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Plant protein is a type of protein that is from plants. It is not only a good source of protein but also provides other nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plant protein can be easily digested and absorbed by the human body, often with fewer calories than animal proteins.
The following plant-based foods have a high-protein content per saving:
1. Soy products, such as tofu, edamame beans and tempeh, are among the richest source of protein in plant protein. Soybeans contain all nine essential amino acids that humans need, and their protein content can reach as high as 36% to 40%. Many plant protein manufacturers extract protein from beans for various applications, especially meat-substitute products.
2. Lentils and chickpeas are both great sources of protein to add to lunch or dinner. They contain plenty of protein, iron, and potassium. They can be eaten hot or cold, and be added to stews, curries or salads.
3. Nuts are protein-rich and have various kinds of benefits. Peanuts are full of healthful fats and may improve heart health. Almonds can provide a good amount of vitamin E, which is of great benefit to the skin and eyes.
From the nutritional point of view, vegetable protein can be roughly divided into two categories. And there are many other different types of protein.
1. Complete proteins: Any protein that contains all nine essential amino acids that humans need is called complete proteins. Common complete proteins include quinoa, peanuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, seitan, etc.
2. Incomplete proteins: A protein lacking any kind of essential amino acids is called incomplete protein. Most plant proteins fall into this category. Eating a wide variety of nutrients rich in protein is a great strategy for meeting daily goals. For instance, beans and rice separately are incomplete protein sources, while eaten together, they can provide 7g of protein per cup.
According to the functional characteristics of proteins, proteins can be divided into three categories.
1. Proteins that interact with water, providing functions such as dispersibility, solubility, viscosity, water holding capacity, etc.
2. Proteins interact with proteins, providing functions such as precipitation, gelation, etc.
3. Proteins' interface properties provide functions such as emulsification, foaming, oil retention, etc.