There are so many different types of proteins out there it can be challenging to figure out which is best for you. Animal and plant proteins have unique sources and benefits, so it’s important to know the difference between them. An EAA supplement (essential amino acid) takes the guesswork out of selecting quality proteins, regardless of whether you opt for animal or plant proteins.
They are the best choice for quickly digesting and assimilating your proteins, but which kind should you choose? Join us as we explore what sets animal protein and plant-based protein apart from one another!
What Does Protein Do?
Whenever we exercise or do any strenuous activity, most of us reach for a protein bar or shake afterward to refuel our bodies. But what exactly does protein do in our bodies? Protein is an essential class of macronutrients that helps build muscle tissue and physically keep us strong. It also supports metabolic processes, so by eating enough protein, we can metabolize fat better and remain energized longer.
Protein also affects our hormone health—it helps the body produce serotonin to regulate mood and improve cognition and dopamine to balance energy levels. Simply put, we would be significantly weaker inside and out without protein!
Can You Get Protein From Plants?
Despite what some people may think, getting enough protein from a plant-based diet is certainly achievable. As nutrition science and food technology have advanced, so too have our understanding of what makes up a complete and balanced diet, including plenty of plant-based sources of food that deliver adequate amounts of protein.
Down below are some of the sources of plant proteins:
- Nutritional Yeast
- Hemp Seeds
- Wild Rice
- Chia Seeds
- Soybean products such as edamame, tempeh, and tofu
- Ezekiel Bread
All nine essential amino acids are present in quinoa, soybeans, Ezekiel bread, chia seeds, buckwheat, spirulina, nutritional yeast, and hemp seeds, making them complete protein sources.
Beans, nuts, lentils, wheat, and wild rice are other plant protein sources. However, they are deficient in one or more essential amino acids.
Getting all the required amino acids on an entirely plant-based diet is still doable. It may require a bit more effort because plant foods contain various levels of amino acids.
You may ensure you’re getting all the necessary amino acids in your diet by consuming a varied diet and combining complementary plant proteins, such as the peanut butter.
Other complete protein combos include pasta salad with kidney beans, rice and beans, and hummus and pita bread.
Animal Protein Sources
Animal proteins are a popular source of nutrition that can easily be incorporated into any diet. They are particularly beneficial for athletes who require more protein to develop and maintain muscles. Animal proteins, like those in eggs and fish, can also help keep our bodies healthy with their essential vitamins and minerals.
Not only that, but they tend to be more filling than plant-based proteins so that you can stay energized throughout the day. While some people may opt for vegan or vegetarian diets, animal proteins should be an important part of any meal plan.
Here are some animal protein sources:
- Fish and seafood
- Dairy items, including milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Lean meat
- Wild game
Animal protein sources also contain crucial elements, such as heme iron and vitamin B12. Compared to non-heme iron, which is present in plant foods, heme iron is more easily absorbed.
It’s important to remember that some animal proteins are less nutrient-dense than others. For instance, highly processed animal foods like hot dogs and chicken nuggets are bad for your health since they are high in unhealthy fats and sodium.
Is Plant Protein Better than Animal Protein?
Plant proteins are becoming increasingly popular as a source of nutrition. In the world of macro-nutrition, is plant protein better than animal protein? To answer this query, asking why we need to get protein first is crucial. In short, protein helps build and repair muscle tissue, maintain healthy bones, and produce enzymes and hormones for body function.
Furthermore, it serves as an energy source for our bodies during stress or increased activity. Animal protein sources provide the richest forms of amino acids, the building blocks of the proteins needed for proper bodily functions.
On the other hand, plant proteins have less complete forms of these essential amino acids, so they may not have as significant an effect on tissue production and repair. Ultimately, plant and animal proteins should be part of a healthy diet to ensure your body gets all it needs!
Benefits of Eating Animal & Plant Protein
Eating an appropriate balance of animal and plant-based proteins is vital for optimal health and wellness. Some plant proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids, making them complete sources of protein, whereas many animal proteins are incomplete, lacking a few essential amino acids.
Therefore, combining a variety of animal and plant proteins can ensure all the essential amino needed to support bodily functions are consumed. Eating a wide variety of plant proteins can also provide beneficial vitamins and minerals that maximize wellness.
For example, tofu is a great way to add calcium and zinc into your diet, which supports strong bones, healthy skin, and strong hair! Meanwhile, salmon can provide vitamin D and omega3 fatty acids that are great for a healthy heart and cognitive function. Eating an equal blend of animal and plant proteins is the best way to reap all their unique benefits, plus promote an overall balanced diet for lasting health.
When looking at protein, it’s important to remember that it is essential for bodily functions like cell growth and repair. Whether you get your protein from animals or plants, having a variety of sources is the best way to ensure your body gets what it needs.
Animal proteins come from fish, eggs, and dairy products, which provide all the essential amino acids. Plant proteins include soybean items, chia seeds, quinoa, and others which can be a great source of amino acids, but some may not provide all the essential ones. While animal proteins usually have more essential amino acids than plant proteins, both forms should be included in an overall balanced diet.
Eating a mix of animal and plant proteins can provide more health benefits since they are also rich in other vitamins and minerals. In the end, eating balanced animal and plant-based protein sources is the best way to get the nourishment that benefits health in both short-term and long-term scenarios!
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