Not only meat provides proteins, but also vegetables such as seeds, which are also easier to digest. The chia or sunflower are just some examples
Like the other macronutrients, proteins are essential to ensure the proper functioning of the organism and, therefore, prevent the occurrence of certain diseases. They have an extremely complex and wide-ranging task since they intervene in practically all the biological processes that take place inside us: the transport of iron, respiration, digestion, the metabolism of phosphorus and calcium, the creation of antibodies or the formation and the health of tissues, cells, and organs, among others. Therefore, they are necessary to live.
The importance of vegetable proteins
As is well known, there are proteins of different biological value. The meats provide the most complete and, therefore, of the highest quality, since they treasure all the essential amino acids that the body needs to function properly. However, it is not advisable to abuse this product, as it entails numerous problems for personal health, such as cardiovascular diseases or the increase of cholesterol.
However, many ignore that plant-based foods also provide protein, although it is true that they are not as complete. That is, they do not contain all the essential amino acids, so we must resort to the combination of different sources to achieve high-quality proteins and thus achieve the recommended daily intake. According to the Heart Foundation, this “is 0.80 grams per kilo per day, this can be achieved by consuming 2 or 3 servings of protein- rich foods per day, and must contribute 15% of the total calories in the diet.”.
Be that as it may, the truth is that proteins from vegetables are presumed to be healthier, easier to digest and less caloric than those that come from animals. They inhabit a good number of foods such as legumes, nuts, and seeds. These last ones have acquired great popularity during the last years. The reason is that, in addition to adding an extra flavor and a different texture to the culinary elaborations, they treasure a copious content of nutrients, among which are the proteins. Under this premise, let’s see what are the seeds that more vegetable proteins give us.
Seeds rich in vegetable proteins
- Pumpkin seeds. This curcubitácea possesses in its interior these nutritional treasures. They are an excellent source of fatty acids and tryptophan – a sleep-regulating hormone and serotonin promoter, closely related to mood – but they stand out for their contribution of vegetable proteins. According to the United States Food Composition Database (USDA), pumpkin seeds contain 30.23 grams per 100 grams of the product. Its mild and slightly sweet taste makes them ideal for consuming alone, although they also work very well in salads, dairy or confectionery products.
- Chia seeds. Small in size and with a sweet flavor, they inhabit the interior of the flowers of the chia plant, also known as chan, which is grown in Central and South America. They have acquired a great reputation among devotees of healthy diets and those who follow weight loss regimens, because of their bare caloric content and their large amount of omega 3 and fiber. However, they are not short of protein, as they provide 17 grams per 100-gram serving.
- Sunflower seeds. Of this snack so recurrent in our culture already enjoyed the Native Americans, who cultivated different varieties that later used for the manufacture of bread cakes or oil. They contain relevant minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus or potassium, and are generous in group B vitamins. They are also an excellent ally to replenish protein levels, as they provide 20 grams per 100 of product.
In general terms, Spaniards exceed the recommended daily protein consumption by 30%
- Poppy seeds. Coming from the interior of the flower of the same name, they are a nutritional treasure. They provide good amounts of fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins K and C and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. But their benefits do not remain in the aforementioned, because they gather interesting protein properties with more than 30 grams per serving, as compiled by the USDA.
- Flax seeds. Many consumers have approached them, also known as flaxseed, for their ability to fine-tune intestinal transit and regulate fluid retention. However, these seeds, native to the banks of the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile rivers, are generous in protein, while they hoard 18 grams per 100 of product, as pointed out by the Spanish Database of Food Composition ( BEDCA).
- Sesame seeds. Oddly enough, given their tiny proportion, they treasure generous amounts of vegetable proteins, as well as oleic acid, lecithin, B vitamins, fiber and minerals. The experts say that for the body to make the most of these seeds it is necessary to partially crush them, because in this way we facilitate their absorption, and toast them to release the fats. They work wonderfully in salads, smoothies, yogurts and even sauces, like tahini. The oil is another way of eating.