Proteins have a variety of functions in our bodies. For growth and maintenance, for energy, for the balance of water and salt, it is necessary to build up some important substances such as enzymes, hemoglobin, hormones and antibodies. Proteins play a big role in our immunity.
However, you don’t have to eat meat at every meal to meet your protein needs. Even eating without meat for at least a day or two a week is very good for your health. Eating less meat and more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans will reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, fight diabetes and obesity, and more.
Nuts and seeds
The moderate use of nuts and seeds in your diet can add variety and nourishment to your diet. In addition to the “delicacies”, walnuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B2, biotin and iron. Fats and many phytochemicals.
Their hard shell keeps the nuts fresh, as the oils concentrated in the nuts can easily go rancid and spoil in the air. That is why it is better to buy fresh raw walnuts in their shells. Shelled walnuts will last longer in a cool, dry place in closed containers than in air or in humid areas.
The seeds can also be eaten raw. They are a good protein supplement for salads, they can be cooked with granola or vegetables. The peeled seeds can be stored in a cool, dry place.
Soy, or sometimes called edamame, is a complete source of high quality protein and provides more protein than any other legume. A cup of cooked soybeans contains 28 grams of protein. Green soybeans can be enjoyed as a snack, served as a main dish for vegetables, sautéed or added to soups and salads.
Soy has many health benefits, including blocking enzymes that promote tumor growth. inhibit and suppress the growth of cancer cells in the prostate, breast, lungs, colon and skin; regulate and stabilize the estrogen level and help to control menopausal symptoms and much more. But as with any food, soy shouldn’t be consumed too much. Large amounts of soy per day can lead to mineral deficiencies and impair thyroid function. However, it is safe to consume large amounts of fermented soy products like miso and tempeh.
Beans and legumes
Beans are a great source of protein. However, their protein is not considered “complete” because it lacks one or more essential amino acids. For a complete protein, serve beans and legumes with grains, nuts, or rice. They’re loaded with complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron, folic acid, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, and magnesium, and large amounts of fiber.
Eating foods rich in vitamin C is helpful for better absorption of iron from beans. To reduce bloating and gas after consuming beans, eat beans regularly and rinse them well before cooking. Another remedy is to add a teaspoon of fennel seeds or sea vegetables while cooking.
Grains are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which serve as fuel for the body’s vital energy needs. Complex carbohydrates provide a gradual and even supply of glucose, rather than a rapid increase. This makes them important in keeping blood sugar stable.
While they are a good source of protein, grains are not considered to be “whole” protein. The deficiency can be remedied by serving cereals with, for example, beans or pulses, or with nuts and seeds. For health reasons, grains should be whole and unrefined (white), and flours should be made from whole grains.
Many nutrition authorities suggest that eggs are among the best proteins available. One egg provides around 13-14 grams of protein. Protein contains all of the essential amino acids that the system can easily use. Not only are eggs a great source of protein, they also contain important fats, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also pretty low in calories (around 75 per egg). Organic free range eggs are a better option because they contain more nutrients than regular eggs.