Ask anyone what is the most important food group you should eat every day and they would say “Proteins”. I feel America is a protein addicted society, the media and corporations do a great job to make sure we believe that we “need” protein for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, the problem here is that people see protein as only meat, and that is just so far from the truth. Below you will get some insight on your other protein options. I do not advocate a particular policy on protein consumption, I am committed to teaching all the options, and encourage you to experiment with what works for your body at this time in your life. This way you’ll be able to successfully guide yourself to your appropriate protein source.
The Vegetarian Culture
Reasons people avoid meat: Animal welfare, genetic engineering, bovine growth hormone, antibiotics, Mad Cow Disease, environment, poor quality, taste, difficult to digest, health, weight gain, food-borne illness, toxic sludge, irradiation, infringes upon spirituality.
Types of vegan proteins:
Beans – Contain a more complete set of amino acids than other plant foods. When first introducing beans into the diet, choose fresh beans that are smaller in size such as split peas, mung and adzuki beans for easier digestion. Digestibility can be further improved by soaking beans overnight, adding spices or vinegar, skimming off cooking foam, pressure cooking or puréeing and eating small portions.
Nuts – Generally considered a fat, not a protein. Peanuts, which are actually legumes, are far higher in protein than any nuts. Nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
Protein Powders – Check for high-quality ingredients. Not recommended in large amounts; eat whole, natural foods as much as possible.
Seitan – Also called “wheat-meat,” seitan is a high-protein product made from wheat gluten. Not a whole food, but not overly-refined either – especially if homemade. (Because this product is pure gluten, this food is not for those with gluten-sensitivity.)
Leafy Greens – Broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, bok choy, romaine lettuce, and watercress all contain varying amounts of protein. Leafy greens are often associated with longevity, because they contain major sources of magnesium, iron and calcium. They are also with a rich source of Quercetin, a bioflavonoid with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. Green leafy vegetables are dense with easily-assimilated amino acids as well as other life-extending nutrients.
Tempeh – Fermented soy easy to digest has the consistency of meat, can be use in a variety of recipes as a meat substitute.
Mushrooms – The types of proteins found in mushrooms are truly unique. One example is lectins that have anti-cancer properties.
Nutritional Yeast – 2 tablespoons of nutritionla yeast has 9 grams of protein. That’s more than in 1 cup of whole milk (8g), a large egg (6g), or one oz. of beef (7g). It’s a wonderful source of energy for your workout mornings. Sprinkle this everywhere, it is also known as the vegan “cheese” and it is also high in vitamin B12 usually only found in animal protein.
The non-vegetarian culture
Respect your body’s needs. Many people do better on a diet containing animal protein. Determine the amount your body needs by paying attention to how you feel. Some people feel more grounded, strong-minded and focused by including meat or other animal products in their diets.
Regardless of personal preference, it is important to choose high-quality, organic, free-range, grass-fed forms of animal protein whenever possible. The health of the animal affects the health of the consumer.
Animal Protein Sources:
Meat – Chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, beef, buffalo, ostrich, and others. Try different types to discover what works best with your body. Buy organic, grass-fed or better yet hunt your own.
Eggs- Quick, practical, inexpensive protein source. When eating eggs, try to have one, not two or three. Eat the whole egg to get the total energy of the egg, as opposed to just the egg white.
Fish – fish farming is a huge industry: red fish, white fish, canned fish, smokedfish. Beware of mercury poisoning, over-fishing, genetic engineering and added chemicals. Choose wild local fish whenever possible.
Dairy – Many people have negative reactions to cows’ milk. Try other dairy foods like buttermilk, yogurt, butter or ghee. Or try other animal species like goat and sheep. Buy organic to avoid bovine growth hormone and antibiotics.
Bees – Protein from bee pollen and royal jelly digests easily and has many other nutrients. Good for vegetarian types who avoid consuming animal flesh.
For more resource please check my protein playlist
I hope this serves as another valuable resource in your healthy living journey! Remember, Quality vs Quantity all-ways.
I’d like to hear from you! Please comment below with your thoughts about what you just read.
Treat yourself well,
PS: If you dare watch www.meat.org this is what changed my perception about meat when I was 22 years old.