What’s the truth about protein?

June 27, 2017

plant protein

That’s a question I come up against constantly in my practice. I speak with mothers concerned as to whether their toddler will get enough protein after they wean from breast milk. I speak with parents of growing adolescents who wonder if plant-based eating will support the rapid growth of their soon-to-be teenager. And with adults who push their body hard all day and fear their lack of energy is due to not enough protein consumption.

There is a lot of information out there and it can be difficult to decipher what is just good marketing from what is actually factual. I recently dug deep into this topic as I prepared for my new book, Building Immunity In Babies & Young Children and believe I came up with some very sound information. I discovered two resources I would recommend that you take a look at as well:

Becoming Vegan, Express Edition by Brenda Davis RD and Vesanto Melina, MS RD is an exceptional resource. Don’t let that name scare you away. It has a wealth of information for meat and plant eaters alike.

Which Type of Protein Is Better for Our Kidneys by Michael Greger, MD. In six minutes you can learn which proteins support kidney health based on the most up to date research. Once on Dr. Greger’s site you may even find some other videos of interest as well.

Here are three take-aways that I think will intrigue you:

  1. Plant-based eaters need to aim at consuming .8 grams of protein per 1 kilo of weight or 2.2 lbs. So, for a 135 lb adult, that’s roughly 55 grams per day. I’ve shared some suggestions of what might make up that daily amount below. For non-breastfeeding toddlers 2-4 years of age, a slightly higher ratio is required and the need is about 19 grams a day. Breastfeeding babies and toddlers receive all the protein they need from mother’s milk.
  2. Protein quality is not all alike and depends on the amino acid content. There are 9 essential amino acids that can only be gotten from our diet and they all can be found in plant foods as well as animal products.
  3. While all protein is a challenge for our kidneys to manage, plant protein is by far the easiest on this all important filtering organ.

So what are good plant sources of protein? Here’s a handy chart that might help put your mind at ease.

Lentils (cooked) 1 cup 18g
Beans (cooked) 1 cup 15g
(approximately)
Green peas 1 cup 8g
Spinach (cooked) ½ cup 3g
Avocado ½ avocado 2g
Broccoli (cooked) ½ cup 2g
White potato 1 medium 4g
Hemp 3 tablespoons 10g
(approximately)
Chia 2 tablespoons 4g
Seeds: pumpkin,
sunflower, sesame
1/4 cup 7-9g
Quinoa (cooked) 1/2 cup 7-9g
Wild rice (cooked) 1 cup 6.5g
Nuts: almonds, cashews,
brazil, walnuts (raw)
1/4 cup 7-9g

 

image_pdfimage_print

Immunity matters!
Learn to support your health naturally with weekly tips
delivered straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You may also be interested in:

Spinach and Leek Tart

By Lauren | April 16, 2021

Here’s a recipe that tics just so many boxes for me.  It’s delicious, goes together with ease and in advance (a big win), is gluten-free, vegan, and my favorite is that it can be customized to the handful of veggies hanging out in your fridge. I was gifted with a Texas sized leek upon my…

Socca Bread

By Lauren | April 9, 2021

This simple rustic flatbread holds a special place in my heart and I am sure it will in yours as well.  Socca bread has the ability to make a simple soup and salad meal complete. I like to use my cast iron skillet but feel free to use your choice of an oven-safe pan. Ingredients…

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

By Lauren | April 3, 2021

You know there is always room for one more roasted sprout recipe in your repertoire. This one takes this winter veg right into spring with the bright taste of lemon and the sweetness of caramelized shallots.  Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees 1 large or 2 small Meyer lemon, if available, otherwise 2 small unwaxed…

Vegan Moussaka

By Lauren | March 24, 2021

I really haven’t thought about Moussaka in years, actually decades. The last time I had it in fact was at a pub in Oxford for heaven’s sake. I do remember it being an amazing comfort food and that was exactly what I was searching to serve at last meal for months with Foix friends. Once…

Spiced Butternut Soup

By Lauren | March 19, 2021

The weather has turned cold here in Foix these final days of winter with a mix of snow and rain each day.  This delightful and colorful soup brightened the dreary day and was delicious! Ingredients 2 leeks, chopped fine 2 large kohlrabi peeled and cut into chunks 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks…

Spicy Cauliflower Snacks

By Lauren | March 11, 2021

I will admit I have a problem with these cauliflower snacks.  I honestly can not stop myself from eating these and can easily consume an entire head of cauliflower in this fashion, on my own. I’m not saying I am proud of this fact, just sharing in case you have the same problem yourself.  I…

Apple Pear Crumble with Ginger

By Lauren | March 3, 2021

With a nod to my Foix friend Sanna Phinney, I share with you this super simple dessert. It’s was Sanna’s delicious recipe that she prepared for our welcome meal that served as an inspiration.   Ingredients 4 apples, cored and cut into chunks 4 pears, cored and cut into chunks 1 T Fresh Ginger – finely…

Explorations of Polyvagal Theory: All About Blended States Recap

By Lauren | March 2, 2021

You’ve learned Polyvagal basics, the states of protection, the state of connection but did you realize there are blended states?  In today’s final recap Maegan, Cameron and Lauren discuss the nuances of blended states which are more common than you might realize.  And then just to take it up a notch we play a bit…

A Warming Spiced Chia Porridge

By Lauren | February 24, 2021

When last week, during the fierce winter storms in Texas,  all I wanted to do was to warm my children and give them comfort there was an ocean between us. And as often my go-to, when I am distressed, I look for relief in the kitchen. In search of  something warming but not grain-heavy like…

Explorations of Polyvagal Theory: Reviewing the State of Connection

By Lauren | February 24, 2021

In addition to your two states of survival, your nervous autonomic nervous system has one state for connection. That state is the ventral vagal state.  It is where you not only feel a connection with yourself but also desire connection with others.  In today’s third recap session you will hear more about this state and…

Spiced Walnut Lentil Patties

By Lauren | February 17, 2021

These patties.  They are just the best. Plate them up with some roasted veg and a salad or pack them along as I did on your next hike.  Consider precooking the lentils and rice to cut down on the last minute prep or prepare the full mixture and allow to sit overnight in the fridge.…

Explorations of Polyvagal Theory: Reviewing the States of Survival

By Lauren | February 17, 2021

Your nervous system comes well equipped with two states of survival. One of those is the sympathetic state that provides you with the energy to fight or flee and the other state allows you to disconnect and is called the dorsal vagal state.  Knowing the terms is one thing but learning what they feel like…

Posted in

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.