Vegan protein sources

Many people think that following a vegan diet means that there will be less than enough proteins available. But on the contrary, most of the foods that consist in a vegan diet contain proteins, and it will be rather difficult to form a vegan diet that has few proteins in it. Such diets are in fact more useful as they have just enough proteins the body needs. Also, excessive consumption of proteins may result in adverse effects on the body.

The main tasks of protein in our body are repairing damaged cells and growth. They are also vital ingredients that are required for almost all biological processes that take place. This is because proteins are what form the enzymes in our system and they are what control the metabolic rate of our body. The strength of our immunity system also depends upon proteins. Therefore it is essential to have sufficient proteins in our diet.

Most of the foods available contain at least minute amounts of proteins. The major sources of proteins for vegans are seeds, nuts and cereals like oats and wheat. Grains are also a decent source of proteins containing superior proteins, as well as legumes and beans, which are particularly effective when they are eaten raw.

However, the most beneficial supplier of proteins is soya products. Soya products deliver almost the same quantity of proteins as meat, outdoing all other vegan foods. In other terms, the body is able to process 92% of the proteins available in meats, and 91% of the proteins available in soybeans.

Soy products include soy milk and tofu-based foods. Tofu is used widely in the place of many meat-based products with foods such as tofu hotdogs and burgers. Tofu is also used to manufacture vegan-friendly ice-creams. These items are easily available in most general or health food stores. In short, soy products are a vegan’s best friend.

In general, it is advised that proteins be consumed in relation to the amount of calories consumed; with about 10% of the total calories consisting of proteins. As there are not many calories present in a vegan diet, it is fairly easy to maintain this level. However, newer research displays that we need less proteins than we thought before; with the required amount having reduced to a value greater than half of the original required quantity in about 20 years.

There are a few instances where an individual may require more protein than normal. One such example is women during pregnancy and also during the stages of breastfeeding. There heightened protein requirements are usually achieved with greater consumption of food. Babies and Children also require large amounts of proteins as they need them to help them grow. Babies will get the required protein from the breast milk while most children eat enough foods to cover their daily protein requirements.

It is important to note that simply fulfilling the daily protein requirements are not enough. It is also important to have enough of other food types so that the body has enough energy. If there is a deficiency of carbs and fats, the body will use the protein as fuel instead of using it to build and repair the body’s cells. But vegans usually do not have to worry about this matter as proteins received from the plant sources also have enough carbs in them to supply the body with adequate amounts of energy.

It is generally believed that people who engage in a lot of physical activities require more proteins. However, it is not true. The energy that they need is supplied to them by carbohydrates. If a person is aiming to increase their muscle mass through exercise, they may require more proteins in which case it will be covered by the increase in food ingestion.

Maintaining a diverse vegan diet means that you will always have sufficient proteins, and should not worry about protein deficiency. In fact, very few people suffer from protein deficiency with the numbers being greater in areas with famine.

The usual scenario is that vegan diets usually meet the daily nutrient requirements of the body, sometimes surpassing it. Although comparatively they may be lower than other diets, low amounts of protein ingestion may prove to be more helpful rather than hurtful. In fact, excess intake of proteins may cause ill effects such as osteoporosis as well as worsening the condition of a weak kidney. It is advised protein consumption should not go beyond twice the value of that stated by the RNI.

Last updated on Apr 12th, 2011 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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