From food and nutritional supplements to clothing to beauty products - plant-based lifestyles are becoming increasingly popular. Some people choose a plant-based diet to protect animals, or for wider environmental reasons. Others may enjoy the possible health benefits to both your physical and mental wellbeing, including alleviating the symptoms of stress.
As the popularity of plant-based products, including plant protein, continues to increase, more research is being done into their possible benefits and they continue to become more accessible and affordable. Now is a good time to start looking into adding plant protein to your own life.
What is plant protein?
Protein is the nutrient responsible for building muscle and powering growth. For most people, the protein in their diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Vegans, or those who do not eat products derived from animals, have to use alternative sources. This often includes items such as nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and legumes, as well as soy.
These plant proteins may be derived directly from your diet, or from nutritional supplements. These are things like capsules and powders that can be taken on their own or added to meals to give you a little extra protein. This may be because you cannot get enough protein from your regular diet, or for some reason (for example, you are an athlete) you need more protein than normal.
How can plant protein nutritional supplements alleviate stress?
Some of the advantages of plant proteins lie in what you are removing from your diet - for example, dairy can often have an inflammatory effect. In other cases, it can add the nutrients that are best suited for relieving anxiety, tension in the muscles and any strain on the nervous system. Things like the fight or flight response, which is a common response to stress, can be strongly affected by diet.
There may also be some mental relief obtained through plant protein. The knowledge that you are doing your part to alleviate some of the damage caused to the planet by farming animals may make you feel better about your place in the world. It may relieve any worries you have experienced about causing harm to animals or contributing to climate change.
Diet is an incredibly important part of managing stress in any circumstances. Eating properly improves focus and concentration, making you feel happier and more productive, as well as ensuring you have more energy. The right combination of nutrients ensures you are physically and mentally fit to tackle stress, and if you cannot get those nutrients through diet alone, then you may need to try nutritional supplements.
Plant protein can be just as effective as protein from traditional sources such as meat and dairy in making sure you receive all the nutrients you need to maintain both your physical and mental health, which in turn better equips you for dealing with stress. That is even before you reach the specific benefits that certain vitamins and minerals provide when it comes to the symptoms of anxiety.