If you are currently consuming a plant-based diet, or ever considered it, then you have probably come across the ever-present debate about where you will get your protein if you stop consuming animal products.

Our society has created a fear-based myth that the only true sources of protein available for human consumption are through animal products.

This indoctrination has become a major theme for the meat and dairy industry to push their agenda through false advertising and create a fear-based belief that the only competent sources of protein are animal-derived.

Consuming animal flesh, eggs and milk might provide your body with sources of protein that can be utilized, but they are actually inferior to plant-based sources. High amounts of protein can essentially be harmful to your health and may even increase the risk of osteoporosis[1] and kidney disease[2]. Excess protein creates an acidifying effect on the body, causing the kidneys to pull alkalizing minerals, like calcium, from the body, weakening the bones. People are being misled to believe that these animal-based sources of protein are beneficial to their body when, in fact, they are actually causing greater harm.

Protein can be found in all plant foods and some of the richest sources of protein can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Some high, plant-based sources of protein include:

  • lentils
  • chickpeas
  • avocados
  • quinoa
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • sunflower
  • pea sprouts

Other forms of plant-based protein include blue-green algae like spirulina, chlorella and E3Live, a wild-harvested blue-green algae harvested from Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. These blue-green algae are commonly referred to as “superfoods” because of their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins.

The protein content in these blue-green algae include all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein.

The nutritional value of blue-green algae has been recognized by ancient civilizations, including the Aztecs and native inhabitants of Africa, and has been used as a nutritional staple for centuries. Incorporating these nutrient-dense superfoods into your diet will provide your body with protein and essential nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium.

Blue-green algae also contains vitamins A, C, E and several of the B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6 and folate.

Some studies have shown that consuming blue-green algae may boost our immune system while also helping relieve fatigue and improve your tolerance of exercise.

If you have recently made the change to a plant-based diet, or are considering removing animal products from you diet, then you will probably be asked the “protein question” by well-meaning friends and family. Just be sure to explain to them the numerous plant-based foods that are high in protein and that by consuming a variety of plant-based foods, you’ll have no trouble meeting protein requirements without animal foods.

[1] Sellmeyer DE, Stone KL, Sebastian A, et al. A high ratio of dietary animal to vegetable protein increases the rate of bone loss and the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:118-22.

[2] Knight EL, Stampfer MJ, Hankinson SE, et al. The impact of protein intake on renal function decline in women with normal renal function or mild insufficiency. Ann Intern Med 2003;138:460-7.

 

Article by Andrea Nison

 

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