Cringe to craving, my journey with protein! : Pratibha Kirmani

Cringe to craving, my journey with protein! : Pratibha Kirmani

If you're like I once was, your first experience with plant protein might have been less than mouth-watering. Rather than a flavor-packed, juicy steak, you might have been faced with a mysterious, grainy patty. Your initial reaction might have been a mix of disappointment and regret. But, as it turns out, there's a lot more to plant protein than meets the taste buds. It took me time to appreciate it, and I'm here to share how I went from cringing to craving. 

Just like with any new food, the first experience with plant protein can be a turning point: you either jump on the plant protein bandwagon or decidedly hop off. Well, I started not as a jumpy enthusiast, but as a skeptical dabbler. 

The adjustment period: With its distinct taste and texture (it can often taste like sattu, a little sandy or chalky but that's a reflection of a good protein) plant protein takes a little getting used to. But don't give up on the first try. With the right protein shake (or with added bananas and berries) and or chia and oat bowls, you'll be surprised, how in a few days you will fall in love with this taste. Not only will it be familiar soon, it will be effective. And results and outcomes are what matter.

The health benefits: It's low fat, low cholesterol, rich in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals. No, it's not a wonder drug; it's plant protein. Dual plant proteins like this one, are really useful because they have all the twenty amino acids. 

The environmental impact: Plant-based proteins cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions than animal-based proteins do, and they use less land and water to produce. So clearly that's another very good reason to opt for these. 

Dual or combination proteins are always better. That's correct! Creating combinations or blends of plant proteins can result in a protein profile that rivals, and may even surpass, animal proteins in some respects. Just like a dish that needs the right balance of ingredients, our body requires a variety of proteins to function optimally.

It's important to recognize, though, that the perfect protein source may look different for everyone. 

Dual Power of Plant Proteins

The truth of the matter is that you can enjoy the benefits of complete proteins while embracing a plant-based diet. It all boils down to the concept of protein complementation. This strategy involves combining different plant proteins to create a “complete” protein profile. For instance, lentils like golden peas (rich in lysine but lacking in methionine) might be paired with brown rice (abundant in methionine but deficient in lysine). The result? A bowl full of complete protein. 

Plant Proteins — More Than Just Macros 

Looking beyond the macronutrient level, plant proteins carry a host of other advantages. Notable properties include better solubility, emulsification, and stability, thanks in part to naturally occurring polysaccharides. 

Let’s not forget the unique health benefits associated with plant-based diets, such as reduced risk of chronic diseases and improved digestive health. 

So, if you're sitting on the fence about giving plant proteins another shot, I urge you to keep reading. The benefits run deep and wide, pairing well with anything from a healthier lifestyle to a smaller carbon footprint.

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