Protein is always the topic when talking about nutrition, diet and exercise. If you are considering going plant-based, I am sure you've asked yourself "Where do I get my protein from?" Continue reading, I'll tell you.
1. What is protein?
Protein is a complex organic compound, made by long chains of amino acids. The proteins
in our body basically contain 20 amino acids, from which 12 the body can adequately make and the other 8 we need to get through food.
Protein needs to be broken down by digestion into simpler compounds, so that the amino acids can be utilised by the body. Proteins are the building blocks and carriers used for growth and repair of tissue. They are not used by the body as fuels like the carbohydrates.
2. In which foods do we find protein?
Plant-based sources of protein VS Animal protein sources
3. How much protein do we need?
Even though there are different answers for that question, looking at a meta-analysis using nitrogen balance data, it was found that there are 0,8 or 0,9 grams of protein per kilogram in our body weight. These values are already relatively higher than the average to give a margin for error. This means the 5-10% of the total calories you eat per day should be protein. Now, I ask you what percentage are you having daily? Watch the video below to understand better, how much should be your protein intake.
Understand your protein intake
4. In the end, isn't protein, protein?
Protein is acidic, meaning inflammatory. Animal protein has been connected to many diseases, like cancer; a cancer-promoting hormone called IGF-1 can be released in excess by the liver when we eat animal protein. People who do not consume animal protein have considered lower amounts of IGF-1 hormone. So, the type of protein we choose matters.
In fact, according to a study by Dr. Ornish if you stop eating animal protein from today, in just 11 days, you would see an improvement in your IGF-1 values. Following up the study, when we stop eating animal protein, we suppress cancer cells and even kill them. This can also be seen in another study by Doctor Dean Ornish, on prostate cancer, where he a plant-based diet to reverse prostate cancer without chemotherapy.
4. Do I need to increase my protein intake
when I exercise more?
No, you don't. When we are very active physically, we are burning quicker, so we need to eat more in quantities. That does not mean that the ratios change, you can still have 5-10% protein in a 1600 kcal diet or on a 3000 kcal diet. What changes are the overall calories. Carbs are the thing you want to increase since they are your primary source of energy.
Another thing to remember is that protein is acidic, so after you exercise you release a lot of lactic acids, therefore, you are already quite acidic. For that reason, try to consume anti-inflammatory foods to neutralise the acid, like… plant-based foods! Food that you are sure will help you improve your reparation before the next workout.
Don't you worry about protein, worry about eating fresh foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, astringents, fibre and fatty acids.
Do you want to learn more about foods that are beneficial for your body, and want to improve your diet? Join the Grow Community, a space for women who are interested in learning about food, nutrition and lifestyle routines that will give them more energy, promote self-love and contribute to their overall health. There you will find tutorials, recipes, shopping lists, you will have a monthly live group coaching session with me and much more.
And if you are willing to take a further step towards a more balanced diet, to clean your body from toxins and refresh your health so that you can feel stronger, more energetic and happier, take a look at my detoxification program.
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