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A lot of us may look at protein and think that we need to be working out or physically active in order to really need it on our diet. However, the reality is that we all actually need it in moderate amounts for a variety of reasons. Protein is incredibly important to build muscle and maintain strength and this goes for those who either are working out constantly or not at all. Moreover, it’s a misconception that people who eat plant-based can’t possibly be getting enough protein or aren’t physically strong enough to compete with people who eat animal products. You’ll learn why in this 101 protein guide!
Why is protein so important in your diet?
One of the most important roles that protein plays in the body is that it actually helps to balance those blood sugar levels. Protein does not break down in the body like sugar does, as excess sugar causes us to crash. This is something we want to stay on top of as an imbalance of blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of symptoms like low energy, headaches, brain fog, weight gain or loss, and anxiety. When we get adequate amounts of protein in our diet, we can notice a more sustainable energy level in our bodies pretty quickly.
What’s the essential daily quantity of protein needed?
The good news is that protein can be found in so many plant-based foods and you may already be getting in a good amount! I always recommend at least 15-20 grams of protein per meal. It may sound like a lot, but just one wheel of Evive’s Cashew Mocha or Blueberry Haskap has 18 grams of plant-based protein in it! This means you only have to worry about your next two meals.
How do I incorporate protein in a plant-based diet?
Some of my favourite plant-based sources of protein are black beans and chickpeas. These have 7 grams of protein in just 1/2 a cup! You can simply add these into a nourishing salad or in your soup. I also am a huge fan of lentils because they actually have 9 grams of protein in just 1/2 of a cup and are extremely versatile. If you notice that you get bloated from beans or lentils, try soaking the dry legume in water for a few hours (even overnight) before cooking them. This helps to make the legumes more digestible.
If you find that you are too sensitive to these sources, I would recommend a pea protein. Pea proteins are a lot easier for the body to digest. Those who struggle with digesting beans, often have much better success with pea protein. Luckily, this is the protein that is used in Evive’s smoothies, along with other forms like edamame, cashew and spirulina.
Other super easy sources of protein are chia seeds and hemp hearts. These little seeds are packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats to further help balance those blood sugar levels. I love adding mine to salads and to my Evive Smoothies.
Lastly, if you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I am a huge fan of spirulina! This has to be my absolute favourite source of protein because it also has a ton of different benefits. One that I have really been able to notice is just how nourishing it’s been for my skin. In one teaspoon, spirulina contains 3 grams of protein! If you’re looking to get some spirulina into your day, make sure you stock up on my favourite Evive Smoothie, the Saphir. This is a weekly staple for me! If you still feel like you are not getting enough protein in your day, try consuming an Extra Protein Evive Smoothie to increase your intake. I would highly recommend the Extra Protein smoothies particularly as your breakfast so you can sustain your energy levels for the day and stay sharp! I promise that this is a habit you’ll want to keep in your routine!