If you do not eat meat, where do you get the protein from?

If you do not eat meat, where do you get the protein from? – every vegetarian has heard this question at least once in his life. Most people think that a vegetarian diet and building muscle mass do not go hand in hand. This diet is considered to be deficient and low-protein. In any rational diet, protein intake is the lowest of macronutrients because it can not be stored and used as a backup energy source. Varied and well-composed vegetarian diet provides a set of amino acids for protein synthesis. Not only the healing diets that are to lower cholesterol, prevent atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks and tumors, are based on plants. More and more athletes are also deciding to use a vegetable diet, which does not prevent them from achieving excellent results. That’s why if we go to the gym, we do not necessarily have to eat meat. Which products should I provide with protein?

1. Vegetarianism – legumes
2. Nuts
3. Groats and pseudozhoża
4. Hemp sowing

1. Vegetarianism – legumes

Legumes belong to the legume family. Among them, we can distinguish soy, lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas and beans. It is a group of plants particularly important from the nutritional point of view. Bean plants provide such nutrients as vegetable protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Protein is the basic ingredient of seeds. From the available crops in Poland, the most protein is soy and yellow lupine (35-42%), while the most commonly consumed peas and beans contain proteins relatively less, about 21-25%. It is worth noting that the consumption of 100 g soybean seeds provides about 36.5 g of protein, 100 g of white bean seed, 23 g of protein, while 100 g of chicken fillet meat only 19.5 g of protein. As we can see, this ratio is extremely beneficial for legume seeds.

We are often afraid of eating fabaceae, especially soy, due to the isoflavones contained in them, which interact with estrogen receptors. There have been many studies that have shown that phytoestrogens can affect the fertility and sexual development of rats. It is worth noting, however, that in the blood of men who were given isoflavones or soy products containing them, there were no changes in the concentration of estrogen and testosterone. This aspect requires additional analysis and execution of many specialist tests.

The protein of the fabaceae plants differs in amino acid composition from the meat or protein of cereals. It is distinguished by a higher share of lysine and threonine. However, their nutritional value limits the insufficient content of methionine and cystine, which are included in sulfuric amino acids. It is worth noting that the best amino acid composition has soy protein.

Often, after eating legume seeds, we complain about the feeling of bloating and the appearance of gases. To get rid of the flatulence effect after eating the pods and remove the anti-nutritive substances, rinse the seeds before cooking and then soak for about 12 hours, then cook in a fresh portion of water.

2. Nuts
In the diet of both vegetarian and people consuming animal products, it is worth paying attention to nuts, which are used, among others, in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and dyslipidemia. They provide a lot of energy, 100 g of nuts provide an average of 553-718 kcal. They are a rich source of fats, but mainly unsaturated fatty acids. The amount of carbohydrates in nuts is quite low, however, in cashew nuts or pistachios it is about 30%. It is worth noting that the nuts are characterized by a high content of vegetable protein, which is approx. 20%. Its highest content is characterized by almonds, pistachios and peanuts. In contrast, walnuts or hazelnuts contain it relatively less.

Together with buckwheat, they provide all the amino acids in an equal proportion, which will allow you to fully use the amino acids for the purpose of protein construction. Instead of porridge, it is worth trying the leavings with almonds and vegetable milk – then we do not have to worry about protein deficiencies.

3. Groats and pseudozhoża
Groats and grain products are characterized by a high content of carbohydrates, mainly complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as vegetable protein. These products were used in the diet of our ancestors and treated as a valuable ingredient. The best source of protein among cereal products are buckwheat groats or millet groats, which may also appear in the diet of people with gluten intolerance or those suffering from celiac disease.

For example, 100 g of buckwheat give 12.5 g of protein, millet – 10.5 g, amaranth – 13.6 g, quinoa – 14.1 g, rice – 7 g, and sweet Abyssinian (also called tefem) – 13.3 g. For comparison – 100 g chicken legs provide 16.8 g of protein, so the difference is not as big as it might seem. The aforementioned buckwheat with almonds and soy milk supplies 21 g of protein, which is after all only one meal.

