Want Enough Protein With A Plant-Based Diet? Try These 5 Foods
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Proteins are an essential part of daily diet as they are important for growth, muscle development, immunity and forming antibodies. These proteins are made with amino acids that are crucial for regulating cellular processes and maintaining the body's structural integrity.

Generally, it is advised to take 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which on average is 50 grams a day. Essential amino acids usually come from the food that you eat and the body cannot make it on its own. The best sources of amino acids are poultry, eggs and red meat, and you might consider the choices here are limited for those who are on a plant-based diet. But in fact, there are many plant based foods that offer all nine essential amino acids that are required by the body.

Certain foods like soy, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds offer complete proteins to the body. The food items made with these plant-based proteins, like tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and nutritional yeast are all rich in complete proteins and essential amino acids. Let’s see how these foods can benefit your body and what measures you need to follow to add them to your diet.

5 Plant-Based Sources Of Proteins To Add To Diet

1) Soy

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Soy products like tofu, edamame, miso, and soya chunks are all-rounder protein sources as they contain all nine amino acids required by the body. Along with protein, there are other essential nutrients in soy like carbs, fibre, iron and potassium and have moderate calorie content. According to a study published in 2003 in The Journal Of Perinatal Education, one needs to consume about 25 grams of soy protein or more every day to gain an adequate amount of protein in an everyday diet.

2) Legumes

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Legumes come from the plant family Fabaceae. This family usually includes beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, lupins, grass peas, mesquite, carob, tamarind, alfalfa, and clover. Soybeans are also a part of the legume family. To add protein to the diet along with other nutrients, it is essential to eat several types of legumes every day. According to Study in Nutrients, 2022, it was concluded that one serving of legumes which makes 1 ½ cup of legumes contains a total of 8 grams of proteins along with several other nutrients. It is advised to take 1 -3 cups per week.

3) Grains

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Grains are referred to as a major source of sustainable protein by a study published in 2022 by Nutrition Reviews. Cereal grains are commonly consumed as the main source of carbohydrates that give energy to the body. The seven main grains include wheat, oats, rice, corn, millet,  barley, rye and sorghum. Ideally, as per NIH guidelines, it is suggested to consume three servings of whole grains all day, to make up for daily protein intake.

4) Nuts

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Nuts or dry fruits come in many varieties like walnuts, cashews, almonds etc. All of these are an excellent source of plant-based protein and also contain several complex nutrients that are beneficial for the body. In a 2023 study published in Food Journal by MDPI to examine the composition of Nuts and their potential health benefits, it was concluded that nuts contain essential amino acids and some of the major sources are peanuts, almonds, and pistachios. To get an adequate amount of protein from nuts, it is advised to consume 1 cup of nuts to make up for 30 grams of protein in a daily diet.

5) Seeds

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Some of the seeds like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds are rich in essential amino acids. These seeds can help in regulating body weight as well as provide ample proteins to the body. In a 2018 study published in Nutrients Journal, some of the plant-based proteins were examined for adequate protein in the diet and in the study, seeds were also included as an essential part. It was advised to intake roasted seeds and consume about 1-2 cups of seeds every day to make up for 30 grams of protein.

In order to maintain an adequate protein intake in a plant-based diet, you need to add these foods to your diet and make sure to consume them routinely. Before adding these foods to your diet, always take advice from your physician and avoid overdoing protein. When you add these proteins to your diet, you will see a positive change in your health.