Vegetable protein supplements, what they are and when to take them

 , Naturopath


- natural food supplements of vegetable proteins they supply the body with essential amino acids useful for enzymatic catalysis, muscle contraction and to balance the immune defenses. Let's find out better.

> What are vegetable proteins

> The properties

> Vegetable protein supplements


Legumes among foods rich in vegetable proteins

Vegetable protein supplements, what they are and when to take them



What are vegetable proteins

Proteins are the fundamental constituents of cells (protos, from the Greek means “primary”). These are organic compounds formed by sequences of amino acids linked together.

- fundamental amino acids involved in protein synthesis are 20 and among these 20 there are eight essential: leucine, isoleucine and valine (BCAA), lysine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, arginine and histidine. The term essential indicates the inability of the organism to synthesize these amino acids by the organism and therefore they must be introduced with the diet. 

Proteins can be of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs) and of vegetable origin (for example legumes).


Properties of animal and vegetable proteins 

The proteins in addition to being the custodians of our genetic code (DNA and RNA) perform many fundamental functions for the proper functioning of the organism:

  • tissue renewal (plastic function);
  • transporters of various substances present in the blood (hemoglobin, hormones, etc.);
  • neurotransmitters (serotonin); 
  • blood clotting;
  • muscle contraction;
  • immune defense of the organism.

The daily protein intake should be approximately 15-20% of the total daily calorie intake.

These proteins should derive 2/3 from products of animal origin and 1/3 from products of plant origin unless you choose a vegetarian diet that provides for the exclusion of animal food (meat, fish) or vegan (meat , fish, milk, eggs); in this case it is necessary to learn how to use all vegetable proteins well and make any additions in order to avoid possible deficiencies.


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Vegetable protein supplements, what they are and when to take them


Vegetable protein food supplements 

Foods rich in vegetable proteins are:

Chickpeas. They are the seeds of the chickpea plant with a rather high protein content: 100 grams of dried chickpeas provide about 21 of proteins. They can be eaten raw (the sprouts) or cooked in the form of soups, salads, and hummus (cream with garlic) accompanied by raw vegetables or bread.

Beans. In the country there are various types; they contain a lot of proteins (20 to 22 grams per 100 of dry beans) and very little fat. To facilitate their assimilation, it is advisable to consume them by associating them with cereals such as spelled, kamut, wheat (the well-known pasta and beans).

To avoid the formation of phytic acid, responsible for abdominal bloating, it is necessary to leave them immersed in abundant water for a whole night and cook them by adding a piece of kombu seaweed (about 2-3 cm) in the cooking water.

Lentils. They are the seeds of the lentil plant and are among legumes with the highest protein content (almost 23 grams per 100 of dried lentils). They also contain a lot of iron and consumed in combination with cereals represent a complete and balanced single dish; hulled red lentils do not require a period of soaking in water and can be cooked immediately after rinsing under running water to remove all impurities. Lentil sprouts have an even higher protein content than the seed.

Almonds . Among dried fruit it has the highest amount of protein (about 20 grams per hectogram). The milk obtained from it also provides good amounts of these nutrients. They also contain several minerals including magnesium, calcium and iron. They have one practically non-existent allergic component (contrary to hazelnuts) therefore they are also suitable for the little ones.

Spelled and Barley. 100 grams of spelled provide about 15,1 grams of protein and 100 grams of barley provide about 10 grams of protein. They are both low in calories, digestible and rich in fiber, which promote intestinal peristalsis.

Quinoa. It looks like a cereal in appearance and is often cooked as if it were (soups, cold salads, pasta dishes), but in reality it is not a legume but it is a vegetable of the same family of spinach. Contains 14 grams of protein per 100 grams of product and is naturally gluten-free.

Tempeh. It is a product widely used in the East but now also very widespread here in natural and organic food stores; tempeh comes from the fermentation of yellow soybeans. Rich in proteins (18,6 grams per 100 of product), it has a strong and robust flavor and is highly digestible (like tofu). It comes in the form of hamburgers or loaves that can be grilled, stewed with vegetables and cereals.

Tofu. Tofu is also a product coming from the oriental food tradition; derives from the curdling of soy milk (the procedure is similar to that followed for traditional cheese). Contains 9 grams of protein per 100 grams of product. It is sold in the shops of natural food in the form of loaves and can be used in the preparation of salads, added to cereals, or grilled or fried in batter with the addition of spices and aromas.


The properties of the amino acids that make up vegetable proteins


Other articles on plant protein supplements:
> Vegetable proteins among the natural food supplements for hair

> Vegetable proteins for athletes: how to integrate them

> 10 sources rich in vegetable proteins

> Choose plant-based protein supplements for sports

> Food supplements, how to choose them


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