Alkaline Protein By Laura Bond
Is it possible to build muscle on an alkaline, vegan diet?
Jonathan Lomax, founder of health and fitness hub Lomax in Chelsea, London, says it’s a resounding YES:
‘As a Personal Trainer I work in a world dominated by meat eaters, but you can get sufficient protein from plants to be competitive,’ says Lomax. ‘In recent years I’ve adapted my diet to become much more alkaline and plant based and I can honestly say I have not felt or looked better and my performance has improved. My protein comes primarily from hemp, tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, rice, fruits and vegetables. By getting my protein from a wide variety of sources, I am ensuring my body receives a balance of essential amino acids.’
So what are the top five plant-based proteins? Here we share with you the latest science and best recipes for building muscle while staying alkaline.
Known as the ‘ultimate ocean protein’ this green algae packs a whopping 65 – 71% complete protein compared to beef, which is only 22%.
Truly deserving of the superfood title, just one ounce of spirulina contains 44% of our recommend intake of iron as well as vitamins A, C, E and K and numerous other B-vitamins and trace minerals.
Try this Honestly Healthy recipe for a Maca and spirulina green smoothie bowl
‘Hemp protein is a quality source of arginine, histidine, methionine and cysteine and also contains all the branched-chain amino acids crucial for repair and growth of lean body mass,’ explains Lomax. But the benefits don’t stop there: ‘Hemp also contains edestin, the form of protein most similar to that of the human body and only found in Hemp! It is one of the finest sources of protein in the plant kingdom and is very easily digested and assimilated.’
Try this Sun Warrior Blend Vanilla, a combination of hempseed, pea and cranberry seed. It gets the thumbs up from Lomax, ‘It tastes very good on its own or mixed with raw granola or sprouted porridge for breakfast.’
This sacred crop of the Incas is a complete protein – meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids crucial to human health. It’s also a great choice for those who are gluten-free and the slow-release carbs means you will fuller for longer.
Oh and did we mention it’s been recognised as a superfood by NASA? They have earmarked quinoa as a key food source for deep space missions. Lift off.
Try this Organic and fair-trade Quinola Mothergrain. If you have no beef with burgers, try a vegan one. In this Honestly Healthy video, Natasha demonstrates how to make delicious quinoa burgers, no egg required!
Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is the tastier, healthier cousin of tofu and has been a staple part of the traditional Japanese diet for centuries.
One half cup serving contains 15 grams of protein and is also a great source of non-dairy calcium and fibre. Plus, fermented soy products have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and inhibit cellular mutations.
Thanks to the enzymatic action of naturally fermented foods, the body is able to better digest and assimilate proteins and fats.
Sprouts get top billing on the alkaline food chart and these young living foods are also a great source of protein: ‘Eating a variety of vegetables, legumes and sprouted grains can help keep you alkaline whilst also providing your body with adequate essential amino acids,’ explains plant-based fitness guru Adam Stansbury.
Alfalfa is probably the best known sprout (you may have grown it as a child in a stocking at school) but sprouted foods also include sprouted porridge oats, green lentil sprouts, hemp sprouts and broccoli sprouts, the latter being powerfully anti-cancer.
Laura Bond is a journalist and qualified health coach and this month’s guest editor of Honestly Healthy.