Pack on the protein
We all know that protein plays an important role in our overall health and that too little (or too much) can lead to serious nutrient deficiencies as well as muscle wastage. We’d all like to reap the benefits of increased muscle and decreased body fat and protein can help us achieve exactly that. Adequate protein intake also has numerous other health benefits besides a banging body composition. Proteins contain amino acids that are required for healthy cell development, bone formation as well as healthy hair and nail growth. Protein-based foods also tend to be more filling and satisfactory so we won’t feel the need to eat excess calories from carbohydrates. Protein is therefore an integral part of almost all functions within our body.
Plant vs. Animal
Many may argue that adequate protein can be derived from vegetables just as much as they can from meat. Veggies do contain protein, but they also contain other components known as anti-nutrients and toxins that aren’t absorbed as easily by our bodies. The Harvard school of Public health claims that animal-based protein (meat, eggs and dairy) tend to be good sources of complete protein, whilst plant-based foods (fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds) often lack one or more essential amino acids.
Whilst you may be able to get as much protein out of beans than you can a steak, beans are classified as legumes- which aren’t easily digested by many. Antinutrients are found in their highest concentration in legumes, but can also be found in leaves, roots, fruits and other varieties of plants. I’ll bet you didn’t know that plants don’t want to be eaten just as much as animals, hence their defense mechanisms in the form of anti-nutrients which can supposedly cause varying degrees of inflammation depending on the person. Ruminant animals i.e. Agricultural animals like cows, goats etc, have more hardcore stomachs compared to humans and therefore are fully able to digest all the protein and nutrients from plant matter without the anti-nutrient side effects. By eating these animals, we can get all the protein and none of the toxins as well as other nutrient benefits that come from eating meat.
Seed vs seafood
In our previous article Oh Mighty Omega we touched on the importance of omegas and why seafood is the ultimate food to meet micronutrient goals of the right omega ratios. (Micronutrients are a chemical element required in trace amounts for healthy organism development) It’s suggested that those same protein and omega ratios can be found in the plant kingdom especially in the form of seeds. Seeds do contain protein but not in the same ratios as meat. Let’s compare flaxseeds to fish as an example. A cup of flaxseeds contains the same amount of protein as a piece of salmon the size of your finger! Fish is therefore more nutrient dense than its flaxseed counterpart. Not to mention, seeds also carry toxins known as oxalates which can wreck with our microbiome and exacerbate conditions such as leaky gut as well as interrupting our bodies hormone cycle. Want to know more about the dangers of oxalates? Healthline describes some of the drawbacks here.
No doubt you can meet your daily protein requirements by ingesting large amounts of vegetables and seeds – even eggs and dairy contain healthy animal protein in small amounts. However, the possible pressure that plant protein can place on our digestive system could outweigh the benefits. Meat seems to be the best protein choice when it comes to nutrient density, digestibility and in our opinion- taste! Don’t worry about chugging back cups of flaxseeds and legumes in the hopes of optimal health, eat clean meat and shop with Buyfresh!
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