Fuel Yourself With Plant Proteins

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April 27, 2017


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Many people assume that you can’t get enough protein on a plant-based diet. If done correctly, a plant-based diet can be a healthy approach to chronic disease management.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a well-balanced vegetarian diet reduce risks of many chronic diseases, and may treat, improve or reverse:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some digestive problems

Vegetarian diets also offer promise in treatment for cancer and kidney disease.

Plants contain thousands of chemicals and healthy oils that hinder key steps in the development of disease and inflammation. The high fiber and nutrient content in plant foods like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruit have shown to help control blood-sugar swings after meals, improving how our bodies metabolize the nutrients.

Getting protein from a plant-based diet is easier than you think. Balance out your nutrients and meet all your body’s needs by focusing on choices that include plenty of whole, minimally processed plant foods at each meal and snack — and avoid highly processed, low-nutrient foods such as chips, cookies and sweets, and refined grain crackers, whenever possible.

Recipe: High Protein Vegetarian Chili

  • ½ cup of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • 15-oz can diced roasted tomatoes
  • 15-oz cans of kidney beans, rinsed
  • 15-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 cup of organic vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp (tablespoon) of sesame seed oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of pepper

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onion, and garlic until tender.
  2. Add TVP and stir until mixed into onions and garlic.
  3. Pour in vegetable broth. Season with pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper.
  4. Mix in beans, tomatoes, green bell pepper, and carrots.
  5. Bring to a boil and cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with a salad and or with ½ cup of cooked quinoa or a side of cooked vegetables.

Nutrition Facts
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: Calories 245, Fat 5 grams; Carbohydrates 25 grams; Sodium 702 milligrams; Protein 14 grams.

About the author: Natalie Castro is the Chief Wellness Dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida.

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