Our body needs protein for numerous reasons, and its deficiency weakens overall health, as the body will begin to break down muscle tissue in order to supply the needed amino acids.
Unlike the other micronutrients and fat, you can rarely hear a bad word for protein.
Protein consists of amino acids, and when it is digested, the body breaks down their string into individual amino acids. Each of these amino acids has its role in some aspect of our health, and they are divided into two groups: essential and non-essential.
Our body is able to create the non-essential acids, but when it comes to the essential ones, we need to get them through our diet.
The most important role of protein is to repair and build muscle mass. It also creates neurotransmitters such as melatonin, dopamine, serotonin, which send signals around the body, so it cannot function without them.
Additionally, protein also plays a role in the production of antibodies, enzymes, and hormones.
Needed protein amount
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the minimal daily amount is .13g/lb of protein per bodyweight, to stay alive and prevent muscle wasting, and their official recommendation for protein consumption is .30g/lb.
Yet, this depends on numerous factors, such as the age, physical activity frequency, type, duration, goals, etc.
For instance, older people need a bit more protein than the average consumption recommendation by the WHO, but the range within .2g/ – .8g/lb is undoubtedly safe. Going beyond it can be highly risky, as it will overburden the liver.
Namely, when the body metabolizes protein, it creates ammonia, and the liver converts it into urea and it gets eliminated through the urine. Therefore, excessive protein levels cause unneeded stress to the liver.
Due to its importance to the overall health, we are constantly being advised to make sure we optimize its levels in the body, and we instantly think of animal products, the most popular being eggs, meat,and fish.
However, there are incredibly protein-rich plant foods as well, which provide other health benefits at the same time. Check out the 10 plant sources below, which are even higher in protein than eggs, as they have more than 6g per 50g:
This superfood contains 28g of protein per 50g. Moreover, it is rich in magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin K, and potassium, and detoxifies the body.
- Nutritional Yeast
It contains 25g of protein per 50g. Additionally, it is high in B-12, and has a tasty, cheesy and nutty flavor.
Tahini contains roasted and crushed sesame seeds, and 50gr of it contain 10g of protein. Sesame seeds are high in vitamins and minerals, like magnesium, manganese, and zinc, and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
- Almond Butter
50g of it have 10g of protein, and high amounts of healthy fats, biotin, vitamin E, and manganese.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain 8g of protein per 50g and are also extremely rich in magnesium, which is essential for over 300 processes that occur in our body.
This sea vegetable has 16g of protein per 50g.It is also high in fiber, good iodine, and potassium.
- Flax Seeds
These seeds are incredibly beneficial, and contain 9g of protein per 50g, fiber, and high amounts of omega-3, which treat inflammation. To preserve its oils, use freshly ground fresh flax seeds.
This algae is another superfood, which detoxifies the body from heavy metals, and provides high amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, and 29g of protein per 50g.
- Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts contain 16g of protein per 50g, and are also a rich source of omega-3 fats.
- Cacao Nibs
Cacao is different from cocoa as its enzymes are intact and thus help digestion. It is loaded with fiber, magnesium, and calcium, and contains 7g of protein per 50g.
To maintain your vitality and prevent numerous health issues, make sure you get sufficient protein in the body, which is between .2-.8g/lb per day.
Despite the popular animal protein sources, these plant ones will provide amazing health benefits, and additionally boost your health.