Are all proteins created Equal? Why the quality and source of your protein matters.
What is protein?
Protein is made from amino acids, which are both produced within the body and consumed from foods. Protein is important because it contains necessary enzymes as well as hemoglobin (carrier of oxygen into blood). Most health professionals agree that seven grams of protein for every twenty pounds of body mass is ideal for daily consumption. However, placing focus on the quality of proteins consumed over quantity consumed is most important.
Are all proteins created equal?
No. There is a misconception that all sources of protein are equal, which is now unveiling thanks to modern day research and plant-based advocates. Red meat is a source of protein just as legumes like lentils and peas are, yet red meat has been proven to contribute to cancer development; meanwhile implementation of plant proteins has been shown to treat and heal disease. For example, a study in 2014 assessed 89,000 women aged 24-43 and found a 22% higher risk of breast cancer among women who ate 1.5 servings of red meat per day in high school, compared to those who had one serving per week. Moreover, numerous studies have found positive associations between red meat consumption and cancers such as prostate, stomach, and pancreatic cancers.
What are good sources of plant protein?
Some great sources of plant proteins include legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, and soy products), nuts and seeds (pistachios, cashews, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds), whole grains (quinoa, rice, millet, wheat, and oats), and many fruits and vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, corn, and artichokes. It is important to keep in mind that fruits and vegetables contain less protein than other plant sources such as soy products and legumes. It’s also important to remember to switch up sources of plant proteins so your body gets all of the different essential components that it needs to thrive and support itself.
What if I still want to eat meat and dairy?
Food is a large part of culture and society. You do not have to give up meat and dairy foods completely in order to improve your health, especially if it means forgoing a part of your culture or other cultures you wish to experience and appreciate. Regardless, everyone’s plant-based diet will look different! If you wish to eat meats opt for sources like poultry and fish and consider limiting red meat to special events and holidays. Processed meats (those which have been altered through processes to build flavor or enhance preservation) should be limited as much as possible.
Now that you’ve learned about how a plant-based diet can diminish cancer development, let’s take a look at this super tasty smoothie bowl recipe using TUSOL Illuminate, which contains Chaga- praised for its anti-cancer effects.
COCONUT ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL
- Frozen Banana
- Coconut Water
- TUSOL Illuminate
- Coconut Shreds
- Chia Seeds
- Goji berries
Add frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, and spinach to a blender and blend on low until small bits remain. Add a bit of coconut milk or almond milk and TUSOL Illuminate and blend on low until the mixture reaches a soft serve consistency. Scoop into serving bowls and top with desired toppings (optional).