4. Hemp sowing
Commonly with the word hemp, we associate Indian cannabis, which gained its popularity thanks to its hallucinogenic and curative effects. However, it is worth remembering that this species also includes flax hemp, otherwise called cannabis. These cannabis are widely used in nutrition. They are a good source of protein, contain about 20-25%. Over 65% of hemp proteins are edestins – they are globular proteins classified as the best absorbed by the human body.

Cannabis is among the superfood products due to the rich composition of seeds. Do not worry, they do not contain THC. But it is this suspicion that this most universal plant in the world has long been forgotten. In addition to protein, it provides in ideal proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has anti-inflammatory properties. You can also find pure hemp protein on the market, which is a good alternative to whey nutrients.

Wilk M., Soy, a source of valuable nutrients, FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality 2017, 24, 2 (111), 16-25.
Kaniewski R. et al., Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabis sativa L.) – valuable useful and medicinal plant, Postępy Fitoterapii 2017, 18 (2), 139-144.
Stróżyk A., Pachocka L., Nuts as an important component of athletes’ diet, Problems of Hygiene and Epidemiology 2016, 97 (4), 328-334.
Czupryńska K., Marchlewicz M., Wiszniewska B., The effect of xenoestrogens on the male sexual system, Progress in Cell Biology 2007, 34 (2), 317-333.
F. Cabbage, legumes source of protein for animals and humans, Engineering Sciences and Technologies 2012, 1 (4), 16-32.
Sikora E., Liszka P., Nutrients and non-nutrients in raw and processed peanuts, Bromatologia i Chemia Toksykologiczna 2011, 44 (4), 1047-1053.

Digestive System

Benefits of eating vegetabeles

A diet rich in vegetables has many beneficial properties for our body. It is well known that when we eat vegetables, we provide the body with many valuable nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The mentioned ingredients perform several functions in our bodies. They are building materials, they participate in enzymatic processes, regulate peristalsis and can support sports results. The responsible for this phenomenon are vegetables, which in their composition contain nitrates. We find them in beets, leafy vegetables – lettuce, spinach, rocket, and celery. The effects of nitrates are based on increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), low-mass molecules and high physiological significance.

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Much nitric oxide

The biological effect of nitric oxide is based on vasodilatation, inhibition of adhesion (adherence) and aggregation (clumping) of platelets. In addition, it protects the vascular wall by reducing the impact of free radicals and prevents the oxidation of lipids. In addition, it participates in the regulation of the central nervous system, where it participates in biological processes that stimulate neurotransmitters and cyclic GMP. It takes part in iron metabolism and determines the cytotoxic activity of macrophages and their ability to destroy parasites.

In the context of athletes, it can modulate skeletal muscle function through regulation of blood flow, muscle contraction, glucose homeostasis, calcium, and mitochondrial respiration. As a result, it reduces the use of oxygen, improves efficiency, increases the tolerance of effort and delays the emergence of fatigue.
The mechanism of action

Until recently, it was thought that the only way to form nitric oxide (NO) is the conversion of arginine in the process of oxidation using NOS enzymes. Currently, it is known that an effective way to increase the production of nitric oxide is to extend the diet to products rich in nitrates (NO3). NO3 taken with anaerobic bacteria in the mouth they are converted to nitrites (NO2). Then, some of them in the acidic environment of the stomach is converted into nitric oxide (NO) and redirected to the general circulation. The remaining part travels to the muscles, wherein the environment of lower pH is reduced from NO2 to NO. In this way, nitrites maintain the bioavailability of nitric oxide in hypoxia and acidification (the situation that occurs during exercise).

What amount is effective?

