Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and contributes to muscle function and satiety. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and when strung together they can make a variety of different proteins that have unique functions. There are 20 amino acids in total that can be arranged in a multitude of ways that ultimately create the thousands of proteins that our body needs to function. These amino acids are split into two groups: essential and non-essential. There are 11 non-essential amino acids, which means our body is able to produce them on its own. However, there are 9 essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained exclusively from the diet. These 9 essential amino acids can be gathered from a variety of different food sources; those foods which contain all 9 are referred to as “complete proteins.”
In recent years, a new food movement has begun to primarily focus on protein received from plant-based sources rather than from animals or animal products. While animal products serve as great sources of protein, they are often high in saturated fats. Research indicates that consuming these saturated fats in high levels have increasing links to cardiovascular disease and other health risks. This movement focuses on plant-based proteins, as they have low or no saturated fats, in order to help mitigate those health risks associated with a higher saturated fat intake. There are a variety of great options when it comes to plant-proteins; some of the most commonly included sources in the diet include lentils, beans, soy, and other legumes. However, there are many other plant alternatives that are often forgotten about that are emerging in the nutritional spotlight as rich sources of protein.
One of these superstar proteins is flax seeds. Flax seeds are making their way to the forefront of healthy eating. These tiny but mighty seeds are chock-full of omega-3’s, lignans, fiber, and are rich in protein. Flax seeds contain high amounts of the amino acids arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid. These amino acids contribute to building proteins in the body and help regulate normal bodily function. These specific proteins from flax seeds have also been linked to a reduction in cholesterol levels and improved immune function (1, 2). The protein present in flax seeds serves the same function to keep you feeling full and satiated as animal protein, but without the high levels of saturated fat. Make sure to check out our recipe for a Buckwheat Soba Noodle Bowl for a hearty vegetarian dinner full of plant-proteins that will be sure to keep your tummy satisfied. You can find that recipe here.
Protein is a critical component of our daily diets, and plant protein specifically has proven itself to be the best avenue to follow. With plant protein coming from many different sources, it is highly versatile and can be consumed in a variety of ways. Our O3 Superfoods Stoneground Flax Butter is a rich source of protein that can be incorporated into any meal from breakfast to dinner. Its versatility allows it to be added to a sweet breakfast smoothie or a savory dinner noodle bowl. Check our recipe page frequently for more great recipes on how to creatively incorporate flax into your diet.