How can Plant-based Protein Reduce the Risk of Heart Diseases?
First let us understand what a plant-based protein is. Plant based protein is a food source of protein that comes from plants. The best plant-based protein source comes from the food group of lentils. There are several other good sources like soy beans, chickpeas, green beans, kidney bean as well as nuts and seeds. Pea is also high in protein and a one of the best plant-based protein powders. Pea powder is used in many food items to increase the quality and quantity of a food product. Plant based proteins are very nutritious and super easy to digest. They are not only a great source of protein but are also high in fiber.
How to make a plant-based protein, a first-class protein?
A protein is made of amino-acid. There are 9 essential amino acids which are required to make a complete protein. Animal proteins like meat, egg, and fish contain all these 9 amino-acids. However, lentils which is a plant-based proteins lack one of the 9 essential amino-acid. Grains also are a great source of plant-based proteins, but also lack one of the 9 essential amino-acid. Therefore, both lentils and grains are incomplete proteins. As a general rule, both lentils and grains lack a different amino acid. So by combining both lentils and grain, they together complement each other with the missing amino acid and make a first-class plant-based protein.
If you are trying to move towards a lifestyle of a plant-based diet, here are a few suggestions. One of the best ways to have this combined protein is a mix of lentil and rice. In India, this blend of a lentil and rice bowl is called “khichdi”. Masala Khichdi is prepared by mixing lentils, rice, and vegetables along with some spices which are based on ayurvedic principles and hence aid in digestion and absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and proteins. At Aahana’s www.aahanasnaturals.com, these khichdis come in a single serve ready-to-eat cups which only require addition of hot water and flavorful and healthy meal is ready in minutes. The grains and lentils are even sprouted, which in turn increases the bio-availability of the nutrients to the body.
Another way to consume a first-class plant-based protein is having hummus with a piece of bread. Combining the chickpeas in hummus with the bread made with grains, makes it a first-class protein.
If you have a family history of hearth diseases, and feel are at a risk of getting a heart disease or diabetes, it would be a good idea to consider switching to a plant-based diet. It could help reduce the risk and, in some cases, also help in reversing the condition.
Here are some reasons why a plant-based protein diet can help reduce the risk of heart diseases:
Lower in calories – Compared to animal proteins, plant-based proteins are naturally lower in calories because of their low fat content
High in fiber – Plant-based diets are high in digestible fiber. This in turn helps reduce cholesterol and which help in reducing the blockages in the arteries and hence allows a smooth flow of blood to the heart. It is also known that a high fiber diet helps reduce the risk of certain types of cancers
Easily digested – Being high in digestible fiber aids in digestion and absorption of the vitamins and minerals from the food. It also helps with ease the bowel movements.
Helps in weight loss – Plant-based proteins being much lower in calories, help reduce weight. This in turn reduces the risk of heart diseases
Helps reduce inflammation – Whole grains and lentils lack the triggers that cause inflammation in the body. Many of them contain phytonutrients which help reduce inflammation
Helps control blood-sugar levels in diabetics – A plant-based diet being high in digestible fiber, helps slow down the release and flow of sugar in the blood, and hence controls the blood sugar levels
Lowers the risk of cancer – Plant-based diets are highly nutritious and are high in phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The phytochemicals found in them help in reducing the risk of cancer
These are just a few benefits that are highlighted. Besides all these benefits, a plant-based diet also helps in sustainable living. Several bigger companies are also realizing the benefits and have joined the campaign to promote a healthy lifestyle by substituting meat and animal proteins with plant-based proteins. It is a long journey, but if we continue with our efforts, we will see a lot more people living a healthier life by adapting to plant-based diet.