Proteins are one of the most important nutrients in the body. One of the most common questions is how to get enough protein into your diet now that you’ve removed it from just about everything else by choosing plant-based protein. Here’s some helpful advice for getting your proteins in a plant-based diet right:
Plant-Based Protein Powder
This is, by far, the easiest way to get protein added to your diet. It takes almost no work at all you just substitute the powder for one or two meals, and it makes up for any deficiency in your usual vegan diet. Some good choices are rice-based proteins (brown rice, black rice), pea proteins, hemp, or soy. Be sure to check the ingredients in your raw protein powder.
Protein in Solid Foods
This is a tough one to tackle for vegans who are cooking for themselves at home. Some good choices are tofu (if you’re not sensitive to soy) and beans, but there are only so many times you can eat them in the same way before you get sick of them. Foods such as lentils and other beans could be the answer to this one.
With just a little bit of effort, there are other ways to get protein into your vegan diet. You can supplement with vegan protein powder (in essence drinking your daily dose), or simply eat more nutrient-dense vegan proteins like nuts and seeds (not the ones coated in chocolate and whatnot). There are other ways to get protein into your diet, but these three might be the easiest for you to start with.
The key is not getting too much protein at once; remember that your body can only take about 30 grams of protein in one sitting, so it’s important to spread it out over the course of your day. Since you can get all the proteins you need from plant sources, there’s no reason to go overboard with too much at once (which happens very easily otherwise).
If you’re going vegan or taking a break from meat remember that just because something says “non-GMO” or “organic” doesn’t mean it’s protein-rich. You’ll actually need to eat more of these processed foods than you would the cheaper, regular ones to get your same protein intake. That’s why it’s important (at first) to focus on getting your proteins from actual food since they’re not calorie-dense most of the time, it’s easier to do so.
Because you’ll be concentrating on plant-based proteins rather than meat-based ones, your body will stop making certain enzymes, which will cause food to pass through your system more quickly. This means that you’ll suffer from bouts of indigestion and lose a bit of weight as a result. Since you’ll be ingesting less food overall and your rate of digestion decreases as well your body will actually start using its fat reserves for energy (even the ones around your belly and thighs).
This is a natural process, and it can last anywhere from three to five days up to a couple of weeks. It’s nothing to be concerned about just eat light, healthy foods during this time so that you keep yourself nourished enough with the proteins and other nutrients your body needs. Once you’ve made it through the adjustment period, though, it’s smooth sailing. You’ll experience all of these benefits without any side effects besides lighter pockets!
In conclusion, eating plant-based proteins is all about making them work for you. You might have to put in a bit of effort during the first couple of days, but once you’ve adjusted, the benefits of eating less meat will start to amaze you. It’s healthier for your body and kinder to animals what more could anyone ask for?