Protein is one of the three essential nutrients your body needs to remain healthy and develop. Protein can come from many different food sources. However, many seem to believe protein can only come from meat and animal byproducts. What follows below will help anyone trying to live a more animal friendly lifestyle, find the essential proteins their body needs.
The Basics Of Your Protein
Proteins can come from almost any source of food you can think of. Proteins can be found in breads, nuts and beans, meats, dairy products and even vegetables.
That being said, not all protein sources contain complete proteins. Proteins are made up of these little amazing molecules called amino acids. In all, there are nine essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own (hence being essential).
While specific foods like meat do contain all nine essential proteins, but, they are not the only food source that does.
For example, the grain like vegetable (actually closer to a beet) quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids making it one of the many meat alternatives that is a complete protein. However, by no means should you rely on quinoa alone as your only source for protein.
For one reason your meals will eventually become boring. For another, your body needs variety in all its food fuel sources, including protein.
What To Look For In Alternative Sources For Protein.
As previously stated; protein can come from almost any food group. However, if you are someone who does not enjoy cooking (or chewing for that matter), there is a wide selection of protein supplements that can provide you with the essential nutrients you need, without ever having to turn the stove on.
Protein supplements that are not designed for the vegan lifestyle usually do contain whey protein, which is extracted from dairy products. Others contain animal by products such as egg or milk protein.
When selecting a vegan protein supplement the first thing to look for is its name and labeling. Vegan protein supplements will usually point out that they are designed with the vegan lifestyle in mind.
Like any five star meal, protein supplements contain specific ingredients that structure its makeup. Vegan blends of protein supplements can contain a variety of ingredients to meet their amino acid requirements.
However the crowd favorite for a protein base seems to be pea protein. Pea protein is a vegetable source rich in essential amino acids; in fact its amino acid structure can be compared to animal protein sources. Pea protein is also loved for being easily digestible and being very easy for your body to absorb.
Avoid Added Sweeteners.
One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing your protein source is make sure it has no added sweeteners. Many supplements will try to confuse you by stating their product only contain “natural flavors”, which are usually overly processed derivatives of sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit.
Note: protein supplements can help support an already healthy diet, but by no means should they replace foods as a protein source.
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