I do exercise a lot. Where do I get my proteins? I’m going to tell you today.
What about the proteins again?
Your body needs proteins for building and repairing all your cells, hormones, enzymes and antibodies. They are the building blocks of your body and just like a house, it is difficult to build without building blocks. All of your body cells consist of proteins that need new supplies every day. But the proteins you eat can differ a lot from each other.
The amount of protein you need every day is very personal. The Netherlands Nutrition Center recommends 0.8 grams per kilo of body weight, but if you have a lot of sport, are recovering from an illness or are pregnant, you may have more. But that certainly also depends on the quality of the proteins.
From proteins via amino acids back to proteins
The proteins you eat are broken down in your digestive system to about 20 different amino acids. Of these 20, your body can produce twelve itself, but eight must come from your diet. We call these eight the essential amino acids. With combinations of these 20 amino acids, your body builds the approximately 100,000 new proteins it needs and all have their specific function. Animal proteins usually contain all of those eight essential amino acids. They often do not contain all eight vegetable proteins; that is why people quickly think that animal proteins are better. However, this assumption is desperately needed for review.
Animal proteins have disadvantages, especially for women
Products that contain animal proteins include meat, fish, eggs and all dairy products. If they are not organic (or in the case of fish: caught wild), there are some disadvantages to this. Cows, pigs and chickens fed with soy and corn contain more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3. Omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation in your body and women are more susceptible to inflammation than men. In addition, animal proteins contain sulfur-containing amino acids that acidify your body. To get the acid balance back in balance, your body will extract calcium from your bones and teeth. Eating lots of animal protein can therefore cause extra bone loss. Finally, animal products can be contaminated with hormone-disrupting substances and antibiotics. We’re not all happy with that, are we? These disadvantages all apply to non-organic meat, non-organic dairy and farmed fish. Not for eggs. That’s why organic eggs are my favorite source of animal protein for me.
Vegetable proteins are much nicer
The aforementioned disadvantages do not have vegetable proteins. They also contain numerous minerals, vitamins and plant-based substances that make your immune system happy. They are actually much nicer for your body! Most of them are also good sources of fiber that will make your bowels very happy. Fiber is the broom through your intestines. Animal proteins contain zero fibers. You can find vegetable proteins in many products: vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, quinoa, seaweed and so on some foods. Enough choice!
Plantbased protein incomplete?
Vegetable proteins are called incomplete or defective because most do not all contain eight essential amino acids. That’s right. But who only eats oatmeal? Or broccoli? If you eat plenty of vegetables, you automatically eat a large variation and you automatically get all eight of those essential amino acids. To clear up another misunderstanding: you don’t have to have them on your plate at the same time! Grains and legumes are a good combination, but eating grains today and eating legumes tomorrow will make your body absolutely fine. Much more important for the optimal functioning of all amino acids is that there are sufficient B vitamins present. These too are fully in plant-based foods (with the exception of vitamin B12).
Give it a try: more vegetable than animal
If you want to try what eating more vegetable than animal protein does for you, then I’m on the side to cheer you on! Vegetable is not only nice for you but also much nicer for animals and our environment. Especially if you exercise a lot, I would recommend that you eat more vegetable than animal protein. There are countless top athletes who claim that their performance has improved after they have replaced animal proteins with vegetable ones. Long-distance runner Scot Jurek is an example of this. And if you think you can’t build muscle on plants, take a look around this site with vegan body builde
Top ten sources of vegetable proteins
In short, you can easily get your proteins from plants. Hereby our favorite ten.
1. Hemp seed
Absolutely a winner. Hemp seed contains all eight essential amino acids; So there are indeed plant products that they contain eight. Hemp seed also contains the healthy omega 3 fatty acids and it is also tasty and easy to use. Make vegetable milk from it, sprinkle it over salads, soups, in your oatmeal breakfast or as a finish over your omelet. Do not heat hemp seeds. Three tablespoons of hemp seed contains approximately ten grams of protein. If you want to read more about hemp seed, click here: Hemp seed; building material for your lucky hormone.
