Lots of people are not aware that there are other sources of protein besides meat and dairy products. Besides, if you are looking to cleanse your body, going on a juice fast doesn’t mean compromising on your usual balanced diet. But how do you ensure that you get adequate amounts of protein in your juice diet?
To get protein while juicing, include protein-rich fruits and vegetables like peaches, kiwi, spinach, or broccoli in your ingredients. You can also use protein powders. While greens contain less protein than meat, juicing allows you to extract substantial amounts since you tend to use lots of them.
Many plant-based foods contain high amounts of proteins. If you are wondering how to add proteins to your cup of liquid diet, read on. This article will:
- Discuss why you need protein in your diet
- Explore how to add protein to your juicing and from what sources
- Guide you on how to get the most out of your juicing experience
Why You Need Protein and How Much Is Adequate
Protein forms all human cells in your body. As such, everything from your skin, muscles, and organs contains protein. Besides, the body needs protein to repair cells and form new ones; hence you need protein in your diet.
For you to get enough protein, it’s essential to know what amount is sufficient. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you get 10 – 35 % of your daily calories from protein. Therefore, it is advisable to find out the amount of protein in your homemade juice by using a nutritional chart. If you are using store-bought juice, check the label for nutritional information.
Still, everybody’s protein requirement is different and depends on age, gender, lifestyle, and health status. In general, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 g (0.03 oz) per kilogram of body weight.
What happens if your body doesn’t get sufficient protein? A lack of protein leads to low energy levels, hair loss, loss of muscle, and an impaired immune system.
Source Protein From Vegetables
Contrary to the widely-held view that only animal products contain proteins, many plants and vegetables have proteins. Unfortunately, most of the protein-rich vegetables are not very appealing, and you may need to get a bit creative to make your healthy juice taste delicious.
Many people consider fruits and vegetables as sources of vitamins and minerals only. This is not the case. Yet, the question remains; to get protein, which vegetables should you include in your juicing? Well, let’s see.
A cup of broccoli contains about 4-5g (0.14-0.18 oz) of protein, while a cup of spinach contains roughly 5-6 g (0.18-0.21 oz) of protein. A cup of green peas has about 8 g (0.28 oz) of protein, whereas a cup of yellow corn has about 5 g (0.18 oz).
Other green vegetables with decent amounts of protein include:
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
Source Protein From Fruits
Did you know that fruits contain proteins too? Examples of such fruits include peaches, cherries, avocados, and strawberries. Others you can use are bananas, kiwi, dates, watermelons, and pawpaws.
Including a mixture of these fruits in your juicing will add to your daily protein intake.
Add Protein Powder
When you work out, your body needs plenty of protein for muscle growth and repair. You, therefore, need an extra boost of protein when preparing your post-workout drink.
Supplementing your juice with protein powder ensures that you provide your body with the right amount of protein to rebuild your muscles. If you aim to build muscle or you are very active, get whey-based protein powder. You can also get vegan protein powders such as those made from rice or peas.
When buying protein supplements, opt for those with minimal sugar or none. Also, ensure they have no added sweeteners, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Add Protein From Whole Food Sources
Here are some excellent sources of protein that you can add to your juice:
- Chia Seeds. If your juice is not filling, it can leave you feeling lethargic or hungry. Adding chia seeds will not only help you feel sated due to their fiber, but you will also get protein. Soak them in water and then add the gelatinous consistency into your juice.1 oz (28.3 g) of chia seeds provides around 4 g (0.14 oz) of protein.
- Flax Seeds. Flax seeds are best when ground. This is because they are easier to digest, and whole flax seeds tend to pass through your stomach undigested. Ground flaxseeds also add more texture to your juice. 1 oz contains around 5 grams of protein.
- Hemp Seeds. Hemp seeds offer a nutty flavor besides adding a gritty texture to your juice. 1 oz contains about 10 g of protein.
- Spirulina. This is a strong-flavored blue-green freshwater algae. Use a small amount in case you find it too strong for your liking. One tablespoon provides you with around 4 g of protein.
Additional Sources of Proteins
If you feel you still need more proteins in your juicing, consider adding the below:
- Soy protein
- Nuts and seeds like peanuts, cashew nuts, and sunflower seeds
The result will be more of a smoothie than a juice, but your drink will be full of protein. This is an easy way to include protein in your breakfast. For example, you can add Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and flaxseeds to your morning juice.
You can now make your protein-rich juice using some of the fruits and vegetables mentioned above. Want more inspiration? Watch the below video:
Benefits of Protein Juicing
While both fruits and vegetables contain healthy amounts of protein, the challenge is that it’s difficult to consume the quantity needed to meet the daily protein requirements. Also, most plant-based proteins are incomplete. Therefore, it’s a good idea to combine various vegetable and fruit proteins to get complete proteins.
Fortunately, with juicing, it’s easy to consume large amounts of fruits and veggies – more than you normally would.
Juicing is healthy and nutritious because it allows your body to absorb nutrients, including proteins, more efficiently. This can:
- Aid digestion
- Boost your immunity
- Improve your appearance
- Help you lose weight
- Help you gain energy
Furthermore, if you don’t like fruits and vegetables, juicing is a subtle way of making sure that you consume them. What’s more, it’s an excellent way to add new varieties to your diet.
How to Make the Most of Your Juicing
To get the best from your juicing experience, ensure the following:
- Only juice the amount you can drink at once since harmful bacteria tend to grow fast in fresh juice
- Don’t go on a juice diet for more than a week -without solid food- as this could lead to nutrient deficiencies
- Mix up different fruits and vegetables to get different nutrients
Whipping up a tall glass of protein juice is easy, convenient, and healthy. Besides, it helps to deliver sufficient amounts of protein to meet your body’s needs. Adding protein to your juice also leaves you feeling fuller for longer because proteins take longer to digest. This helps you avoid food cravings, helping you stick to your diet.
Overall, juicing is an incredible way to incorporate protein-rich foods into your diet. Whatever your goal- a body detox, a juice fast, or adding juice to your diet- drinking protein juices will provide your body with immeasurable health benefits. Try it and see your body begin to function at a higher level.