Where do you get your protein?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked when speaking about juicing at live events or working with clients who are looking to adopt a plant strong lifestyle.

Well, here is another question: what do sunflower seeds, avocados and even broccoli have in common? It may surprise many, but they are all great sources of protein.

When most people think about protein their minds instantly go to meat, eggs, fish and dairy, but many plant-based foods can be equally protein-packed.

Most people in Britain eat more protein than they need. The British Dietetic Association recommends a daily intake of 45g and 55g of protein for the average woman and man respectively. But according to the British Nutrition Foundation the average protein intake per day is 88g for men and 64g women.

Protein needs depend on our age, size, height and activity level. Levels peak at key periods of muscle and bone growth.

Breastfeeding mums need to consume 20 per cent more protein than usual.

What is Protein anyway?

Protein is the name given to naturally occurring chains of molecules known as amino acids. Our cells, tissues and organs cannot function without amino acids. Every cell in the human body contains amino acids and it is essential to help our bodies repair cells and to make new ones.

Some amino acids can be manufactured in the body, whilst others (essential amino acids) can come only from food. The combinations of amino acids provided by different foods vary, which is why it is important to consume a varied diet.

We need to ensure we consume protein. If you plan to do a juice detox (a period of time on juice only) then you may want to consider blending some of your juices with avocado for both amino acids and essential fatty acids (which our bodies also have to get from our food). Other plants that are high in amino acids and work well blended into juices include spirulina, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. Adding hemp or pea protein powders to juices may also be beneficial.

This article was originally shared as part of my regular juicing column in the Winter 2015 issue of Thrive magazine.

Thrive Magazine

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