With the health message traversing the world, many people want to change their lifestyle to more plant based foods sources as vegetarians are said to have a longer lifespan compared to their flesh eating counterparts.
Fausta Akech, a nutritionist at Healthy U, says proteins are important in the body because hair and nails are mostly made of that. The body uses protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals that help in the functioning of the body.
Seeds and nuts
Most seeds are good sources of proteins and fibre. Akech says, “Chia seeds have become a popular food and they are not only easy to digest but are also a very versatile ingredient that you can easily add to any recipe. They can be added to soups, smoothies, yogurt or soaking them in water.”
Pumpkin seeds contain protein and amino acids that enhances serotonin production in the body that uplifts your mood. Sesame, sunflower seeds are good protein sources too. Incorporating them into your diet will have a positive impact on your health.
Nuts also provide important nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that boost your immunity.
Legumes such as lentils, green peas, soy, chickpeas and beans are good for digestive health and blood sugar balance since they contain large amounts of fibre and phytonutrients including anti-inflammatory quercetin. Both dried and fresh beans have the same nutritional benefits.
“Chickpeas for instance are high in protein, containing around 14 grams per cup. They are also a rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese. They also contain vitamin K for blood coagulation as well as vitamin A, and folate,” she says.
According to Akech, fruits such as guavas, avocados, apricots, kiwifruit, blackberries, oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, raspberries and peaches are good protein sources that also have a multitude of vitamins content to boost your immunity. Apples act as a natural cleanser for the body that keeps kidneys cleansed.
“They are a good fibre sources which help remove excess cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. The peels are a significant source of antioxidants and vitamin c which protect brain cells boosts, heart health and cancer prevention,” he says.
Akech says, “Most dark-coloured, leafy greens and vegetables contain protein. Eaten alone, these foods are not enough to meet daily protein requirements, but a few vegetable snacks can increase protein intake, particularly when combined with other protein-rich foods.
Broccoli, kale and mushrooms are good protein sources you can incorporate into your diet.”