Sources of Plant Protein
Part of the aging process is that lean muscle begins to decline. Fortunately, this trend can be slowed significantly, or even stopped, by maintaining a regimen of regular exercise, and eating nutritious meals with plenty of protein. A recent study found that older adults who consumed high amounts of dietary protein had more muscle mass and greater levels of functional strength than seniors whose diets were lacking in protein.
The research conducted in the study also highlighted another important fact, which is that protein consumed from plant based sources is just as beneficial to the body as protein obtained from meat and dairy. This is good news for older people with more sensitive stomachs and smaller appetites, because your daily allowance of protein doesn’t have to come from stacks of red meat, or chalky, clumpy protein shakes. A one cup serving of cooked spinach, which reduces down to barely anything when sauteed, will add 5 grams of protein to a meal. 5 grams may not seem like a lot, but it’s actually 10% of the 50 grams you should be consuming daily. And if spinach isn’t your thing, here are some other handy plant proteins:
- Edamame: A pile of these soybeans make the perfect appetizer at a sushi restaurant, and a cup of them provides 18 grams of protein
- Beans: A cup of cooked beans will provide 15 grams
- Quinoa: This healthy grain will give you 9 grams of protein per cup, whether or not you can pronounce it
- Nuts: Not only are nuts easy to eat, one serving will provide up to 9 grams of protein, as well as plenty of healthy fats and fiber.