Updated: Oct 21, 2020
“Where do you get your protein?”
“I get why you don’t eat meat, but surely you aren’t getting everything you need”
“Oh, I could never give up meat, I’d be starving”
If you’ve gone to a family supper, group event, or gathering with non-vegetarians, chances are you’ve fielded questions and judgement to your lifestyle choices. Plant-based diets have become much more prevalent, and have become less taboo in the past decade, and it is projected that 25% of Brits will be vegan or vegetarian by 2025, but that doesn’t stop the questions from pouring in. I get it, Aunt Sally, you’re new to the notion of adding more meatless and plant-based meals into your diet, but it’s 2020, and it’s time to make a change in our diet for the health of our bodies and the environment. And no, I don’t need meat to meet my iron needs. While these questions may be asked with good intention, they are often unaware of the health benefits and variety that a plant-based diet can provide. Perhaps you can even share the benefits with your sceptical family and friends, who knows, you might find a pouch of Sprout Powered Powders in their cupboards!
Scenario 1: Protein
You’re at a family barbeque, and your Aunt hands you a plate with a chicken breast. You politely decline, letting her know that you don’t eat meat, but you’ve brought a big, plant-based dish to share with the family. She looks at you, confused and says, “but where do you get your protein?”
Well, with a well-planned plant-based diet, protein is typically not an issue. In today’s fitness and aesthetics culture, protein is often regarded as the hero of the plate, and we are made to believe that we aren’t getting enough. But in reality, we need 0.8-1.0g protein per kilogram of body weight, which is likely less than what your supplement companies are telling you.
Here are our top plant-based protein sources that you can share with plant-sceptics (to compare, 1 medium egg = 6g protein):
Tofu (140g) = 16.5g
Peanut butter (15g, 1 tbsp) = 4.2g
Chickpeas (100g, cooked) = 6.3g
Sprout Powered Protein + Iron (15g, 3 tbsp) = 5.5g, that’s 10% of your daily needs! *
There are so many ways to meet your daily protein needs with thoughtful planning – and if you’re in a pinch, add a serving of Sprout Powered Protein + Iron to your daily shake, porridge, or your baked goods for a quick boost of protein! Additionally, plant-based proteins have a much smaller impact on the environment, making it step towards living a more eco-conscious lifestyle.
Take that, Aunt Sally! I can meet my protein-needs on a plant-based diet!
Scenario 2: Iron
You’re seated around the table, and you’re sat around the dinner table, and your Aunt goes to place a slice of roast beef on your plate. You politely decline, reminding her (again!) that you don’t eat meat, but you’ve brought a delicious bean dish for the family to try. She scoffs, saying: “I get why you don’t eat meat, but surely you aren’t getting everything you need, what about iron?”
Iron is an important mineral in the transport of oxygen in your body. Low levels of iron can cause symptoms such as fatigue, and lethargy. Toddlers, girls, women, and some adults over 65 years are at higher risks of being iron deficient. But by adding iron-rich foods and taking steps to ensure that your body can absorb dietary iron, you can get enough iron on a plant-based diet.**
First, let’s get to the basics of iron:
There are two types of iron heme (animal sources) and non-heme (non-animal sources). Heme iron is more readily absorbed by the body compared to non-heme iron, and there are strategies you can use to increase the absorption of iron.
Vitamin C & Iron
Eating iron-rich foods with a source of Vitamin C can help to increase the absorption of dietary iron, in one study, taking 100mg vitamin C with a meal increased iron absorption by 67%!
Luckily, we’ve formulated our Sprout Powered Protein + Iron with the addition of sprouted beetroot, which contributes vitamin C to our unique wholefood blend!
Here are our top plant-based iron sources that you can share with plant-sceptics:
· Dried Figs, (per 100g): 3.9mg
· Spinach, boiled (per 100g): 1.6mg
· Chickpeas, boiled (per 100g): 2mg
· Sprout Powered Protein + Iron (per 15g, 3 tbsp): 2.2mg
Sprouting impacts the nutritional value and digestibility of seeds, grains, nuts and legumes. Sprouting has been studied for its ability to enhance the amino acid (protein) profile and concentration while improving the availability of certain vitamins and minerals. Additionally, sprouting can reduce the amount of phytic acid (known as an antinutrient, which limits the absorption of nutrients), when compared with unsprouted seeds. Sprouts are nutrient-dense, meaning they are packed with nutrition, perfect for those leading busy lives, or for those who might need a little boost of wellness throughout their day. Our Sprout Powered blends are a convenient, portable way to harness the goodness of sprouts whenever, and wherever you are.
Going plant-based doesn’t always mean going “all-in”. You can still make sustainable changes by adding a plant-based option into your normal eating routine. No step is too small, you may even enjoy it!
So, next time you’re gathered around the family table, and someone asks if you can get everything you need from a plant-based diet, share the power of sprouts!
**Note: Vegetarians might need a higher intake of iron, than meat-eaters, due to the low absorption rate of non-heme iron. If you do have low iron levels, you may need to take supplements. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about what’s best for you and your needs.
These blog posts are not intended to replace the advice or personalized information from a health professional. If you have further questions or require personalized advice, please seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian.
www.pennutrition.com: Food Sources of Iron (UK)
www.pennutrition.com: Protein and Vegan Diets