Protein. The buzzword in the world of health and nutrition and an important component of a healthy and balanced diet. Plant-based foods are a great way to reach your recommended daily allowance of protein. As well as being a fab source of protein, plant-based foods contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that help to keep your body happy and healthy.
Why do we need protein?
Protein is essential for cell growth and repair throughout your life and helps to maintain your overall health and wellbeing. All cells and tissues contain protein meaning that protein is necessary for growth and repair and the maintenance of good health. Choosing healthy forms of protein such as beans, oily fish, pulses, nuts and seeds provides extra benefits such as health-boosting nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
What is a plant-based protein?
A non-meat form of protein, which provides the same benefits as their meat counterparts. Sources of plant-based protein are especially important for vegetarians and vegans, but are also a great way for meat-eaters to reach their daily protein requirements. Eating a variety of plant-based proteins is a great way to substitute or eat alongside meat and fish protein sources.
What are the benefits of a high plant-based diet?
Following a diet consisting of plant-based foods can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity and high blood pressure. Diets rich in plant-based foods are nutrient dense and offer beneficial vitamins and minerals that help to achieve optimal health.
Examples of foods with high amounts of plant-based protein:
As well as being rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, legumes are also a great way to meet your dietary protein needs. Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and many other varieties are high in protein and super easy to incorporate into a healthy and balanced diet! Find legumes in meals such as Jamaican Jerk Chicken.
This veggie is so high in protein that we think it should be called a pro-bean! Edamame beans contain more protein than other beans, and provides the essential amino acids your body needs to achieve optimal health. We love edamame beans and include them in lots of our meals such as Chinese Chicken with Lemon & Ginger Wild Rice.
A plant-protein wonder, spirulina is a superfood that is rich in protein and is often perceived as being one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. This algae has heaps of benefits for your body! As well as being a great source of protein, spirulina is a fab source of phytochemicals that help to boost your immune system, as well as B vitamins that are used when our body converts energy from food into energy that the body can use.
These tiny black seeds contain relatively high levels of protein, meaning that it is a great plant-protein option! Chia seeds contain essential fatty acids, which are a source of omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects that helps to boost your brain and heart health. The mixture of protein, healthy fats and fibre means that the seeds are digested slowly in the body, which provides a sustained release of energy that keeps blood-sugar levels stable. You can find chia seeds in our Luxury Granola and Oat Pancakes with Honey & Yogurt Dip.
Protein is made up of amino acids, nine of which are essential. Your body cannot create these amino acids, so needs to obtain them through your diet. Quinoa is an excellent meat-free source of protein that contains all nine essential amino acids and has more protein than most grains. You can find quinoa across the Bite Club menu in meals such as Thai Chicken Slaw.
Veggies such as spinach, kale and broccoli are a great way to up your protein intake! As well as being a great way to satisfy your protein needs, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help to fight free radical damage and reduce inflammation. We love spinach at Bite Club and include it in meals such as The Moroccan and The Mediterranean.
Derived from soya, this plant-based alternative is a fab source of protein. Tofu contains eight essential amino acids, and can provide protection against heart disease and cancer. Soya protein may help to lower levels of bad cholesterol and contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which may help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Try our Asian Tofu with Wholewheat Sesame Noodles to get your tofu fix!
This protein-rich snack can help to increase your protein intake alongside other protein-rich foods. Almonds are also a great source of phytochemicals that may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and antioxidants that protect your skin health. You can find almonds in our Luxury Granola and Fruit & Seeds Porridge Pot!