The Curious Case of Protein-mania 

‘Survival of the fittest’ was theorised by Charles Darwin, as the basis of natural selection and a necessary step for evolution to continue. In order to remain fit, the first step is to improve what you ingest. It has been generally believed by many scientists that Protein is the most important nutrient for maintaining the structure of the body. It is believed that “flesh makes flesh”.

Now this is a common misconception that misguides the people. Proteins are made up of amino acids (a.k.a the building blocks of proteins), which can be found in (surprise, surprise) foods other than animal based food sources.

Next round: Flora versus Fauna

The common animal based sources of proteins are fishes (the best), various types of eggs, dairy products such as cheese, milk and whey, and of course, other land based mammals. There exist all in all nine essential amino acids, and animal sources are believed to be complete packages for all these.

Most plant based are incomplete, which means they’ll be missing either one or the other of the essential amino acids. However there are some plant-based foods such as quinoa and buckwheat, which are amazing commissaries of these organic compounds.

Recently, there has been a paradigm shift from animal to plant based diets, and it’s important to know how you can make the most of your diet. The focus should be to include every essential amino acid in your diet.

Photo Credits: bareblends

Procure me this!

The plant family is humongous, and mother nature gives us a big palette of protein-packed green  beings to devour. Apart from Quinoa and Buckwheat, the increasingly popular sources of plant based proteins are listed below:

  • Almonds – The well known dry fruit has 8 grams of protein in a quarter of a cup’s quantity
  • Broccoli – You’ll find this in near to every healthy dish that is out there; one regular stalk of it packs 4.3 grams of protein
  • Soy Milk – Protein in liquid form! About 4 to 8 grams of protein in a quarter of a cup
  • Chia Seeds – 2 Tbsp has near to 4 grams of protein
  • Certain fruits such as avocados, jackfruit and prunes
  • Lentils, grains & beans – Yes, rajma chawal are the best!

The welcome surge in plant-focused diets has led the world experiment in the kitchen. We found such a successful experiment sprouting up in the world called ‘Vegan Meat’. Yes, you heard that right! It’s usually made up of soya flour as well as soya protein isolates, which help pump the same amount of protein you’d get in similar quantities of non-vegetarian meat, making it the quintessential ‘pro-getarian’ dish to consume! 

 

By Karan Khanna