Top Ten Plant Proteins

Top Ten Plant Proteins

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  1. Spirulina
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           Spirulina is a microalga that can be consumed by humans and animals. It is usually taken by humans as a nutritional supplement and is made primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Arthrospira is cultivated worldwide; used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food; and is available in tablet, flake and powder form. Dried Spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein. It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk. It is, however, superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement),
  2. Hemp Seeds
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           Rich in both essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3 hemp seeds have an ideal ratio of the two omegas (3:1). It also has roughly 30% protein by content. Sprinkle raw hemp seeds on salads and soups to inject some of these healthy fats into your diet. Your Body will love you for it.
    Links: Cannabis, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  3. Pumpkin Seeds
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           Pepita is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash (genus Cucurbita). The seeds are typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color inside a white hull. The seeds have a 50% fat content, a 30% protein content and are also good sources of iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. 25 grams of pepitas can provide over 20 percent of the recommended daily iron intake. Furthermore, just one-fourth cup of pepitas provides approximately 185 mg of magnesium, nearly 50% of the Recommended Daily Intake.
    Links: Top Ten Seeds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_seeds
  4. Peanuts
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    The peanut, or groundnut, is a species in the legume or “bean” family (Fabaceae). The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay. Peanuts are rich in nutrients, providing over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients, and are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus. They also are naturally free of trans-fats and sodium, and contain about 25% protein. Peanuts are a good source of niacin, and thus contribute to brain health and blood flow. Recent research on peanuts has found antioxidants and other chemicals that may provide health benefits, rivaling the antioxidant content of many fruits. Roasted peanuts rival the antioxidant content of blackberries and strawberries, and are far richer in antioxidants than carrots or beets. Peanuts are also a significant source of resveratrol, a chemical associated with but not proven to cause a reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The average amount of resveratrol in one ounce of commonly eaten peanuts (15 whole peanut kernels) is 73 μg.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut,
  5. Pistachios
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    The pistachio is a small tree originally from Central Asia and the Middle East. In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels. Pistachios are also a great source of protein with a protein content percentage of over 21%.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistachios,
  6. Almonds
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           Rich in protein (20% by content) and monounsaturated fat, just one ounce of almonds also provides 35% of your daily needs of antioxidant vitamin E. Swap out your peanut butter for almond butter without sacrificing the nutty taste.
    Links: Top Ten Nuts, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  7. Sesame Seeds
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           Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum with wild relatives occurring in Africa and a smaller number in India. Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3,000 years ago. It was a major summer crop in the Middle East for thousands of years, as attested to by the discovery of many ancient presses for sesame oil in the region. Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and has a fat content of 61%.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_seeds,
  8. Brazil Nuts
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           Not only are Brazil nuts a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat but they are rich in the antioxidant mineral selenium, which provides a powerful defense against free radical damage. They also have a protein content of 14%.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  9. Soybeans (Tofu and Tempeh)
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           The soybean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. Soybeans produce significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land. Traditional nonfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, and from the latter tofu and tofu skin. Fermented foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto, and tempeh, among others. The oil is used in many industrial applications. The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, isoflavones and has a fat content of roughly 20%. Soybeans are also considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body’s inability to synthesize them.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy,
  10. Coconut Oil/Butter
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           Historically, coconut oil was thought to be unhealthy because it is high in saturated fat. We now know that it is actually rich in medium chain triglycerides which are readily burned for fuel in the liver, bypassing fat storage. Always look for virgin coconut oil instead of refined versions (which can be partially or fully hydrogenated, thereby eliminating any positive health benefits). Coconut oil can also withstand high heats without oxidizing – making it an ideal cooking oil for any frying you need to do.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  11. Links: Health, Top Ten Superfoods,

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