Hello everyone, I’m Joy McCarthy, a holistic nutritionist. Today, I want to talk about plant-based proteins. Although I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, I do eat a mostly plant-based diet because it’s high in fiber, nutrient-dense, and usually cheaper. It’s also better for the planet, especially if you’re eating factory-farmed meat, which is not environmentally friendly.
In this article, I’ll focus on the importance of protein for our bodies, as it’s a building block for every cell in our body, including skin, muscles, bones, and cartilage. Additionally, protein is necessary for making enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in our body. There are nine essential amino acids that our body can’t produce, so it’s essential to eat a variety of foods to get all the necessary nutrients.
The biggest challenge I see with my clients, especially the ones who are health-conscious, is that they eat too many of the same foods, which can lead to health problems. So, I’ll share eight plant-based protein sources to diversify your diet.
Firstly, spirulina, dried blue-green algae, is rich in 22 amino acids and up to 70% protein by weight. It’s a great source of iron, calcium, and beta-carotene, but it’s not very tasty, so it’s best to mix it in a smoothie in moderate amounts.
Secondly, coconut flour, which is gluten-free, is a total superfood. Two tablespoons of coconut flour provide five grams of protein and more fiber than wheat flour. I use it in baking, such as my pumpkin coconut flour chocolate chip muffins, and coconut flour pancakes.
Thirdly, black beans are rich in fiber and provide 21 grams of protein in half a cup of cooked black beans. They’re great for digestive health, help balance blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.
Fourthly, hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are nutty and delicious. A quarter cup of hemp seeds provides 15 grams of protein, making them an easy addition to your diet. They’re also a good source of gamma-linolenic acid, which is great for reducing inflammation and hormonal balance.
Fifthly, chia seeds, with four grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per two tablespoons, are a superfood that easily gelatinizes, making them great for puddings and as an egg substitute. They’re easily digestible and can be sprinkled on salads or in smoothies.
Sixthly, almonds are surprisingly a great source of protein, with one cup providing 30 grams. They’re also high in vitamin E and healthy fats, but soaking them in water overnight can make them more digestible.
Seventhly, lentils, with nine grams of protein in half a cup, are rich in fiber and minerals. Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, provide 20 grams of protein in half a cup, making them a protein heavyweight. Hummus is an excellent snack and a great source of protein.
Finally, bee pollen is a great source of protein, with 40% of its weight being protein in the form of free amino acids. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals and immune-building. One tablespoon is enough to sprinkle on smoothies or granola.
There are many plant-based protein powders available in health food stores, which are another great way to add protein to your diet. I use fermented protein powder in smoothies, pancakes, and muffins.
I hope you enjoyed this video and found it helpful. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more nutrition tips. Have a joyous day, everyone!