Rx…Plants Provide Enough Protein

Rx…Plants Provide Enough Protein.

As a physician who practices and preaches a plant-based diet, the question I get every day is, “Where do you get your protein?”

Most people assume that if you eat minimal or no animal products, you won’t get enough protein.  To answer this question, let’s figure out how much protein we need in a day, then find which plants have enough protein to meet our needs.

How much protein do we need?  The formula for the average adult is:

Body weight (in pounds) X 0.36 = recommended protein intake (in grams)

For example, a 160 lb person would need about 58 grams of protein/day

For those who are very active (or pregnant or breastfeeding women), the protein needs would be increased.

Here are a few plants that may surprise you with their high protein content:

Tofu:  19 grams/half cup

Black Beans:  15.2 grams/cup

Chick Peas (main ingredient in hummus): 14.5 grams/cup

Quinoa:  11 grams/cup

Peanut Butter:  8 grams/two Tbsp

Almonds:  8 grams/quarter cup

Spinach:  5.4 grams/cup

Broccoli:  4.6 grams/cup

Kale: 4.4 grams/2 cups chopped

Potato:  4 grams/6oz

The beautiful thing about eating all of these plants is that, in addition to protein, you also get a huge amount of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.  Several servings of grains, beans and vegetables every day will easily meet your body’s protein needs. It is important to eat a wide variety of different veggies, fruits, nuts, grains and beans in order to obtain all of the essential amino acids.

Dr. Weinstein’s Orders…Serve up the grains, beans, and vegetables to get all the protein you need.

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