Supplementation with a dose of 5-7 mmol (~ 0.1 mmol/kg body weight or 6.4-12,8 mg/kg) contributes to the increase in NO2 in the plasma. Such an amount may cause a decrease in resting pressure and a decrease in oxygen uptake. As a result, efficiency increases and improves effort tolerance. The dose in terms of weight is the whole

body weight 70 kg -> 440-870 mg,

body weight 90 kg -> 580-1.160 mg,

body weight 110 kg -> 730-1.450 mg.

To provide 5-7 mmoles of nitrates, 0.5 liters of beet juice should be used. Nitrates can also be found in other foods such as rukola (4,500 mg / kg), lamb’s lettuce (2,500 mg / kg), spinach (2,100 mg / kg), dill (3,000 mg / kg), butter lettuce (1,900 mg / kg), Chinese cabbage (1,400 mg / kg), botwina (1,600 mg / kg), beetroot (1,500 mg / kg). Improvement in efficiency can be noticed after 2-6 days of nitrate intake (> 15).

How long do nitrates work?

Plasma nitrite plasma appears after 2-3 hours of receiving (5-6 mmol). It lasts up to 6-8 hours and then returns to the initial level after 24 hours. Regular supplementation is required to maintain a high NO2 level.

The ergogenic effect is observed during the activity lasting from 5 to 30 minutes (speed and strength sports). The beneficial effects of nitrate supplementation in extension training have not yet been confirmed. Nevertheless, in the literature, we can find research that confirms the improvement of performance in high-intensity intermittent sports (football).
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Do not brush your teeth before accepting nitrates. The anaerobic bacteria found in the oral cavity are needed to decompose the compound.


Turnip – calories, nutritional values ​​and curiosities

Turnip is a rather forgotten vegetable, which, however, is worth eating, because of its nutritional value – it is good to remember something about it. Our ancestors often reached for this plant from the brassicaceae family in autumn and winter, due to the fact that access to many other vegetables was limited. 

Turnip is a cultivated plant whose root is root and young leaves growing on stems measuring as much as 120 cm. It is assumed that the vegetable comes from Afghanistan, Pakistan or the Mediterranean. Turnip was grown in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. Currently, the vegetable is grown mainly in cooler regions of Europe. 


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Turnip – nutritional and healing properties 

Turnip is a low-calorie vegetable – in 100 grams of turnip we find only 28 calories (kcal). In over 80% it consists of carbohydrates, but it also contains valuable fiber. Thanks to him you do not get hungry so quickly (fiber stabilizes the blood sugar level), so it is worth adding a salad of Velcro, for example to potatoes, so that the glucose after a meal will not increase rapidly. In autumn and winter, we should reach for turnip as often as possible because of the vitamin C contained in it. Although the latest research shows that vitamin C does not cure the already developed infection, it also supports immunity at the moment when we are not sick, which is why use it prophylactically. In addition, thanks to the velcro, we also strengthen the circulatory system, and it is quite important in the winter, when we often struggle with runny nose and the blood vessels in our nose are more sensitive, and thus they break more often. It is worth remembering and reaching for large, natural doses of vitamin C. In 100 grams of turnip we find approximately 30% of the daily requirement for this vitamin. In addition, you can also find B vitamins (especially vitamin B6) in the burr. For this reason, it is worth eating it raw, because after cooking these chemicals precipitate from the plant. Thanks to the B group vitamins, turnip affects the functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition, while eating turnip, we also prevent the appearance of aphthae or binge eating, which often accompany deficiencies of B group vitamins. 

In the burr you can also find valuable minerals, including, for example, copper. By taking the turnip you take care of your brain, because this copper affects our ability to concentrate and remember. This is also important in autumn and winter, when we often have less willingness to live and even the basic tasks take us much more time. 

Turnip also contains potassium and magnesium. Consuming this vegetable is also good for our electrolyte balance; in addition, thanks to magnesium, we will increase concentration. 

