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Not sure how to eat plant-based proteins? You’re not alone!

by Okanagan Nutrition
So you’ve heard the nutrition world raving about the benefits of incorporating plant-based proteins into your diet and want to give it a go, but don’t know where to start!

This is one of the most common road blocks I find people come across when trying to eat more plant-based.

Sure, you might know that beans, lentils, tempeh and tofu are some excellent sources of protein, but how the heck do you prepare them and most importantly, make them taste good?!

Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.

Wanting to learn a bit more about protein, how much we need and where to get it on a plant-based diet? Click here!

We will cover some of the most potent plant-based sources of protein and I’ll share some of my favourite recipes from my most favourite food bloggers to give you some inspiration and ideas on how to incorporate these powerhouse foods into your diet.

Why are we so obsessed with plant-based proteins?

Just like with most plant-based foods, it’s what the protein comes packaged with.

When we eat plant-based proteins, not only are we getting protein, we are getting fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, and we are NOT getting cholesterol or significant amounts of saturated fat!

What are the best sources of plant-based protein?

As I talk about in my post here , technically all plant foods contain protein, some are just better sources than others.

Some protein packed plant foods that I’d recommend you use on a daily basis include …

  • Legumes
    • Beans (including chickpeas), lentils, peas, organic non-GMO soy and soy foods like edamame, tempeh or miso.
    • Try a legume based pasta! My favourite brand is Banza – loaded with protein AND fiber.
  • Whole grains and pseudo-grains
    • My favourite whole grains: Oats, brown rice, bulgar, whole grain breads
    • Pseudo-grains: Quinoa, amaranth, teff, buckwheat
  • Nuts and seeds
    • My favourite seeds: Chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax, pumpkin, sunflower
    • My favourite nuts: Almonds, cashews, peanut butter, walnuts
  • Miscellaneous
    • Nutritional yeast (oh so cheesy!)

A word about beans

Wanting to eat more beans but worried about excess gas?

This is something I hear ALL the time!

Believe it or not, gas and some bloating are normal parts of digestion. Gas production is actually a sign that digestion is going as it should.

Beans are widely known to increase gas production when eaten. This is because they are high in pre-biotic fibers known as oligosaccharides. We might not be able to digest these fibers, but our gut bacteria do!

Gas is a byproduct of the natural fermentation of these fibers by our gut bacteria. This fermentation process produces fuel for the cells of our gut and makes byproducts like short-chain fatty acids that have been associated with decreased risk of chronic disease and inflammation.

What is the best way to prevent excess gas?

Keep on eating those beans!

This might seem counterintuitive, but your gut flora (bacteria) adapt over time, producing less gas and will love you for eating those beans on the regular.

Start slowly if you don’t already eat a lot of legumes. Add about 1/4 cup at a time and increase from there.

Rinse and soak your beans well, drink plenty of fluid and move your body!

Delicious plant-powered recipes …

What are some of your favourite ways to incorporate plant-based protein into your diet?

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