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The power of plant protein

Jennifer Brix, ND

Special to the Village News

Going more plant-based is an exciting endeavor, and there are many reasons that incorporating more plant-based food into your diet is healthy for you and the planet.

Animal-based foods have the highest negative environmental impact out of all food groups. To create 1 lb. of beef requires 7 lbs. of plant protein, produces more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and uses more water, cropland, and fertilizer. It is a more expensive process while being less sustainable and can negatively impact health.

But can following a plant-based diet provide enough protein?

And even if it can, would we get all the essential amino acids our bodies require? The answer is yes, but it can take a bit of work. Our bodies need between 0.8–1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, so when we limit or remove animal-based proteins, it can prove difficult for some to reach the daily recommended amount of protein.

Enter vegan protein powders.

Although not all are created equal, an excellent vegan protein supplement will contain a blend of legumes, seeds, and grains, providing both a high biological value and a complete protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids as well as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) for building muscle.

With an average of 20–30 g per serving, vegan protein blends can easily bridge the gap to help you achieve a healthy protein intake. Best of all, adding vegan protein provides health benefits while protecting the environment and helping you save on your daily food bill.

Dr. Jennifer Brix is a licensed naturopathic doctor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with distinction from the University of Victoria and completed her professional training at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, BC.

 

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