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Go for plant proteins

The market for vegetarian and vegan products has been growing immensely for years and will continue to expand in the coming years. What was once a niche has now become more than just a trend. Many people today consume less meat and consciously rely on products of plant origin. Of course, this not only benefits our environment and animal welfare, but also our own health. However, this presupposes that a vegan or vegetarian diet is similarly complete to that of a "flexitarian" who consumes both animal and plant foods.

Important is among other things here a sufficient supply with proteins, which many of us cover even today normally with animal food. However, there are an increasing number of plant-based protein sources that have proven their worth both in the food sector and in the manufacture of dietary supplements.

These include, for example, pea or pumpkin proteins. But why are these vegetable representatives so good, even in comparison to their animal comrades?

Proteins are often evaluated on the basis of three criteria. The first is the total protein content. In the case of pea protein, this is an impressive 86%. Even animal protein isolates sometimes contain only up to 90% total protein. Secondly, it is about the distribution and presence of the individual amino acids in the protein structure.

Each protein is a concatenation of many amino acids, of which there are 21 in total. These small building blocks not only form the proteins in our food, but also perform vital functions in our bodies. Among other things, they are the building blocks for our genetic information, the DNA. When evaluating a food protein, it is therefore preferable if it contains as many of the 21 amino acids as possible, and in quantities that are significant for humans. This is the case with both pumpkin and pea protein. But also other vegetable protein types can score here. These include, for example, hemp or sunflower protein.

The third and last important factor for the evaluation of proteins is the so-called biological value. This criterion deals with the question of how well a corresponding protein can be utilized by the human body. Here, whey, an animal protein, is considered the benchmark with a value of 100. Among plant proteins, the value is usually lower. Pea protein, however, with a value of almost 90, does not necessarily have to hide behind its animal sister, whey.

So be happy to rely more on plant proteins both in your diet and in your intake through supplements. But beware: "vegan" or "vegetarian" is not a quality standard but only an information about the origin of the raw materials. Products in this category may also contain artificial additives such as flavors, sweeteners or other superfluous ingredients.

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