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Vegetable proteins, better or worse than animals? Substitutes or to alternate? And to what extent? If until a few decades ago it was not so common to talk about vegetable proteins, since they have established themselves both vegetarian diet, is there vegan diet, have now entered into everyone's daily life, even those who have remained omnivorous. It is important to understand what qualities they have and how they can be useful for our health, beyond the diet we follow.
Vegetable proteins: what they are
Sources of vegetable proteins are i legumes, for example, one of the most handy, without a doubt, as well as tasty. Unfortunately for those who do not like meat or have decided not to eat it, it is not possible to replace animal proteins with vegetable ones, so, on a par, but it is necessary, to match the protein intake, to "supplement" with amino acids, always from plant sources. This means that every day is good combine vegetable proteins and carbohydrates, like cereals, wholemeal if possible.
Vegetable proteins: body building
An extreme example is that of body building, but in general we find ourselves wondering if to build muscles it is necessary to consume animal proteins. Indeed, the dilemma between animals and plants is misplaced, because it is necessary to focus on the fact that proteins, beyond the nature of the source, they must be complete of all amino acids. In fact, what should be avoided is that the absorption of proteins is partial or absent, because it would follow disorders, weakness and health problems.
It is not just a problem for body builders or those who want a muscular physique, damage from protein deficiency also affects hormones, enzymes and some cells. So it's better to pay attention to the amino acids we have on the plate.
Vegetable proteins: supplements
Precisely because vegetable proteins are deficient in some amino acids, it is necessary to verify more accurately that our diet, if devoid of animal proteins, is really balanced in order to cover the the body's protein needs.
For some time, if it is a momentary imbalance, serious damage does not follow, but continued for long periods, leads to a depletion of stocks of free amino acids and a clear-cut protein deficiency. The best thing is and remains a varied diet that includes foods of vegetable origin (dried fruit, vegetables, legumes, etc.) but also of some animal food (eggs, milk, meats, etc.) without exaggerating with the latter.
Vegetable protein powder
Sometimes we resort to vegetable protein powder, to supplement, to take the necessary amount in a practical way. Since plants have much less protein than meat, in terms of density, and moreover they are less digestible, the possibility of taking powder.
They are extracted from plants with industrial methods, obtaining for example vegetable proteins of soy, rice, wheat, and then products such as bars and snacks with 70% protein are created. We talk about protein powders because they are extracted from the plant and then pulverized, in this process the waste is really a lot and concentrated proteins are obtained: a bar with protein powder of 100 grams contains the same amount of 400-500 grams of beans.
Vegetable proteins: list
Let's see the list of foods considered to be the most valid sources of plant-based proteins. Let's start from tofu, often used as an alternative to meat or cheese for its high protein content, but it is also rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium. There is the lesser known tempeh, based on fermented soy, widely used in the East, while the quinoa it is already more used in our part. It is confused with a cereal but it contains all 9 essential amino acids for the proper functioning of our body.
Less obvious to find in the list are the hemp seeds, complete from a protein point of view, while almonds, together with dried apricots, are a perfect healthy and nutritious high protein snack.
Continuing with the list, we find chickpeas and all legumes in general, with variable amounts of protein but always comfortable and tasty to take. Less comfortable to find are the Chia seeds, rich in amino acids but also in fiber and antioxidants, and the spirulina, at the basis of numerous new alternative products offered on the market by startups and companies.
Vegetable and animal proteins
Animal and vegetable proteins are therefore not at all comparable, their protein qualities are different, because vegetables show a lack of one or more essential amino acids. Let's see some examples: cereals lack tryptophan and lysine, linked to vitamin B3, legumes lack the sulfur amino acids which are important for the growth of hair, hair and nails and to protect our cells from oxidative stress.
Vegetable proteins: table
Vegetable proteins: recipes
Now note the limits and properties of vegetable proteins, we can learn to cook them in order to enhance their qualities. Here is a book full of advice, “Vegetable proteins. Know them, enhance them and bring them to the table”Also available on Amazon.
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