Your Body and Plant-Based Protein

It’s a proven fact that the human body needs protein, plain and simple. The body needs protein for growth and maintenance. For those who plan on going on a diet, more importantly, those planning on becoming a vegetarian need to understand a few important details.

Protein is made up of amino acids that are known to be the ‘building blocks’ of life. It is responsible for the development of skin, hair, nails, cartilage, hormones, antibodies, new cells, and much more.

There is a reason humans are carnivores. The body needs 22 amino acids, and is able to synthesize all except the 9 Essential Amino Acids, which can only be obtained through an outside source—the food the body takes in. And animal sources such as meat, dairy product, fish, and eggs are the richest in protein.

These 9 Essential Amino Acids are:

Histidine – essential to both infants and adults

Isoleucine – for muscle development, recovery, and maintenance, as well as formation of hemoglobin, blood sugar regulation, energy, and formation of blood clotting.

Leucine – for hormone and tissue production, muscle deterioration prevention, and aids in treatment of Parkinson’s.

Lysine – for bone development, tissue repair, and antibody production.

Methionine – for digestion, fat emulsification, heavy metal removal, heart health, and antioxidant.

Phenylalanine – for the signaling molecules: dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, as well as skin pigmentation, mood elevation, brain process, learning and memory.

Threonine – for monitoring body proteins for maintenance and recycling functions.

Tryptophan – for sleep and mood regulation, and pain management.

Valine – for muscle production and recovery, energy, and endurance

Many do not know how much protein their body needs, and more often consume more than what is necessary. Based on the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in the United States, this can be calculated by simply dividing a person’s weight (pounds) by 2.2. The resulting number is the amount of protein in grams the body needs per day. It should be noted that consuming more than the required amount of protein is not ideal, as this does not get stored in the body and is eliminated, which could put a strain on liver and kidneys—and has actually been found to be linked to certain cancers.

The good news to all, especially to those who plan on dieting and turning vegetarian, is that one can still get the protein needed without having to consume animal products. Protein can still be found in plants—known as plant-based protein. It’s just a matter of knowing which vegetable to take.

Nowadays, however, there are a number of products that offer plant-based protein powders that eliminate the need for finding the vegetables needed for a complete diet. These products help in providing all the necessary nutrients the body needs in one drink. Hassle free.