Did you know that vegan protein foods help our bodies recover faster from high-intensity activities than animal protein? Find out!
How do vegans get proteins? This is one of the most commonly asked questions across the world. And this is totally justified, as veganism and protein have both been debatable topics since the very beginning. What most people out there don’t know is that there are abundant vegan protein foods out there and that we have the wrong idea of how much protein we need.
Veganism has come into focus recently as numerous famous personalities and athletes are turning to a healthy, environment-friendly plant-based diet. Again, the question of how an athlete can survive without protein is often asked. But here’s the truth – there’s a common misconception that athletes require a significant amount of protein to keep themselves fit, gain muscle mass, strength and perform well. The research states otherwise. According to prominent research sources, athletes can thrive on a diet that includes 10% protein.
Now, this goes starkly against what all of us have been learning all these years. Instead of filling our bodies with protein, we need to maintain a healthy carbs to protein ratio of 3:1. This not only helps in optimal absorption of nutrition but also fuels your body with energy when required. These carbs are stored as glycogen in the muscles. Carbs are particularly beneficial in endurance events like marathons. They give our bodies an instant and constant release of energy, which is essential in strenuous endurance events.
Difference Between Plant and Animal-Based Protein
Animal-based protein (which is mostly meat) is difficult for the body to digest. When we opt for animal-based protein, we end up consuming more protein than we require. This forces our body to get rid of the excess protein, which again means extra work for our bodies. This not only adds stress to the body but also results in inflammation, which is the root cause of many other illnesses.
Plant-based protein, on the other hand, makes sure that our bodies get just as much protein as they require. These anti-inflammatory foods help our bodies recover faster from high-intensity activities. These vegan protein foods also fuel you up with enough energy to keep you going for your next workout, too.
What are the Best Sources of Protein?
Plant-based protein is hands down the best type of protein for our consumption. Regardless of whether you are an athlete or not, these vegan protein foods keep your body fit, as they do not contain any cholesterol.
Let’s forget for once the myth of combining plant foods for complete protein. It is not necessary to combine specific plant foods to ensure protein is “complete.” The body breaks down amino acids in food and turns them into complete proteins on its own. “Any whole natural plant food, or any combination of them, if consumed as the sole source of calories for a day, would provide all the essential amino acids and not just the minimum requirements, but much more than the recommended requirements,” writes Jeff Novick, MS, RD.
Instead of meat, we can consider including lots of whole foods such as lentils and legumes in our diet. Soybeans, tofu, and tempeh are perfect for those who switch to veganism, as these foods offer a meat-like texture. Grains, fruits, and vegetables are the best whole foods and offer ample fiber, protein content, and contain no cholesterol at all.
Plant-based proteins have so many health benefits that we need to start consuming more of them. Eventually, when we realize that these plant-based sources enrich our body with all the protein it requires, we will be in a better position to quit meat-based protein sources completely. The main effort of Team SCK is to highlight the importance of veganism, with an attempt to help the SCK community understand its immense benefits.