Quinoa is a seed, but it is used as grain. It is gluten-free and quinoa also contains all eight essential amino acids. It is super easy to use: just wash well with a strainer, set in twice the amount of water and let it boil for ten minutes. Then remove the lid, stir and let stand for a while. I make it in larger quantities so that I have the day after or I freeze a container. I use it as rice but also as a basis for a breakfast with fruit and nuts. It has a neutral taste. Quinoa contains eight grams of protein per 100 grams.
Many people do not know that vegetables are also a source of proteins. Well so, and you can eat a lot of it. An avocado contains about four grams of protein and 250 grams of broccoli, eight grams, 250 grams of asparagus contains about five grams of protein and 250 grams of Brussels sprouts about seven grams. Maybe in terms of amount of protein not quite top but remember that they also contain many other healthy substances. Eat five ounces of vegetables a day and there is a good chance that you have nevertheless received 20 grams of protein.
4. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are very often mentioned as toppers, but one bean is not the same when it comes to proteins. The best suppliers of proteins are split peas, kidney beans, mung beans and Borlotti beans with around 24 grams of protein per 100 grams. See, that ticks! I also use chickpeas (nine grams of protein per 100 grams) and lentils (six grams of proteins per 100 grams) for the variation. Beans are full of fiber. Combine them with brown rice or quinoa or make it into burgers. Beans are incredibly versatile. Vegans even bake chocolate cakes with it! I still have to try that.
Tempeh also belongs to the beans. It is fermented soy and also contains all eight amino acids. Thanks to the fermentation process, it contains good bacteria for your intestinal flora and can help you to balance your hormone balance, because it contains lignans that have a positive influence on your estrogen level. Do use organic tempeh so that you are sure that you do not have a GMO soy. You can use it as a meat substitute in salads, stir-fries and sauces. Very versatile. 100 grams of tempeh contains twelve grams of protein.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts contain not only many minerals, vitamin E and healthy fats, but also plenty of protein. Note: this only applies to the unroasted nuts. They contain between fifteen and twenty grams of protein per 100 grams. I use them in homemade nut milk, in salads, homemade muesli, in snacks and I use the flour for baking. I think you know what you can do with nuts. Preferably soak them in water overnight.
7. Seeds and seeds
Even more of those guys. Sesame seeds, chia seeds, linseed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pine nuts. Per 100 grams around 25 grams of protein but okay, you don’t eat 100 grams of it so quickly. Use them in your homemade muesli breakfast, sprinkle them on salads, use them in baking and desserts and add some seeds in your blender for the variation if you do make nut milk.
Spirulina is an algae. In dried form, spirulina is 70% protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. You can’t get a better source. It is for sale in powder form but I use it in tablets myself because I don’t like it in my smoothies. So it seems like the use of supplements, but I really see spirulina as a diet. You can read more about this special algae here: Spirulina; king of proteins.
9. Noble yeast flakes
Have you ever heard of noble yeast flakes? I use noble yeast flakes because it is so incredibly easy and delicious. Noble yeast is a yeast in the form of flakes and I use it as a grated cheese. It also tastes a bit like grated cheese. You buy it in a bus and it is ready for use. Every 10 grams contains no less than five grams of protein in noble yeast flakes. Two tablespoons is about ten grams and you can sprinkle this over a plate of pasta, salad or stir-fry vegetables, or anywhere you would sprinkle cheese on. In addition, it contains plenty of B vitamins. Remember, your body needs it to be able to absorb all those amino acids.
10 Protein from vegetable protein powder
If you think that after all these sources of protein you still need some extras because you exercise a lot, then consider a vegetable protein powder. A protein shake but then a healthy one. Powders made from hemp protein and brown rice are excellent. Vegetable protein powders are better for you than whey powders (based on dairy) that almost always contain all kinds of unwanted additives and are less absorbable for your body.