Anyone who knows how important protein is for the body definitely wants to include food in their diet that will provide them with adequate amount of this particular nutrient. That’s why you might be interested to know that new research suggests a single source of protein may not be the best choice.
In a study recently published in Journal of Agriculture and Food ChemistryThe researchers created their own version of industrial chicken that is made with concentrated soybeans plus wheat gluten and contains 24% protein. After putting plant-based “meat lumps” to the test using lab methods, the study authors found that human cells did not absorb protein from vegetarian chickens as well as they did from regular chicken.
“Proteins undergo digestion before they are absorbed by human intestinal epithelial cells. After digestion, the proteins essentially become peptides. The size and polarity of peptides have been reported to be closely related to their uptake,” said study author, Dr. Said a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University Medical news today.
Chen went on to explain in the study that “the peptides produced by digesting plant-based meats were larger [and less water soluble]This causes them to pass through the epithelial cells more slowly compared to chickens, which leads to a reduction in uptake efficiency.”
Beyond that, says Rachel Fine, RDN at To The Pointe Nutrition Eat this, not that!When compared to animal proteins, plant proteins are considered ‘incomplete’ because they do not contain all the essential amino acids needed for anabolic muscle growth. On the other hand, “complete proteins that contain all the essential amino acids are used more efficiently by the body.”
At the same time, Fine notes that “with new plant-based proteins filling market shelves these days, there are certainly plant foods — including whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables — that provide all the essential amino acids.” Fine explains that “today’s nutritional landscape It offers plenty of great vegan options that provide complete plant-based proteins including ancient grains like quinoa, farro, and amaranth.”
There are also “plant proteins that can be incorporated into an individual’s diet to help expand the range of amino acids consumed”. This includes almonds, edamame, chickpeas, and dried pumpkin seeds, as well as pseudo-grains like quinoa and buckwheat.
To learn more about getting the right amount of protein in your diet, be sure to read 25 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake.
Desirée O is a freelance writer covering lifestyle news, food, and nutrition, among other topics. Read more