In the finale episode of Bigg Boss Season 14 we had film actor Ritesh Deshmukh as a guest. He spoke about his yummicious plant based food `Imagine Meats’ which had the likes of Salman Khan guffawing. “These are vegetarian proteins for non-vegetarians as they taste exactly like meat.” Sounds too good to be true, I guess. Welcome to the world of Plant based proteins.
Many people are slowly turning away from animal proteins to plant based proteins which come in different forms. Proteins are the most talked about food group as they help build muscles, repair tissue post workouts, balance fluids, boost immunity, create hormones and enzymes.
Awareness about climate change and the desire to save on Carbon footprints is driving people towards plant based proteins. Also, the Journal of the American Heart Association did a study in 2019 that revealed that plant based diets are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and that’s just one of the many reasons why plant protein intake has been on a steady rise.
So, is this just a passing fad? Replies Dr Anjali Menon, “The COVID -19 pandemic has made people more aware of what they consume and how. Plants are more beneficial not only to the body but also for the environment and help reduce one’s carbon footprint. Why be cruel to animals as it can all come back to us in some way.
Vegetarians in India struggled to find sufficient variety in their daily diet that fits their taste profile as well as provides the essential protein and vitamins required to meet their nutritional needs.
As a result, meals can get monotonous,” says Siddharth Ramasubramanian, founder and CEO of Vegolution, a Bengaluru-based a food venture offering tasty and nutritious plant protein. “Plant-based protein is hypo-allergen and good nutritionally for all those who are lactose intolerant.
Types of plant based proteins
There are some commonly used plant-based food options available in the market. “Beans, lentils, tofu, soya, peas, edamame, nuts, broccoli soy, tofu, and whole grains are high in protein,” says Disha Sachdeva, an independent Nutritionist.
If you don’t like eating veggies, there are other ways to ingest it too. “Plant protein can also be taken as a supplement in powder form, like brown rice protein powder, hemp seed powder or pea powder
Plant protein has the richness of fibres that animal protein lacks, while animal protein has essential amino acids that plant protein does not felicitate. “Globally, there is not much debate anymore and it has been ascertained that a diet which mostly includes the right plant-based foods leads to better long-term health and a more sustainable environment,”
How is a nutritional value of Protein measured?
The nutritional value of a protein is measured by the quantity of essential amino acids it contains.
Different foods contain different amounts of essential amino acids. Generally:
Animal products (such as chicken, beef or fish and dairy products) have all of the essential amino acids and are known as ‘complete’ protein (or ideal or high-quality protein).
Soy products, quinoa and the seed of a leafy green called amaranth (consumed in Asia and the Mediterranean) also have all of the essential amino acids.
Plant proteins (beans, lentils, nuts and whole grains) usually lack at least one of the essential amino acids and are considered ‘incomplete’ proteins.
People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose a variety of protein sources from a combination of plant foods every day to make sure they get an adequate mix of essential amino acids.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as long as you eat a wide variety of foods, you can usually get the protein you need. For example, a meal containing cereals and legumes, such as baked beans on toast, provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish.
Some food sources of dietary protein include:
lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo
poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, emu, goose, bush birds
fish and seafood – fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams
dairy products – milk, yoghurt (especially Greek yoghurt), cheese (especially cottage cheese)
nuts (including nut pastes) and seeds – almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
legumes and beans – all beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, tofu.
Some grain and cereal-based products are also sources of protein, but are generally not as high in protein as meat and meat-alternative products.
Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way.
Protein is made from twenty-plus basic building blocks called amino acids. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day, or just over 7 grams for every 20 pounds of body weight. For a 140-pound person, that means about 50 grams of protein each day and for a 200-pound person, that means about 70 grams of protein each day. It’s important to include healthy sources of protein in your diet each day.
Fruits are not traditionally rich in protein and they’re generally not expected to be- they have higher levels of other important nutrients including fibre and carbohydrates. But they still offer some amounts of protein and when paired with other healthier sources of lean proteins, may still be included in a healthy diet.
Raisins, Apricots, Dates, Apricots, Prunes and Guava are some of the protein rich fruits.
Pic Courtsey :https://unsplash.com/photos/V8RyrzwduR8