“Some people think the “plant based whole food diet” is extreme. Half a million a year will have their chests opened up and a vain taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.”~ Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Forks over Knives)
Everyone talks about protein, what exactly is protein?
Protein is one of the three macro-nutrients. Chemically, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon build the Amino Acids, the building blocks of proteins. In every cell of our body proteins are made with the instructions from DNAs and RNAs with the collaboration of Ribosomes (Machines that assembles protein in the cells).
Why we need it?
As being one of the macronutrients protein is the “thing” that makes your body functional. Protein helps:
- To create skin, hair and nails.
- To build muscles and bones (Bones are mainly proteins; calcium just makes the outer layer keep it strong).
- To create hormones and enzymes, doing all the magical reactions inside our body.
- To make you able to feel and do anything by creating nerve cells.
- To keep you active by being hemoglobin in our red blood cells; aka “oxygen delivery boy”.
How much is required?
The theory daily requirement of protein is debatable. But most people agree with the following amounts:
As per Recommended Dietary Allowance, 0.8 grams/kg body weight of the protein is required for an average person.
The vegans need little more (1 g/kg body-weight) and athletes need much more (1.2 g to 1.8 g / kg body-weight)
The minimum of 10% and not more than 30% of the calories should come from proteins. (1 g protein= 4 calories)
For a 2000 cal diet; protein should be 200 cal
200 cal of protein = 50 grams (200/4)
Having less than required protein in your diet causes many diseases like Kwashiorkor and marasmus; on the other hand eating more than required protein causes high blood sugar, obesity, and cancer. So we have to be aware that we are getting the right amount of it each day.
Most people think animal products like meat and eggs are good (and only) sources of protein. But everyone knows that those animals get their protein from the plant products. There are many consequences of eating animal products:
- Animal proteins create acid that weakens your bones.
- Main reason behind cholesterol (aka heart problems), and kidney stones.
- Can increase the chances of cancer.
As an alternative, we always have plant based proteins. It is a misconception that vegan diet does not have any complete protein. But in reality vegan diets not only have complete proteins but also other minerals and vitamins; meat has an extremely low amount of important vitamins and minerals which are must for your body to keep it alive.
Seeds and grains, as well as leafy greens, have lots of proteins stuffed in them. Here’s chart illustrating more about it.
Making plant based diet your main source will help you to:
- Reduce the chances of heart diseases by balancing cholesterol.
- Stops and reverses tumor and cancer growth (Watch “Forks over Knives” for more information).
- Reduces Blood sugar.
- Helps to lose weight.
In the end, all I have to say is, be aware what are you eating, eat for your whole body not just for your tongue.
What do you think about vegan and proteins? Let me know your opinion on this topic in the comment section bellow. I would love to hear what you think.