Consuming and absorbing high levels of nutrients is essential for everyone, but is especially important for those who participate in a plant-based diet. When someone is participating in a plant-based diet, it means that their meals are mostly, or completely, made up of plant-based foods. While a well-balanced intake of nutrients is still most definitely attainable while participating in a plant-based diet, the lack of animal products can make it challenging to receive certain micro and macronutrients. Being able to identify which plant-based foods are rich in nutrients, and consuming digestive enzymes will make all the difference for someone following a plant-based diet.
How to Ensure You Are Reaching Your Protein Intake On a Plant-Based Diet
While plant-based foods do contain levels of protein and micronutrients, it sometimes does not compare to an animal product in that regard; unless, you are aware of the foods to prioritize in your meals. First, one must identify how much protein their body needs daily to be considered sufficient. Once you identify this, you can start to better understand which foods you can add into your meals. When it comes to pre-packaged foods, labels are going to be your best friend. Keep an eye on the levels of micro and macronutrients the foods you are consuming contain, and be sure to limit your intake of processed sugars and fats.
Here are some plant-based foods that contain essential micronutrients and protein:
- Chia Seeds : An ounce of chia seeds contains around five grams of protein. Due to their compact size and versatility, chia seeds can be a great way to sneak in some extra protein to your meals. They go great on top of oatmeal or açaí bowls, and can even be added to your water! Chia seeds are also a great source of iron, fiber, and magnesium.
- Lentils : A ½ cup of lentils contains around 12 grams of protein, and can be a great way to bulk up any meal. They contain low levels of sodium and high levels of polyphenols which contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Seaweed: 15 grams of seaweed contains around five grams of protein. Seaweed can be a great way to spruce up any meal. Rest easy by adding a sushi night to your week, and allow the seaweed to up your protein intake.
- Chickpeas: One cup of chickpeas contains around 15 grams of protein, making this a wonderful option to add to your meals. Chickpeas can be boiled, eaten raw, or cooked to perfection in the oven. Baking the chickpeas to crispy perfection and adding it as a crouton substitute to our salads is one of our favorite ways to add chickpeas to our meals!
Losing sight of one’s macro and micronutrients can be easy when trying to follow a plant-based diet, but finding ways to sneak in that extra protein wherever you can will make all the difference!
The Impact That Digestive Enzymes Can Have On Someone Who Follows a Plant-Based Diet
Now, there will be no purpose in eating these micro and macronutrients if your body is not well-equipped to absorb them and use them to your benefit. That is where digestive enzymes come into play. Digestive enzymes allow your body to properly absorb the nutrients from the food you are consuming and help you to get rid of any excess waste in your body. Without a sufficient amount of digestive enzymes you can run into issues such as constipation, fatigue, weakness, bloating, and brain fog.
Digestive enzymes are important for everyone, but especially those who are following a plant-based diet, because they are more susceptible to nutrient deficiency. Luckily, there are many ways to increase your body’s digestive enzyme levels.
Supplements to reduce bloating such as Sexy & Slim contain digestive enzymes that will help to support your body all day long. Sexy & Slim contains a digestive enzyme complex that ensures you are getting a wide-variety of digestive enzymes known to target the most essential nutrients for absorption. A digestive enzyme supplement will be incredibly important for those who are just starting a plant-based diet, because they will be more susceptible to experiencing digestive complications as their body adjusts to the new way of eating.
Plant-Based Foods That Contain Digestive Enzymes and Essential Nutrients
Are you looking for a way to increase your digestive enzyme intake beyond an enzyme supplement? There are several plant-based foods that contain digestive enzymes including:
- Pineapple : Bromelain, which is the digestive enzyme found in pineapple, is responsible for helping your body to properly digest protein. As we have discussed, protein intake is vital for those on a plant-based diet, meaning bromelain definitely needs to be prioritized. Add in pineapple either as a snack or as a topping to any of your meals.
- Avocado : Avocado contains a different digestive enzyme called lipase. Lipase is responsible for breaking down fat molecules in your body. Having this digestive enzyme on your side can be incredibly helpful, especially after consuming a meal with a high-fat content.
- Ginger : Ginger contains a digestive enzyme that falls under the protease family of enzymes. It helps speed along the digestive process, and can increase your body’s own enzyme production. If you are struggling with digestive enzyme complications, ginger can be a great addition to add to your meals.
- Miso : Believe it or not, miso and its fermented food counterparts contain a boatload of digestive enzymes. If you are looking for an all-in-one stop for your digestive enzymes, miso is your guy! Also, the probiotic levels in miso only increase its digestive benefits!
- Bananas: Bananas contain amylase digestive enzymes, which are responsible for breaking down complex carbs. Bananas also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium, all of which are essential nutrients.
A plant-based diet might propose nutrient complications, but with the right attention to the meals you are consuming and prioritizing essential nutrients, these complications can be greatly diminished. As with any diet choice, be sure to consult with your physician to ensure it is the best choice for you and your health!