I bought a bag of granola the other day. I like to eat it as cereal with milk, mix it with my yogurt or just as a crunchy snack. I noticed the package said it contained 10 grams of protein per serving. There was big 1″ high letters stating the contents were PROTEIN GRANOLA. Why was the protein significant?
When someone is talking about a protein based diet, I think of red meat, cheese, eggs and fish. I don’t think of plants. Actually every whole food has protein in it. What’s the difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein other than the source?
Animal-based protein is high in cholesterol, has no fiber and is acidic to the human body. The acidity causes calcium to be stolen from your bones, reduces the oxygen levels in your blood and negatively effect your digestion and lymphatic systems. On the other hand plant-based protein is free of cholesterol. It is high in fiber which makes you feel fuller longer after eating. Thirdly, it is alkalizing to the body which promotes digestion and builds up the immune system.
Let’s get back to the original question. Why was the protein in the granola important? That’s simple to answer. Protein builds muscle. We use muscles to move our bodies, pump our blood and move food along our digestion system. Our nerves and blood vessels are held together by structural proteins. Even our very DNA is made up of proteins; its the building blocks of life. You can see why protein is so important.
Maybe now you are thinking that bag of granola is pretty good. What else is there to eat? Do I just make a salad? Some plants are packed with more protein than others. Pumpkin seeds, asparagus, cauliflower, almonds, quinoa, oatmeal, peanuts, bean sprouts, spinach and broccoli are all protein rich. Here is a list of plant-based proteins and how much each contains.
1. Chia seeds (1/4 cup = 12 grams)
2. Hemp seeds (1/4 cup = 10 grams)
3. Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup = 8 grams)
4. Spirulina (1 oz. = 16 grams)
5. Quinoa (1/4 cup dry = 6 grams)
6. Sesame seeds (1/4 cup = 7 grams)
7. Pumpkin seeds (1 oz. = 9.35 grams)
8. Mushrooms (1 cup – 5 grams)
9. Barley grass (1/2 cup, juiced = 12.6 grams)
10. Watercress (1 cup = 3 grams)
11. Peas (1 cup = 8 grams)
12. Asparagus (8 spears = 3.08 grams)
13. Romaine (1 cup = 1 gram)
14. Almonds (1 oz. = 6.03 grams)
15. Cauliflower (1 cup = 2.28 grams)
16. Maca root (1 tbsp = 3 grams)
17. Broccoli (1 cup = 5.7 grams)
18. Kale (1 cup = 2.5 grams)
19. Sprouts (1 cup = 5 grams)
20. Avocado (1 avocado = 4 grams)
21. Brazil nuts (1 cup, shelled = 20 grams)
22. Figs (1 cup = 2.5 grams)
23. Goji berries (1 cup = 10 grams)
24. Spinach (1 cup = 5.35 grams)
Yes, a nice salad with some of the items from the above list or yogurt with granola and you have a protein-rich meal that not only your taste buds will enjoy but your body will too.