Knowing the Best Vegetarian Protein Sources is a Big Advantage

Eating vegetarian protein sources is hands down way better than getting your protein from meat and dairy. Nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, grains, wheat grass and sprouts are good sources of non-animal protein.

Along with fats and carbs, protein is needed for overall complete health. People need the building blocks of protein called amino acid for balanced hormones, enzymes, bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. The fact is that our body is able to synthesize sixteen of the twenty three amino acids necessary for health. This means that the eight essentials need to come from the food we eat.

No matter whether you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, a lacto-vegetarian or a vegan, you will need a source of protein to keep you in good health. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat chicken, fish or meat but can eat eggs and dairy. Lacto vegetarians do not eat eggs and meat but are able to consume milk. Vegans do not eat eggs, milk or meat nor any kind of animal-derived products, including leather and wool.

Knowing the different vegetarian protein sources is important because protein deficiency can occur if you do not take care of your diet. Lacking in knowledge about nutrients, a restrictive diet and lack of food will cause symptoms of protein deficiency.

These symptoms include edema, hair loss or brittle hair, ridges in toes and finger nails, easily burned skin, reduced hair and scalp pigmentation, lethargy, general malaise, rashes, flakiness and dryness of skin, muscle cramps, weakness and soreness, skin ulcers, bedsores, slow healing wounds, bruises, scrapes and cuts.

People who lack protein also have a hard time sleeping, fainting, stomach pain, nausea, fainting and headaches. Aside from this, you can get organ failure, heart problems, deteriorating muscles, arthritis and gall stones if your body lacks protein continuously. See your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms appear.

The good news is that these days, due to being more informed regarding vegetarian protein sources and having more available reading material, vegetarians tend to get the protein they need if they eat a balanced vegetarian diet. Even better, many times, vegetarian diets exceed the diets of non-vegetarians in terms of quality.

Many times, non-vegetarians exceed their protein requirements and end up ruining their health by overeating protein. High consumption of protein is related to osteoporosis among other types of health conditions.

To make vegetarian protein sources clearer, here is a breakdown of what each amino acid does.

  • Isoleucine is needed for producing muscles, recover and maintenance after work outs. This is involved in the formation of hemoglobin and blood clots, energy, and good blood sugar levels. You can get isoleucine from eating avocadoes, sunflower seeds and coconuts.
  • Leucine is for tissue repair and production, producing growth hormones, treating Parkinson's disease and prevents muscles from wasting away. Leucine sources include olives, avocadoes, sunflower seeds and papayas.
  • Lysine is for bone development, calcium absorption, tissue repair, nitrogen maintenance, antibody production and hormone production. Lysine comes from vegetable protein sources like alfalfa, carrots, beets, apricots, grapes, dandelion greens, celery, turnip greens and parsley.
  • Methionine is for digestion, fat emulsification, cancer prevention through antioxidants, heart health through arterial plaque repair and producing antibodies. You can get methionine from your diet by eating chives, kale, sorrel, horseradish, cauliflower, cabbage, filberts, Brazil nuts, pineapples and Brussels sprouts.
  • Phenylalanine is involved in the synthesis of tyrosine, nor epinephrine and dopamine. This supports memory, learning, mood elevation and brain processing. You can get phenylalanine by eating vegetarian protein sources like carrots, spinach, parsley, nutritional yeast and tomatoes.
  • Threonine monitors the proteins in your body for recycling and maintenance processes. You can get this from eating lettuce, kale, collards, laver, lima beans, carrots, alfalfa sprouts and papayas.
  • Tryptophan is responsible for the production of niacin and serotonin, sleep, pain management and regulating your mood. You can get tryptophan by eating turnips, spinach, chives, celery, snap beans, carrots, endive, fennel and alfalfa.

  • Valine is for producing muscles, energy, recovery, balanced nitrogen levels, endurance and is used for treating brain damage due to alcohol. You can get valine by eating such vegetarian protein sources like turnips, apples, tomatoes, almonds, pomegranates, squash, beets, nutritional yeast and beets
  • Histidine is young children's “growth” amino acid. Lacking histidine levels is related to impaired growth and speech. This is particularly abundant in seaweed, spirulina, sesame, legumes, rice and soy. You can get histidine from spinach, garlic, apples, alfalfa, endive, pomegranates and cucumbers.

To make sure that you are getting the right amounts of protein from vegetarian protein sources, you can add protein supplements or protein shakes which you can get soya-based rather than made from cow's milk, if you are vegan.

You can also sprinkle alfalfa sprouts, seeds, and nuts on main dishes and salads to boost your protein consumption. Trying new food like hummus, miso, tempeh and nut butter with whole grain crackers and vegetables are great snack food ideas.

Persons who have just gone through trauma, surgery or other kinds of serious injuries will need more protein. Protein helps your body repair organs and muscles. A good way to make sure that you are getting sufficient protein amounts is to check with a nutritionist or doctor rather than trying to second guess yourself.

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