Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 21st 2018 Contents B4 propa eats
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
When it comes to nutrition during Lent, you don’t always have to trade red meat and poultry for fish alone! There are multiple ways of increasing protein intake that have absolutely nothing to do
with seafood. Protein is made up of nine essential amino acids, which means that our body does not make its own and we must get them through foods. Most animal proteins naturally contain
enough essential amino acids that allow them to stand alone as high protein choices but many plant sources of protein have an incomplete amino acid profile. To compensate for this, when
choosing plant-based proteins, you would need to combine certain foods together to provide an adequate amount of all nine essential amino acids. In the Caribbean, we call this ‘The Multimix
Principle’. Consuming incomplete proteins limits how well your body uses this protein. Food combining assures that your body can most efficiently and effectively utilise what you are eating for
energy, muscle gain, maintenance or recovery.
Bear in mind, though, that some vegan and vegetarian products like veggie-burgers, nuggets, cheeses and meat alternatives are often highly processed and come with a long list of artificial
ingredients, are often high in calories and often lack the protein, fibre and nutrients necessary for a balanced meal. Here are 7 whole foods that pack a super protein, nutrient-dense punch.
7 Lent-Friendly Protein Sources (That Aren’t Fish)
Words by Janelle Zakour RD of
Purple Carrot Nutrition
Eggs are nature’s perfect little package. Whole eggs are actually one of the most nutrient-dense,
complete protein foods on the planet; they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, eye-protecting
antioxidants and brain nutrients. Thirty-five percent of the calories in a whole egg come from
protein alone, with each egg containing about six grams of protein. Egg whites are almost pure
protein in the form of albumin.
Soybeans: Tofu, Tempeh + Edamame
Most legumes are incomplete proteins. Soybeans are the only legumes that are considered a
whole source of protein meaning that they provide the body with all the essential amino acids
it needs. One cup of cooked soybeans alone contains 23 grams of protein and has evolved into
different culinary forms; tofu, tempeh and edamame all originate from soybeans.
Tofu is one of the more popular vegetarian sources of protein made from soybeans and is usually
the go-to for people transitioning to a more plant-based lifestyle. One cup of tofu contains about
18 to 20 grams of protein and it comes in different forms, ranging from silken to extra firm.
Tempeh is a probiotic food made from cooked and fermented mature soybeans pressed into
cake form. It contains a bit more protein than tofu with one cup of tempeh packing a whopping
30 grams of protein along with B vitamins, magnesium and phosphorus.
Edamame are young soybeans with a sweet, grassy taste that needs to be steamed or boiled
prior to consumption. Apart from containing 10 to 19 grams of protein per half cup, edamame
is rich in folate, vitamin K and fibre.
Legumes: Lentils, Chickpeas + More
Lentils are such an underrated food source but they are secretly nutritional powerhouses. One
cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein along with folate, manganese and non-heme iron.
Lentils also have a type of fibre in them called resistant starch that feeds the good bacteria in our
gut. They can be used in a variety of dishes from salads, to soups and casseroles.
Legumes in general are health-promoting, protein-packed little super-foods that contain a variety
of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant compounds. Chickpeas (channa), black beans,
kidney beans and other legumes have between 13 to 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. They
are also excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fibre, iron, folate, potassium, manganese
and many others. Remember the Multimix Principle, though: pair lentils with rice or black beans
with a corn tortilla.
Greek Yogurt, Milk Kefir + Cottage Cheese
Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of regular cultured yogurt with a higher protein content
than milk alone. Greek-style yogurt contains 18 grams of protein per seven ounces and is rich in
probiotics, which promotes gut health, improved digestion and enhanced immune function.
Milk kefir is a fermented drink traditionally made with cow’s milk that typically has a sour flavour.
Six ounces of milk kefir contains six grams of protein along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus
and a more potent probiotic profile than yogurt with most kefirs containing about 30 different
microorganisms including Lactobaccillus kefiri, which is unique to kefir. Those suffering from
lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate Greek yogurt and milk kefir as most of the lactose
is removed during the fermentation process. Plain, unflavoured options will have a lower sugar
content so it is best to choose these and then add your own fruit.
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