Calories and nutritional values ​​- turnip 

Ingredient Content in 100 g 

Calories (energy value) 26 kcal / 117 kJ 

Protein 0.90 g

Total fat 0.10 g 

Carbohydrates 5.43 g 

Dietary fiber 1.8 g 

Velcro application 

The taste of turnip can be described as pronounced, slightly spicy. In shops you can also get black turnip, although it has wider application found in cosmetics, not in the kitchen. Black turnip excellently stimulates hair growth, so it is often used in the production of various conditioners and cuticles. 

How to use white turnip in the kitchen? It’s best to prepare a salad with it. Fresh turnip has a radish-like taste, so it tastes great. To make the simplest pig iron you need cream and spices. Just mix them with finely chopped turnip and ready! Turnip also goes well with other vegetables, so it’s enough that you mix your favorite plants (perfect for example peppers and canned corn, and for giving light sweetness – cut into small cubes apple). You can bake, cook, make mashed potatoes, soups and stews, it can be stuffed with eg meat. 


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5 portions of fruit and vegetables in practice

Educational and promotional campaigns, actions in schools, TV spots … All these activities have meant that today almost everyone knows about the necessity of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.Still, this does not translate into eating habits, and most of us eat about three servings a day.How to include five servings of fruit and vegetables in your daily menu?Read our practical guide with examples.

Why is it worth eating vegetables and fruits?

Eating vegetables and fruits is essential to ensure health, vitality and minimize the risk of many diseases.One of the healthiest models of nutrition, that is the Mediterranean diet abounds with these ingredients, and the inhabitants of the Mediterranean are distinguished by the length of life and health status in comparison with other Europeans and Americans.Let’s take an example from them!Vegetables and fruits are essential in the diet due to the content of valuable vitamins mainly vitamin C, β-carotene and folic acid, as well as minerals calcium, potassium and magnesium.Antioxidants that protect cells against oxidative stress also play a very important role – they prevent diseases and premature aging.Vegetables and fruits are also distinguished by the presence of fiber, which is a specific physiological brush – it cleanses the intestines of debris, regulates the rhythm of defecation, collects toxins, helps in removing excess cholesterol and has a positive effect on the level of glucose in the blood.Most vegetables and fruits contain 80-90% water, so they are low in calories and help maintain a healthy body weight.Numerous studies have shown that the consumption of recommended amounts of vegetables and fruits reduces insulin resistance of tissues and is beneficial in diseases of the heart and circulatory system.


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Eat more vegetables than fruit

The World Health Organization recommends consuming at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day.It may seem a lot, but if you realize that the average apple weighs about 150 g, 400 g per day is the most achievable.Remember that five servings each day are the recommended minimum, and the fruit should be 2 out of 5 servings.Vegetables choose as 3 servings with 5 and each subsequent one.Vegetables can not be eaten too much, but the amount of fruit should be controlled, because the sugar (fructose) contained in them, despite the popular belief still is fattening, and excessive consumption of fruit can result in the deposition of energy in the form of adipose tissue.


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A serving of vegetables or fruit – how many grams?

We are still rotating around the concept portion, but let’s look at how much these quantities really are.One serving of vegetables or fruit should weigh 80-100 grams.This applies to fresh, cooked and frozen products.A handful of dried fruit (20 grams) can be replaced with one fresh portion, but this should not be done too often due to the high concentration of sugar and lower nutritional values.

Does five servings of vegetables and fruit during the day mean that you have to eat them five times a day?Not necessarily.By eating a large grapefruit or a glass of cherry at once, you get 2 portions of fruit, and a lunch of baked vegetables with meat, half of zucchini, half of the pepper and two carrots will be 2.5 servings.Of course, it will be best if vegetables or fruits appear in every meal, but for five portions a day is not a necessity.You can take a glass of juice as a portion of vegetables or fruit, but only if it is prepared by yourself and drunk shortly after cooking.We are sure that our juice is not made from concentrate and we guarantee in this way that the valuable ingredients contained in vegetables and fruits will not break down and reach the body.


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