When others first learn that you’re on a plant-based diet, the first question they ask is often, “Where do you get your protein?” There’s a popular misconception that meat-free diets lack protein. You can survive and thrive on a plant-based diet. Here are a few common myths commonly spread about plant-based proteins:
There isn’t enough protein available that is plant-based.
This isn’t true. Eating plant-based proteins can provide one with many benefits. They are:
- Low in saturated fat– Diets high in saturated fats that are found in meat, eggs and dairy can lead to consequences such as clogged arteries and high cholesterol. Unsaturated fats (think seeds and nuts), are a heart-healthy alternative.
- Alkaline forming– The more green your food contains, the more chlorophyll, which means the food is alkaline-forming. A diet consisting of alkaline-forming and clean, plant-based foods can reduce stress, help fight inflammation and protect your bones.
- Easily digested– Plant-based foods, particularly raw, make digestion easy on your body because of their fiber content. When you spend less time digesting, you have more time for energy use.
- Free of antibiotics and growth hormones– Plant-based options are wonderful for avoiding meat that often comes with antibiotics and growth hormones, from modern meat production facilities. Hormone and antibiotic-free meats are much less common.
You can’t get complete proteins from a plant-based diet.
After learning that proteins are available in abundance from a plant-based diet, the second concern is whether they’re complete proteins. Complete proteins include quinoa, hemp seed and sea vegetables. You can also combine different plant-based proteins to make them complete.
You need animal protein to build muscle.
Plant-based proteins don’t cause you to lose muscle or keep you from building it. There are athletes of all kinds who build a lot of muscle on plant-based diets. Some examples are runners, bodybuilders, and yogis. You’re able to get plenty of complete protein, and you can benefit from foods that are loaded with antioxidants, which helps reduce inflammation that’s caused by exercise. This leads to speedier recovery from workouts.
Hopefully your doubts about plant-based protein are eased. Not only can you find plenty of protein, you can also benefit from a variety of nutrients living on a whole food, plant-based diet.