Plant-Based Protein and Fiber – Demystified
Mention to anyone on the street that you are adopting a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle and you will likely get this response: “Where do you get your protein?”
The meat and dairy industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and a tremendous amount of their advertising dollars are used to entice people to consume more meat and dairy to be big and strong. Can these results also be achieved through plant-based foods?
What is protein? And how much do we need?
Scientific jargon aside, protein is an essential component of a well-balanced diet and is essential for the growth and repair of tissue.
The 2013 Protein Summit 2.0, consisting of 60 leaders in nutrition research from around the world, recommends a daily intake of 0.4g of protein per pound of body weight. Here’s a simple daily protein intake equation that can help you find your recommended daily intake [weight in pounds x 4/10].
In addition to consuming an adequate amount of protein, it is also recommended that adults spread out their protein consumption throughout the day, by consuming 25-30 grams of protein at each meal.
A recent study showed that on average vegans and vegetarians get 70% more protein than they need on a daily basis. Also, less than 3% of Americans are diagnosed as protein deficient, and when they are it is usually due to inadequate consumption of food, overall. So, concerns over protein deficiency can be put to rest.
What is more concerning is a mere 3% of Americans’ are getting sufficient amounts of fiber in their diet. The minimum recommended fiber intake is 31.5g per day from food, not supplements. The national average is only 15g. So, the real question should be “where do you get your fiber.” There is absolutely no fiber in meat, dairy, or eggs. Fiber can only be found in beans, vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. So, why not get the most bang for your buck by eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes?
Not only is inadequate fiber intake associated with disease, but excess amounts of protein have also been linked to a variety of medical conditions including disorders of bone and calcium balance, disorders of kidney function, increased risk of cancer, disorders of the liver, and coronary artery disease – as evidenced by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM of NutritionFacts.org.
What are some of the best whole-food plant-based sources of protein?
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts when choosing what foods to consume. We want to focus on the big picture and make sure the majority of the foods we eat give us the most bang for our nutritional buck.
When choosing whole-food plant-based options, you want to try to consume a rainbow of colors. Because, in addition to the protein, vitamin, mineral, and fiber profile – each color provides unique phytochemicals containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Below is a list of whole-food plant-based foods that will help you to meet your daily protein and fiber needs.
1.Edamame and Lentils:
Legumes pack a powerful protein punch. One-half cup provides 8g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 7-9g fiber. Also, they provide B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium. Other powerhouse beans include chickpeas, adzuki beans, split peas, kidney beans, and black beans.
2.Whole Grain Quinoa:
One cup of whole-grain quinoa provides 8.4g protein, 5.2g fiber, and significant amounts of magnesium, folate, iron, zinc, and potassium. Other protein-rich grains include kamut, wild rice, millet, couscous, oatmeal, and buckwheat.
This super green is loaded with goodness! One cup of uncooked kale provides 2.9g protein, 2.5g fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, folate, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Other noteworthy greens include spinach, collard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus.
4. Chia Seeds:
One ounce of this powerful seed provides 4g protein, 11g fiber, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3. Other seeds rich in protein include pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds.
5. Dried Goji Berries:
Don’t let their size fool you, these tiny berries are a powerhouse of nutrition. A 10g (1/4 cup) serving provides 4g protein, 4g fiber, and an abundance of Vitamin A. They also contain an adequate amount of Vitamin C, Iron, and Calcium. * Goji berries may interact with certain drugs, so make sure you consult your doctor for any possible interactions. Some other fruit sources of protein include guavas, avocados, apricots, and blackberries.
One cup of mushrooms contains 2.2g protein, 0.7g fiber, 222.6mg potassium, and 11% of the RDA of Iron.
One artichoke provides 2.0g protein, 5g fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
One cup of beetroot contains 1.6g of protein, 2.8g fiber, and is also a great source of folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
No matter your lifestyle, it is clear that adding ample portions of whole-food plant-based options to your diet has significant health benefits. And, with a little creativity, these foods can be seasoned to delicious perfection.
While extremely healthy and beneficial for most, adopting a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle requires a balanced design of nutritional components. Make sure to consult with a qualified professional to ensure your nutritional intake is at its optimum.
Richard Lehman, LMT, CSCS
Compliment Your Body, LLC
1441 Broadway #6087
New York, NY 10018
Richard Lehman, LMT, CSCS has over 15 years of experience in the fields of health and wellness and holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. He owns and operates Compliment Your Body, LLC providing in-home and corporate / event chair massage to New York City and the surrounding Boroughs. Commitment, compassion, connection, and charity . . . experience the CYBNYC difference!
What makes Compliment Your Body rise above the rest?
– We don’t rely on ads to find our amazing team of therapists. Our in-house NYC therapist referral network guarantees dedicated, vetted, experienced and professional New York State licensed massage therapists, whose goal is to produce 100% customer satisfaction.
– We are local to NYC. When you communicate with our team, you will always be within reach of a human voice. Your corporate / event planner will often make an appearance at your office to ensure things are running smoothly.
– We take care of our team of therapists. We believe in the core principles of reciprocity. When we take good care of our massage therapists, they take even better care of you. We make sure to provide our therapists with a healthy work environment. Experience the “Happier Therapist Difference.”
– We give back to the community. Every single massage, whether in-home or corporate chair massage, provides three meals to a New Yorker in need through our relationship with Food Bank For New York City.
Commitment, compassion, connection, and charity are the pillars of our company.
Experience the CYBNYC difference!
MEDICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER
This website may discuss topics related to health, fitness, nutrition or medicine. The information provided should not be treated as medical advice. The information provided on the website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, expressed or implied. The Website makes no representations or warranties about the medical, fitness, or nutrition information on the Website.
Do not rely on the information provided on the Website as an alternative to advice from your primary healthcare provider. You should never self assess, self administer, delay or disregard seeking medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website.
The Website was developed strictly for information purposes. You understand and agree that how you use the information provided on this website is your responsibility. Compliment Your Body, LLC makes no warranties or guarantees. You understand that results may vary from person to person and that Compliment Your Body, LLC assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions that may appear on the website.
The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Review Dietary crazes and trends come and go, but the science that supports some and not others doesn't fade away. Instead, scientists conduct more research to...
11 Best Types of Massage for Tennis Elbow A great game of tennis can leave you feeling on top of the world. However, it may also leave your outer elbow feeling sore, tight, and painful....