Fat, carbohydrates, and protein are the three major macronutrients that we get from our food. Among them, protein is the most celebrated one as it plays a key role in various biological processes. It is required for building muscles and tissues, bolstering the immune system, producing hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymes, and so on. Remember that it is the basic building block of various biological structures. Traditionally, people have been getting this macronutrient from animal-based food sources. But, nowadays, more people are favoring plant-based food protein sources. In this article, we will look at making and eating plant-based protein sources.
The Benefits Of Plant-Based Protein Sources
The main advantage of plant-based protein sources is that they are healthier. Apart from this, eating more plant-based food can help with weight loss, promote gut health, reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and cancer prevention. Also, a 2019 study found that a plant-forward diet was linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Drawbacks Of Plant-Based Protein Sources
The main drawback of plant-based protein is that they are not a complete protein, i.e. it does not have some of the essential amino acids. Also, plant-based food is low in nutrients like B12 vitamins, vitamin D3, and iron. So, following a plant-forward diet, especially a vegan diet increases the risk of developing certain deficiency diseases.
The Different Plant-Based Protein Types
Soy-Based: Tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy crumbles, and edamame
Legume- Or Bean-Based: Chickpeas, beans, lentils, black beans, eggless eggs, and bean burgers
Pea Protein-Based: Pea milk and pea protein
Nut- And Seed-Based: Almonds, brazil nuts, quinoa, cashews, pistachios, chia seeds, and flax seeds
Vegetable-Based: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli
Other: Spirulina and mycoprotein
Proteins Sources To Try In Plant-Based Recipes
Seitan: This wheat-based protein or gluten is an excellent meat replacement in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Apart from this, it is low on calories and has sizable amounts of selenium, which is an antioxidant that helps to combat cellular damage. Above all, it has a meaty texture and depending on the cooking methods used, it can resemble chicken, pork, and beef.
Tempeh: Tempeh has a firm texture, and because of this, it is a good meat replacement in plant-based recipes. It is rich in protein, iron, fiber, and potassium. However, it has a strong nutty taste that may not be liked by all.
Tofu, Soy Crumbles, And Edamame: These soy-based foods are popular choices in plant-based recipes. Tofu is popular because it has a bland taste, and it easily absorbs flavors from the ingredients used in a recipe.
Remember that, there are limitless options when you switch to plant-based protein sources and they are healthier.