When you hear the question being asked, are you getting enough protein in your diet? What comes to your mind? Do you automatically think of meat, fish, milk, cheese? Of course, you do. We have all been programmed to believe that Protein means meat, flesh, eggs, dairy. Did you know, are you aware that animals, dairy products, fish, seafood, are not the only source of protein as we are led to believe. I would like to burst that MYTH.
According to wholefoodsmarket.com, “Research has shown that all plants contain protein and at least 14% of the total calories of every plant are protein. Broccoli contains more protein per calorie than steak and, per calorie, spinach is about equal to chicken and fish…….”.
Plant-based eating, like meat-based eating, does not necessarily mean that one is getting adequate nutrition since foods like white bleached flour, white bread, french fries cookies to name a few, are plant-based, except for the butter used to prepare them. Meat-based eating can mean healthier cuts of beef, pork, chicken, lamb, etc.
Healthy plant-based, protein-rich foods need to be based on fresh, mostly unprocessed assorted fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy grains. Although all plants have protein, some have a higher quantity of protein. Here are a few that I use regularly and find to be quite inexpensive, delicious, and easy to prepare if you are like me and is lazy in the kitchen:
• Chickpeas (I love this curried, added to salads or just sauteed with onion, garlic tomato in some olive or coconut oil)
• Lentils • Chia, Hemp & Flax seeds • Quinoa * Red beans, Black beans, all beans. All peas.
• Brocolli. Spinach. Wild rice.
- Almond & Peanut butter. All Nuts. Pumpkin seeds. Corn
- Oatmeal (my go-to breakfast every day)
- The list goes on. So don’t be afraid to make the switch to plant-based eating. It is well documented that a plant-rich diet helps us to rid ourselves of all kinds of health issues, and if we don’t have health issues, to keep it that way. Happy dining!