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New Research Highlights the Value of Plant-based Protein for Women

— February 22, 2024

University study reveals women should be incorporating more plant proteins into their diets.

When people think about adding protein to their diets, it’s usually in the form of animal meat. That’s a primary source of protein for many people, other than those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. With that said, regardless of the type of diet one chooses to eat, there is no more reason than ever before to focus on getting plenty of protein from plant-based sources, especially for women.

The study in question here was performed by Tufts University. Within that study, around 3,800 women in middle age were tracked to evaluate their diet and their health outcomes. When the work was completed, it was seen that the women who tended to consume more protein enjoyed a long list of benefits, including a lower likelihood of winding up with many different chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Just that news alone would be more than enough for most women to sign up for a diet that brings more protein to their plates day after day.

But that wasn’t all that was seen. Disease avoidance is one thing, but there is also the matter of good physical and mental health – and those seemed to be boosted here, as well. The women who were higher in protein consumption largely stayed healthier both physically and mentally, which is a notable outcome that is nearly as important as the previous point.

New Research Highlights the Value of Plant-based Protein for Women
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Perhaps the most surprising result from this study was the observation that animal proteins did not seem to deliver the same outcome as proteins that came from plants. While it’s not exactly clear why this would be the case, the segment of women who tended to get significant protein from plants rather than animals often fared best with their overall health.

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy and tasty ways to get plant protein into the human body. Eating peanut butter is a common one, but that’s just a starting point. Beyond peanut butter the appealing options include black beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, and many others. Of course, diets are a highly personal thing and issues like taste and allergies come into play when building a meal plan or new dietary habits. However, given the abundance of plant proteins that are readily available and easy to prepare, this study would seem to be good news for those who want to take their health seriously.

This study does not mean that animal protein is a thing of the past, or that it holds no value for human health. There is still plenty of useful protein available in animal meat, along with many other nutrients. However, prioritizing some types of plant-based protein within the diet – such as the sources we mentioned above, could go a long way toward helping women avoid a variety of diseases and other conditions. Even modest dietary changes can go a long way, so this is a point for all women – and people in general – to consider as they make their dietary choices.


Plant-based protein could improve women’s health, Tufts University study finds

Dietary protein intake in midlife in relation to healthy aging – results from the prospective Nurses’ Health Study cohort

Plant-Based Sources of Protein Infographic

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