I'm often ranting on about the need for protein. Particularly in smoothies. Our Naturopath showed that protein is pivotal for hormone, skin and liver health. And this study confirms that high protein diets are brilliant for weight-loss. Plus, the study shows that plant based sources are better for you than animal.
So the next time you have the blender out, add our favourite plant based proteins. Not only will they help you stay out of the pantry, but the unique nutrients will increase your exposure to anti-aging nutrients.
Our 9 Favourite Plant-Based Proteins:
Walnuts are a dense source of omega-3, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin. Importantly, they are recognised with having anti-cancer properties. As well as supporting brain function, male reproduction and heart health.
Renowned for their fibre, rolled or steel cuts are also rich sources of protein, manganese and phosphorus. Oats lower cholesterol which reduces the chance of heart disease or stroke. And they also stabilise blood sugar levels which makes them an ideal breakfast ingredient.
3. Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
An anti-ageing multi-vitamin. Just one handful will go along way to achieving your daily requirement of magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, vitamin E and protein. That means energy, weight loss, firmer skin and a stronger immune system.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds, in terms of nutritional content, is basically a blend of the best attributes in salmon, spinach, blueberries and human growth hormone.
If you haven’t read the worldwide bestseller, “Born To Run”, do yourself a favour. Christopher McDougall describes the true story of the Tarahumara tribe who live hidden in the Copper Canyons of Mexico, running double marathons for fun, all on the fuel of the magical chia seed. Once you read the book you'll be putting a tablespoon of chia seeds in everything. You'll probably go for a run too. Not me; I hate running. Chia seeds also also trigger that full feeling.
5. Plant Based Protein
Your protein powder has to be plant-based as whey, like milk, isn't biologically designed for human consumption. It will get toning results but at the cost of alkalinity and inflammation.
Whilst the best plant based recipes are often cleaner, because they're made for label reading health nuts like you and me, they aren't perfect. Always read the label and if you don't recognise all of the ingredients as food, then put it down.
6. Hemp Seeds
Banned for human consumption in Australia but don’t let the uninformed fat cats control you. Hemp seeds are an unbelievable source of essential fatty acids (omega-3 & 6). The promote weight loss, lower cholesterol and provide energy. You only need a couple of tablespoons for a powerful serving. Hemp seeds are that potent. They'll also thicken up your smoothie like chia seeds would, only with twice the protein and all nine essential amino acids.
California's favourite nut is another multi-vitamin. Fibre, protein, vitamin E and many other nutrients mean almonds help with fighting disease, losing weight, treating respiratory disorders and anaemia, improving skin and hair, and preventing diabetes. Fellow fellas, almonds also help with impotence and constipation. Charming.
For best results, soak a handful of almonds in water before bed. Strain, rinse and add to your blender. You've now activated your almonds to be even more nutritious.
8. Nut Butter
From peanuts, to watermelon seeds, to ABC. Nut butters are now healthy. Including the O.G, peanut butter. Add a heaped teaspoon of peanut butter to your smoothies for extra protein and fibre. As well as vitamin E, b-6 and magnesium. Plus your smoothie is now off the chart delicious.
Cashews are seriously dense in almost every essential mineral, from iron to zinc. They’re also dense in fat. Which may deter some punters but its why they make the perfect dairy replacement in cashew 'cream', 'cheese', 'milk' and 'ice cream'. They create the same creamy texture in smoothies. Delicious!
If you want your smoothie to have more nutrients and to fill you up, then add plant based proteins. A handful of nuts, seeds or oats is all it takes. Or a tablespoon of nut butter.
image credit: authoritynutrition.com