Discover the Power of Plant-Based Protein: The Top 5 Surprising Benefits You Never Knew Existed
Are you looking to boost your plant-based protein intake in Singapore? You're not alone! According to recent statistics, more and more Singaporeans are making the switch to plant-based protein sources. In fact, a study shows that in the last 5 years, there has been a staggering increase of 40% of Singaporeans identifying as vegetarians or vegans.
As we explained before in our protein article, protein is an essential macronutrient, vital in not just the building of muscle (as it’s most well known), but also for the foundational health and well-being of our bodies. Animal protein’s plant-based counterpart has come a long way in recent years, to catch up and become an amazing source of protein for people today.
From environmental benefits to health benefits, there are many reasons to consider incorporating more plant-based protein into your diet. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the top 5 benefits of plant-based protein that you may not have known about.
1. Decreased “Bad Cholesterol”
One of the key benefits of plant-based protein is its ability to control cholesterol levels. Animal-based protein sources, such as meat and dairy, are high in saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, are typically low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
Eating a diet high in plant-based protein can help lower LDL cholesterol, also known as "bad" cholesterol. This is because plant-based proteins are often rich in fiber, which can help to remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. Additionally, many plant-based protein sources also contain compounds called phytosterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Some studies have shown that consuming plant-based protein sources such as tempeh, can help lower cholesterol levels as much as traditional cholesterol-lowering drugs. This makes plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, a great option for those looking to improve their cholesterol levels and reduce their risk of heart disease.
Overall, incorporating more plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, into your diet can be a delicious and convenient way to boost your protein intake, while also controlling cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease. It's a win-win situation for your taste buds and your health.
2. Great Amino Acid Profile
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining good health. It is made up of amino acids, and different proteins have different amino acid profiles. One of the great things about plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, is that they offer a wide variety of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
Animal-based protein sources, such as meat and dairy, are considered to be complete proteins because they contain all of the essential amino acids in the right proportion. However, not all plant-based protein sources are complete proteins. It used to be believed that plant-based proteins were poor in their amino acid profile, making them inferior to meat proteins when it came to these nutrients essential to the body. Recent studies have shown, however, that the variety in plant-based sources is important as some sources contain key amino acids to fill in those nutritional gaps for team plant-based.
Some plant-based protein sources in particular, such as soy, are considered to be complete proteins, as they contain all of the essential amino acids in the right proportion. Tempeh is also a complete protein. It's important to note that even if a plant-based protein source is not a complete protein, it can still provide the essential amino acids needed for human health. By including a variety of plant-based protein sources in your diet, such as tempeh, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you can easily meet your protein needs.
Additionally, plant-based protein sources such as tempeh also contain many other essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, that can provide many health benefits, offer a great amino acid profile and can provide the essential amino acids needed for human health. This makes them a great alternative to animal-based protein sources, and by including a variety of plant-based protein sources in your diet, you can easily meet your protein needs while getting many other essential nutrients.
Particular to this topic is soy protein, found in sources like tofu and CRUMBL tempeh chips that contains the amino acid Lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid vital in the production of carnitine, a nutrient that is responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and aiding the body to lower cholesterol. Soy protein is by far one of the best sources of Lysine for people on the plant-based diet.
3. Better Intestinal health
One of the major benefits of plant-based protein for gut health is that it is rich in fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that is important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
Fiber facilitates regular food digestion, controls hunger and blood sugar levels, and aids in the regulation of the body's use of sugar. Eating more fiber actually alters the microbiome and the good bacteria in your gut, improving the environment there. A healthy gut microbiome encourages a fast metabolism, a robust immune system, regular bowel movements, and the right hormone levels that help control eating. According to research presented in 2019 at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, just 16 weeks of a healthy vegan diet focused on whole fruits and vegetables has been shown to cause a documented improvement in gut health.
Plant-based protein sources such as tempeh also contain prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as food for beneficial bacteria in the gut. These prebiotics can help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, which can improve gut health and boost the immune system.
Another way that plant-based protein sources such as tempeh can benefit gut health is by promoting regular bowel movements. This is because plant-based proteins are rich in fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system moving smoothly, preventing constipation and other digestive issues. In addition, some plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, are fermented. Fermented foods like tempeh are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria. This can improve digestion and boost the immune system.
4. Controlling Blood Sugar
Around the world, Type 2 Diabetes is becoming a more common health issue, and many people struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Thankfully, recent research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that a plant-based diet can help control blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, two important aspects of having diabetes. In particular, the study discovered a "protective" relationship between a diet higher in plant foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and lower in red and processed meats against the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
The higher fiber content found in plant-based protein sources can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, helping to prevent spikes in blood-sugar levels. In addition, fiber can also help to improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for maintaining healthy blood-sugar levels.
Another way that plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, can benefit blood-sugar control is by promoting feelings of fullness and satiety. This is because protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates, which can help to prevent overeating and reduce cravings for sugary foods.
5. Reduced Environmental Impact
One of the major benefits of plant-based protein for the environment is that it requires less water and land to produce than animal-based protein sources. Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of deforestation, as forests are cleared to make way for grazing land and feed crops. Additionally, it requires significantly more water to produce animal-based protein than plant-based protein. Incorporating plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, into your diet can reduce your environmental footprint and help to preserve natural resources.
Another benefit of plant-based protein sources is that they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane and nitrous oxide. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. Incorporating plant-based protein sources, such as tempeh, can reduce your carbon footprint and help to mitigate climate change.
Additionally, plant-based protein sources are more sustainable than animal-based protein sources. They can be grown on land that is not suitable for other forms of agriculture, and they can be grown using organic and sustainable farming practices. This can help to reduce the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals in the environment.
More particularly, when more customers (including you!) decide to eat more plant-based protein sources, these impacts are strongly correlated with a decline in factory farming. In actuality, the biggest sources of methane in the world are cows, pigs, hens, and turkeys.