Protein is one of the three macronutrients that our bodies need to function in the best way possible.
So what is protein and how much of it do we need?
What is protein?
Protein is often referred to as the building blocks of the human body. Our body uses protein for our muscles, skin, hair, blood, brain chemicals and for a healthy immune system.
How much protein do we need?
Our protein needs depend on our age, size and activity level.
One of the ways many health professionals measure protein requirements is to multiply body weight in kilograms by .8 or weight in pounds by .37.
Example: A person weighing 70kg would require 56g of protein.
And when it comes to obtaining and consuming protein, plants are a great source.
Plant protein sources
There are two main sources of protein:
· Animal; meat, fish, eggs, dairy and poultry
· Vegetable; nuts, seeds, seaweed and legumes.
Today I am going to share with you 6 plant protein sources that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
The Facts: 1 cup cooked = 18g
Lentils are a wonderful addition to any meal and their high protein and fibre content will help you feel fuller for longer. Lentils are so versatile and can be used in soups, salads or casseroles.
· Thiamin: Is important for maintaining a healthy nervous system and improving the cardiovascular functioning of the body
· Vitamin B6: Helps the immune system and can also help with the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema acne and dry skin.
· Niacin: Helps the body break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy.
The Facts: 1 cup cooked = 8g
Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that is a complete protein source. What that means is that quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids that our body needs.
· Magnesium: Magnesium has also been shown to lower blood pressure and help reduce the severity of pms.
· Iron: Is used to help transport oxygen throughout the body.
· Potassium: Helps the kidneys remove all the toxins from your body.
The Facts: ¼ cup raw = 7.5g
Almonds are not only a good source of protein but they are also an easy and convenient snack to have on hand. Almonds are nutrient dense, which will help you feel fuller for longer and packed with amazing health benefits.
· Magnesium and Potassium: Magnesium assists in the absorption of calcium which is very important as we get older and Potassium is an important part of our bodies as it helps your muscles grow and repair.
· Vitamin E: Is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage.
· Folic acid: Beneficial for pregnant women as it can prevent the risk of birth defects.
The Facts: 1 cup = 5g
Broccoli helps your immune system, your heart health, your digestion and because it is full of soluble fiber it helps lower cholesterol.
· Vitamin C: Vitamin C will help protect your body from infections and colds but it also helps our body’s ability to heal itself.
· Calcium: Strong and healthy bones.
· Lutein: Lutein can help improve the elasticity of your skin and can help protect it from the elements of the environment.
The Facts: 1 cup cooked = 5g
The benefits of spinach are long and vast. This amazing little plant helps with heart health, lowers blood pressure, skin and eye health, healthy hair, weight loss and boosts immunity.
· Folate: Is important especially if you are pregnant or planning on conceiving soon. Folate helps with a baby’s brain and spine development. Folate also encourages cell and tissue growth.
· Vitamin K: Is important for bone health. It also helps the body during injury by clotting the blood and avoiding too much blood loss.
· Vitamin A: helps our mucus membranes that help keep our bodies healthy and helps maintain a healthy immune system.
The Facts: ¼ cup = 4g
Goji berries are a great source of protein and they contain 15x more iron that spinach! They also contain 500x times more vitamin C than oranges! Goji berries also have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits too.
· Vitamin A: Vitamin A can also help prevent eye related conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.
· Vitamin C: Vitamin C has also been shown to lower blood pressure.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Emma Hajduk