Importance of Plant Protein | Prolicious 2X Protein

Importance of Plant Protein | Prolicious 2X Protein

Jun 03, 2023Prolicious | Protein & Delicious!

Proteins are the building blocks of the body. It is practically found in all the parts of the body – muscles, bones, organs, hormones, skin, nails, hair, everywhere. Enzymes are made of protein, which are essential for the body processes. Basically, the proteins are required for the structure, function and regulation of the body processes.  

Where do you get these proteins from? You get the proteins from the food you eat. The protein sources are milk and its products, egg and poultry, fish, meat, pulses and dals, and soy and its products. Animal sources of proteins are said to be the first class proteins that are easily absorbed in the body as compared to the plant sources. Plant sources lack in few amino acids and are difficult to digest.  

Does this mean the vegetarians do not get good quality proteins? If that is the case, then what about the new trend of turning vegan is at its peak? Are plant proteins not advisable? Should everyone start eating non vegetarian foods? Let us solve this confusion and get an insight on the plant protein, are they sufficient and are they worthy to turn vegan.  

Sources of Plant Proteins

  • Dals and pulses 

  • Nuts and seeds 

  • Vegetables  

  • Cereals and millets  

  • Soy and its products 

Benefits of plant proteins 

  • Added nutrients: Plant proteins are found along with the other nutrients like fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The plant sources provide other nutrients along with the proteins.  

  • Easy digestion: The fiber and enzymes aid digestion and increase the absorption. Plant proteins are light on stomach too.  

  • Easy to absorb: Plant proteins are easily absorbed from the stomach. Compared to animal proteins, plant proteins release more absorbable amino acids during digestion.  

  • High satiety: Plant protein has a compact structure which makes it very dense. The fiber in the protein gives high satiety. You feel full after consuming a very small amount. This helps to cut down on extra calories. This will help to control total calories and aid weight loss.  

  • Muscle friendly amino acids: Amino acids in plant proteins are very similar to the muscle proteins. They are readily accepted and absorbed by the muscles. This property of plant protein makes it the most favourite to prepare any plant protein supplement. These amino acids trigger the muscle contraction and relaxation, which is beneficial for people going to gym or the athletes. Not only the movement, but it also helps for wear and tear of the muscles.   

  • Phytonutrient rich: Plant proteins are rich in phytonutrients. These help to reduce the oxidative stress in the body. As these proteins can be easily absorbed, it rapidly starts working in the body.  

  • Diabetic friendly: The fiber in plant protein prevents any sugar spike in the blood. The total carbohydrates in plant protein might be high but the fiber present in them, prevents any sugar spike.  

  • Cardiac friendly: The antioxidants present in plant protein helps to reduce the plaque deposition in the arteries. It also helps to reduce the lipid levels in the blood. This prevents any artery blockage and keeps the heart healthy.  

  • Boosts immunity: The plant protein is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and macronutrients. These substances help to boost immunity. It helps to recover faster and fight with the illness without causing any nutrient deficiency.  

  • Instant energy: Plant protein easily assimilates in the body providing instant energy. It is very important during the sprint activities or during workouts.  

How can you include plant proteins in your daily diet? 

With so many benefits of the plant proteins, the question arises, that, is it possible to eat plant proteins throughout the day? How can you innovatively use plant proteins to your advantage? 

  • With Indian eating habits, it is very easy to include plant proteins in your daily diet. Our diets are cereal based, fulfilling the daily requirement of the plant proteins.  

  • You can replace your milk and its products with the nuts milk and its products if you follow veganism 

  • Plant proteins can also be found in the millets that are in trend these days. Include millet puffs, dosas, roti, and various other recipes. 

  • You can combine two or more food ingredient to get the maximum benefits of the essential amino acids. For example you can mix dal and rice or add millet in your roti flour.  

  • You can replace the dairy with almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk 

  • Include nuts and seeds for added benefits of boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, providing omega 3 fatty acids, and providing abundant amounts of antioxidants.

Limitations of plant proteins: 

  • Compared to animal protein, the amount required is more to meet the daily protein requirement. The meal becomes bulky and might cause digestive issues. 

  • Nuts milk are at par compared to the dairy, but those are slightly expensive 

  • One cannot change from a non-vegetarian to vegan, overnight. You need to follow certain rules to gain maximum benefits. 

  • If you turn complete vegan, every few months you need to get your blood reports done to keep a tab on nutrient deficiency if any 

What is the solution to the limitations? 

  • Always consult a professional before changing any new diet 

  • Check if you have any nutrient deficiencies already 

  • Check if you are allergic to any food ingredient 

  • It takes time to observe any results. Trust your professional and believe in yourself 

Plant proteins are a boon to vegetarians. Plant proteins fulfil our daily protein needs, provide immune boosters, antioxidants, aids weight loss, controls blood glucose and are cardiac friendly.     

About the Author

Dt. Divya Foria

Divya has more than a decade of experience in Nutrition field, specialising in diabetes and cardiac care, a certified diabetes educator, a certified yoga instructor, a content writer, and a nutrition blogger.

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