Since discovering the importance of proteins in the 1830s, we’ve developed a greater understanding of what our bodies need and how we can achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Protein is in every cell of our bodies. It’s important to have a sustainable source of protein in our diets so we’re able to repair damaged cells and make new ones, thus maintaining a healthy body.
A lack of protein in our diet can result in serious health problems, such as muscle and bone weakness, fatigue and depression.
Protein is made up of amino acids, of which there are two main types: non-essential and essential. Non-essential amino acids are naturally produced in our bodies, whereas essential amino acids are absorbed through the foods we eat.
The Differences between Animal and Plant Proteins
Animal protein includes all of the essential amino acids we need. However, they take more energy and a longer period of time to fully digest compared to a plant source.
As animal proteins are similar to those naturally found in our bodies, we absorb them quicker than plant protein so, essentially, by choosing to eat animal protein over plant protein, we’re using more energy to gain less.
Plant proteins often contain specific amino acids, so when following a vegan diet you must eat a variety of protein-rich foods to get the right combination of nutrients for your body.
The highest levels of plant proteins are found in:
- Cereals and grains
- Fruit and vegetables
- Seeds and nuts.
With the number of people choosing a vegan diet in the UK increasing by 360% in the last 10 years, more and more people are adopting a plant-based diet and feeling the benefits that come with it.
The Benefits of Plant Protein
People following a vegetarian or vegan diet often have lower body weight, lower cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, along with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and strokes.
The calorific and fat content in animal protein can often prove them to be a poor choice of protein source. Red and processed meats have high levels of saturated fat and uric acid, which are proven to increase the risk of coronary disease.
A study into the benefits of plant protein carried out by the University of Eastern Finland concentrated on over 2,000 men in the 1980s. They found that following a diet high in plant proteins decreased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 35%. Even by just swapping 5 grams of animal protein for plant protein on a daily basis could reduce the risk by 18%.
It has also been proven, through research like The China Study where they studied over 10,000 adults, that those eating a plant-based diet were significantly less likely to develop or prematurely die from 48 different types of cancer and other diseases.
With this evidence and scientific data available, it seems clear that the traditional view of meat being the best source of protein is entirely outdated. Plant proteins offer a healthier, more sustainable source of essential proteins, without the detrimental effects to your health and wellbeing that animal proteins can bring.
If you feel like you need a protein boost or that your regular diet isn’t doing enough for you, why not try our Super Plant Protein supplement. Our highly absorbable, 100% natural powder can be added to your favourite foods and smoothies to add an extra boost when you need it!