Think outside the beef: Did you know that you can also get protein from plants?
Approximately 20% of the human body is made up of protein, and it’s estimated that we need around 46 to 56 grams of protein in our diet each day. Since our bodies aren’t able to store protein, it should be included as a part of every well-balanced meal.
Proteins from animal sources are called complete proteins because they contain all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies need. Proteins from plant sources such as nuts and beans, however, are mostly called incomplete proteins because they are missing at least one of the essential amino acids. Despite this, plant proteins may actually be the healthier choice.
Processed red meats such as steaks and hamburgers can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, whereas a diet that’s rich in plant protein can actually help combat heart disease and diabetes. Certain tree nuts and peanuts do contain fats, but they are healthy fats that double as a good source of protein and fiber.
Interested in ways you can add more plant-based protein into your diet? Try adding nuts to your cereal or salads. You can also add legumes in pasta and soups or even try soy-based meat alternatives. Also consider subbing quinoa, a grain-like flowering plant that’s a complete protein, for rice.