Plant Based Protein

by Shawna Dolzonek

Protein is a nutrient that the human body does not store. Due to this we need to consume protein on a daily basis(1). The human body uses protein to build and repair muscles, digestive processes and for the regulation of hormones(1).

Several foods other than animal products contain protein the body needs. Lentils, chickpeas, tofu, seeds and nuts are all sources of plant-based protein(2). Consuming plant based protein sources can help reduce cholesterol levels, lose a few extra pounds and even help reduce the impact we are making to the environment(2). Studies have been conducted to see if red meat is linked to a decline in heart health. Studies have also been conducted on the relationship between consuming a plant based diet and weight reduction(2). Not consuming animal products and animal by products reduces the agricultural impact and carbon dioxide emissions that are being produced(3).

Plant based proteins can also be consumed through plant based protein powders. These protein powders can be made from soy, pea, seeds, hemp and rice proteins(4). These can be consumed in addition to any other food that is consumed throughout the day. Plant based protein powders can be used to meet protein needs during the day.

The protein needed for every person depends on many factors. Exercise level and intensity, age and gender all contribute to everyone’s unique protein needs(5). The average adult who is moderately active, needs 10% of the total calories of the day to be from protein(5). During a protein summit, many scientists discovered that the majority of adults are not consuming enough protein during the day(5).

Our bodies need protein to help rebuild and conserve muscle, to regulate hormones and aid in digestive processes(1). All of the protein our bodies need can be found in consuming a mix of plants, such as lentils, beans, tofu and seeds(2). Consuming plant based protein is tasty, colorful and helps to reduce the impact we each make on our planet(3).