Not a day goes by where I am not asked about protein and a plant-based diet via Facebook messages, emails, or in my day-to-day life.
So here are 9 facts about protein to help answer those questions:
1. Protein is not a food group, but a macronutrient found in varying quantities in all intact whole plant foods even bananas and rice, touted for their carbs.
2. The Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake for protein is 56 grams per day for males and 46 grams per day for females aged 19 years and older. Or else, 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day.
3. Protein superstars include legumes (beans, lentils, peas), nuts and nut butters, seeds and seed butters, leafy greens, and (non-GMO, whole) soy products.
4. Too much protein is taxing on the kidneys and can promote gout and cancer growth.
5. Plant sources of protein are packaged beautifully with thousands of other nutrients that work synergistically to support immune function and health.
6. Plant sources are superior to animal sources of protein because they are not filled with health-challenging substances such as carcinogens, high levels of saturated fat, hormones, steroids, etc.
7. Plant sources of protein are cruelty-free.
8. Opting for plant protein is exponentially better on the planet.
9. Athletes will automatically increase protein intake with increased caloric intake. It is ideal for athletes to get protein from plant sources because phytochemicals and antioxidants are crucial for recovery and are abundant in plant foods.