney, black

Lentils

Brown rice

Baked potato

Kamut

Spirulina

Hemp milk

Nuts and nut butters – raw and unsalted are best.

Peanut butter (organic with oil on top) – avoid processed brands like Skippy or Jif.

 

Protein Powders I recommend: VegaOne protein powder and Plant By V

Protein bars I recommend: I have one recipe here along with my energy balls, and I would also suggest “Eat Healthy” brand Low Glycemic Bars.

 

I hope this clears the air about some protein questions some of you have been asking. And, of course, if you are a meat eater (I actually am too), then try purchasing the best quality meat. Organic and grass fed are best and as for fish I would buy anything wild caught (avoid any farm fish).

 



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