There are not many nutrients that are as essential as protein. It is the building block of the muscles and also plays a major role in several body functions. It is recommended that an average sedentary man and woman should take 56 and 46 grams of protein each day.
There are several foods that you can consume for getting the required daily amount of protein. Most of these are animal foods and it will be a problem for vegans. However, you don’t have to worry. The health community has identified several protein-rich vegan foods that you can add to your plant-based recipes.
Lentils, beans, yeast, green peas, hempseed, tofu, seitan, spirulina, amaranth, quinoa, etc. are some of the best plant-based foods that are rich in protein.
Here are some of the reasons for including more protein-rich foods in your plant-based diet.
Improves Bone Health
Some people think that eating more foods that are rich in protein can be bad for bones. Well, it is quite the opposite. Taking a high amount of protein-rich foods can be very beneficial for your bones. The false belief arises from the fact that protein increases the acid load in your body, which leads to the leakage of calcium from the bones in order to neutralize the acid.
Most long-term studies on proteins have shown that both plant and animal protein can offer a lot of benefits for bone health. Studies are claiming that the bone mass density in people who are eating more protein-rich foods is very high and the risk of osteoporosis and fractures will be very lower among them. That is why health experts often recommend menopausal women eat more protein-rich foods. The risk of osteoporosis will be higher in women who undergo menopause.
Increases Muscle Mass
We all know that protein is the building block of muscles and eating more foods that are rich in proteins is very beneficial in maintaining your muscle mass and helps in promoting muscle growth. Many studies have looked into the ability of protein in increasing muscle mass and strength.
If you are an athlete, you will be engaging in a lot of physical activities, such as lifting weights, running, swimming, etc. All of this need muscle strength and taking enough protein-rich foods can provide that. If you are trying to lose weight, make sure that you keep your protein intake high for preventing muscle loss.
Lowers Your Appetite
The effects of fats, protein, and carbs on your body will be very different. Some recent studies have shown that out of the three macronutrients, protein is the most effective nutrient that makes you feel fuller with very little food. This is because of the ability of the protein to reduce the levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
Protein can also boost the peptide YY levels in your body. This hormone is very helpful in making you feel full. A recent study has shown that a 15-30% increase in protein intake can help women to take 441 fewer calories daily. That too without any restrictions in the diet. Therefore, the best way to lose weight is by replacing foods that are rich in fats and carbs with a plant-based diet.
Helps In Boosting Metabolism
If recent studies are to be believed, protein can help in boosting your metabolism and can increase fat burning in your body. The thermic effect of protein is very high when compared to carbs or fats. When you take a high amount of protein-rich foods, it was found that the number of calories burned also increases.
Many dieticians are now suggesting people to increase the intake of plant-based foods that are rich in protein to boost their metabolism and fat burning. Most studies have shown that protein can help to burn 80-100 calories each day. However, some recent studies are showing that high protein intake can burn even more calories daily.
Promotes Weight Loss
Another benefit of consuming protein-rich foods is that they can help in maintaining weight loss. This is because a high-protein diet helps in boosting your metabolism and automatically reduces your calorie intake. Studies have shown that weight loss is very instant in people who increase their protein consumption.
A recent study conducted on an overweight woman proved the ability to protein in maintaining weight loss. The woman got 30% of her calories from protein-rich foods and lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks without restricting her diet.
Lowers High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is very harmful to your body and can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Some of the recent studies are claiming that increasing your protein intake can lower your blood pressure.
A review of 40 studies is showing that increased protein intake helped in lowering both diastolic and systolic blood pressure and helped in reducing the risk of heart disease. it was also found that eating protein-rich foods helped to reduce cholesterol levels in your body.