Proteins form an essential and fundamental part of a balanced Human Diet. Proteins not only help in overall growth but are also essential for repairing old cells and making new ones. These crucial functions make protein a vital and inevitable part of our daily diet.
Dietary Protein can be derived from animals as well as from plants. Animal-sourced Protein has always been popular but is not environment-friendly. This makes it important for us to look for other sources of protein, such as Plant-based proteins. Not only is plant protein a lot more environmentally friendly, but it is also vegan, economical, and caters to higher consumer demand.
What Is Plant Protein?
Plant protein is a vegetarian source of protein obtained from plants. It is a common misconception that pulses and beans are the only vegetarian protein-rich sources, when in fact, it is well-established by research that nuts, legumes, and seeds also have enough protein to fulfill a person’s daily protein requirement. Although these sources of protein have always been in our diet, these days the food preferences of young adults and children are rapidly changing, and their diets lack the protein required on a daily basis for the better functioning of the body.
Thus, considering the changing food preferences of the modern era and the growing demand for an organic source of protein to fulfill the human body’s daily nutritional requirements, we have come up with a special Plant-Based Protein Powder. This powder is naturally extracted and carefully processed to maintain its originality and retain its benefits. It is just a different way of taking the natural protein in a modified form as people these days run from eating raw and organic sources of protein.
Why Plant Protein?
The most natural question that anyone would ask at this stage would be this: why opt for plant protein? After all, the market already provides us with whey protein, which is not only available in different flavors but can also be made tasty. To address those concerns, let us draw a comparison between the two to help you decide what fits you better.
Plant protein vs Whey Protein
- Whey protein is made from whey, a byproduct of cheese making. It is then processed and converted into a powder. Since it is made from cow’s milk, it contains a sugar called lactose. That can make it unsuitable for people who have dairy allergies and are lactose intolerant. Plant protein, depending on its source, could also contain common allergens such as soy and gluten. However, there are plenty of variations available. Therefore, it is important to always read the label on your food product carefully before buying, so that you can avoid any allergens that do not suit you.
- Research has shown that whey protein can sometimes be difficult to digest and can cause issues like bloating and gastric trouble. On the other hand, plant protein powder is easy to digest and causes no side effects as it is naturally extracted from plant sources that have always been integral to our diets. Plant protein has fewer calories and a lower fat content as compared to whey protein, which adds to its ease of digestion.
Although both whey and plant protein hold the same amount of protein and are available at more or less the same price in the market if you are looking for a clean, natural, and minimally processed protein, Plant protein is the best fit for you.
Plant protein: Sources
Be it whey protein or plant protein, neither can be considered a self-sufficient meal that will help you fulfill your daily nutritional requirements. These are just supplements that you can take with your regular meals to have a completely balanced diet. Of course, everyone is familiar with animal proteins derived from dairy, eggs, and meats. Let us then talk about some vegan sources of plant protein that are important for us to incorporate into our regular diets.
- Tofu- This popular dairy and meat substitute is not only a rich source of protein but also contains calcium and iron. It is also used in place of meat in some dishes. Thus, it is an ideal vegan and plant protein.
- Lentils – Lentils are considered a key source of protein, especially in Indian vegetarian households. But why just cook and eat them as dals? You can also incorporate them in your salads, snacks, and rice to get that extra portion of protein.
- Nuts- Begin your day with a handful of mixed nuts to get that extra dash of energy. Amongst them, almonds and pistachios are the top two sources of protein.
- Quinoa – this is a superfood that contains all essential 9 amino acids. What many don’t know is that it’s a seed that finds dual usage as a whole grain. Surprising, isn’t it?
- Peanuts- We all know that peanuts are a great source of protein, but many struggles with how to incorporate them into their daily diet. Peanuts are best roasted, mixed into salads, and also as peanut butter added to smoothies and sandwiches. A surefire way of making your meal tasty yet nutritious!
- Chickpea- A legume known to have enough protein to form a balanced diet, this can be used in salads, roasted as a snack, or even made into delicious hummus to incorporate into your daily diet.
- Nutritional yeast- this is one of the vegans’ favorite ways to consume protein because of its cheesy umami flavor. It’s a must-try for everyone, not just because of its protein content but also because it contains many antioxidants and Vitamin B complex. A great way to include it in your diet is by using it in your soups and sauces. It can even be used to make a delicious pasta sauce, with the added bonus of eliminating the need for extra cheese.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of plant protein and its sources, let’s look at some of its advantages and disadvantages.
- Plant proteins like whey proteins help you feel fuller and suppress your appetite. They also control the release of hunger hormones, thereby decreasing your craving for fast foods. They can add great benefits to your journey to lose weight and get fitter.
- One of the major benefits of having plant protein is that in addition to completing your daily protein requirements, it also provides other nutrients such as vitamins, magnesium, and dietary fibers. This is an added advantage for individuals whose diets lack other nutrients as well.
- Plant proteins also aid muscle health, as one of the primary functions of proteins is the reconstruction of muscles in the body. This is particularly beneficial for people engaging in sports and other physical activities as they help to heal the muscle tissues faster.
- Plant proteins also help in cognitive functioning. They help to increase oxygen in the brain, improve blood circulation in our body, and help to reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Like any other food item, Plant protein powder also has some risks in addition to its advantages. We believe it is important to give you all the information so that you can accurately estimate whether or not it suits your requirements. Let’s discuss the risks associated with plant protein powder.
- Plant protein, specifically whey protein, can have a high carbohydrate content. Not indulging in any physical activity or taking a higher amount of it can result in weight gain.
It is not advisable to introduce new supplements to a woman during their pregnancy as they undergo a lot of physical and mental changes. No new protein supplements should be added even post-pregnancy until advised by the doctor.
- Plant protein is made by processing legumes and nuts. It is found that many people are allergic to these ingredients. Therefore, unless one checks the labels thoroughly at the time of purchase, certain plant protein supplements can cause strong allergic reactions in some people.
As previously discussed, plant-based protein, or any protein powder for that matter, cannot be misconstrued as a meal that will meet your daily protein need. You must consume a well-balanced diet in addition to plant-based protein powder, as it is merely a supplement to help you achieve your protein requirements.
It is important to maintain a balance of both plant and animal-based sources of protein and use them in our diet interchangeably. If we rely on one source alone, it is extremely difficult to achieve the daily target for our bodies’ protein requirement. Having said that, we must also bear in mind that it is also past time for us as conscious global citizens to switch from animal to plant-based protein since the latter is far more environmentally friendly and does not disrupt the ecological equilibrium the way extracting protein from animals does.
Thus, it is important for us to supplement our diets with the right and relevant sources of protein to get balanced nutrition during the day. And to fulfill that requirement, what’s better than a natural source that retains its benefits even after being turned into a different form?
We at PMV offer several plant protein solutions, particularly in the form of hydrolyzed peanut protein and cereal-based malt extracts. These incorporate protein from peanuts and cereals such as barley, millet, and wheat. In order to find out more information, please check out our websites- www.pmvnutrient.com and www.maltcompany.com.