Nutritionally speaking, we are living in the most exciting era of man’s history; a time of great nutrition awareness. Nutrition studies have advanced over the years, to help man better understand food and nutrients.
Nutrients are molecules in food that all organisms need to create energy, grow, and develop. Seven different classes of nutrients exist, each with hundreds of diverse compounds that are beneficial to health.
Health is today widely regarded as a human asset. Good health is prized. And diet has a major role to play in good health and lifestyle. Diet refers to the kinds or types of food a person habitually eats.
Individuals tailor their diet to suit their needs and lifestyle. While many eat for health, some eat for weight management reasons. And yet there are others who embark on special diets to lose weight or gain muscle mass.
Whatever the reasons, it is imperative to understand that diet is crucial to health. A good diet will certainly improve and maintain health, but a poor diet will adversely affect wellbeing.
Nutrition experts advise that regular intake of deep-fried snacks, gum, candy, marinated fat, sweet desserts, carbonated beverages, and highly processed foods, will have negative effects on the body, specifically the heart. This is a cause for concern.
The heart is a vital organ responsible for circulating blood to all parts of the body, to provide it with the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function properly.
Regrettably, many people do not eat heart-friendly meals, despite the abundance of information on them, in today’s world. Health agencies recommend that eating plant-based proteins, limiting consumption of red and processed meat, will go a long way to cut the odds of contracting heart disease or heart failure.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Harvard Medical School, animal-based protein sources contain saturated fat and bad cholesterol which causes the hardening of the arteries in the heart.
There are two types of cholesterol: the bad, LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and the good HDL (high-density lipoproteins). The bad cholesterols are gotten from poor diets, and they contribute to fatty buildups in arteries.
This fatty buildup contracts the arteries and increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and peripheral artery diseases. This is where the good cholesterol steps to the plate. Good cholesterol carries bad cholesterol molecules to the liver, to be broken down to harmless substances and passed out as waste products.
Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that a diet of animal protein was associated with higher mortality rates, and a diet of plant-based protein resulted in more longevity in human beings.
The implication is that plant protein contributes to healthier lives. Besides, plant-based proteins contain unsaturated fats that are heart-friendly and useful to the body. Consumption of plant-based proteins like soybeans, quinoa, nuts, almonds, beans, and lentils are highly beneficial to the heart.
Plant proteins assist the heart to oxygenate, as all blood cells are made of protein. Red blood cells contain a protein compound that carries oxygen throughout the circulatory system. This helps supply your entire body with the nutrients it needs.
Plant-based proteins tend to be lower in calories than animal proteins but higher in fibre and essential nutrients. They contain phytosterols, which reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream and improve blood serum.
A healthy heart is vital to a healthy body and plant proteins are the preferred choice for maintaining a disease-free heart. What makes plant protein even more important is the fact that it contains low levels of triglycerides, a type of lipid that constitutes body fat.
So, if your goal is to be healthier, more active and to live longer, plant proteins are the protein of choice.