As any vegan will tell you, we all get enough protein, but to date, it is still one of the most common questions we get asked! ‘Where do you get your protein?’ (eye rolling anyone?) But vegan protein foods are everywhere! Read on to find out more…
This post is to show you exactly how you can get more than enough protein on a plant based diet. From meat alternatives, to naturally protein rich foods, vegan protein powder and also soybean products; you absolutely do not have to worry about getting enough protein when eating vegan!
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Why vegan protein?
Many people may say, why try to find protein from vegetables, when you can just get it from meat. Well, the problem with this theory, is that meat only contains protein, because the animal it comes from eats grains and/or vegetables! So not only are you getting your protein second-hand, you’re also getting a load of cholesterol, saturated fat and a host of health hazardous material such as antibiotics, adrenaline, and tumours.
When you eat meat, you don’t know the history of the animal you are eating, what it’s health was like what it’s death was like. If for any reason, it didn’t die instantly, or it was afraid, it’s body will have been flooded with adrenaline, which we humans also end up ingesting. This is obviously not good for us, as it causes such things as anxiety, depression and also stress. It also causes a reduction in our sexuality and vitality.
But change that protein source to vegetables. If you grow your own, you know exactly where it’s come from as well as what it’s been treated with. Similarly, vegetables don’t feel fear when they die, so there are no hormones to enter your body. And last, but not least, by cutting out the animal part of the equation, you are getting your protein foods straight from the source, which means you are getting all the goodness it has to offer.
Vegan protein foods
When you get your protein from a plant based source, you also receive other beneficial nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are vital to your well being. Proteins themselves are vital to keeping your body functioning, as well as creating new cells. They are often referred to as ‘the building blocks’ of the body as they are used to create and also maintain:
The scientific definition of protein is:
‘Any class of nitrogenous organic compounds that consist of large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, collagen, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.’
Which just goes to show how important protein is, not only to the body, but also to our minds.
The official recommendation for protein is measured against body weight.
- 0.8g of protein, per kg of bodyweight, or
- 0.36g of protein per lb of bodyweight
- 46g per day for the average woman
- 56g per day for the average man
Though some specific groups of people may need more protein, such as:
- Older people
- People recovering from illness or injury
- Very physically active people
Get your free protein sources chart by signing up for the vegan vault resource library below!
How can you make sure you get enough protein on a vegan diet?
The table below shows the approximate amounts of protein in common vegan foods, as well as average serving sizes.
|Food||Serving Size||Amount of Protein|
|Soybean products (tofu, tempeh, soybeans, edamame)||100g||10-19g|
|Lentils||1 cooked cup||18g|
|Baked beans||1 cooked cup||14g|
|Black beans||1 cooked cup||39g|
|Chickpeas||1 cooked cup||39g|
|Cowpeas||1 cooked cup||13g|
|Kidney beans||1 cooked cup||15g|
|Quinoa||1 cooked cup||8g|
|Soy milk||1 cup||7g|
|Peanut butter||2 tablespoons||8g|
|Wholewheat bread||1 slice||4g|
|Wild rice||1 cup||7g|
|Spelt or teff flour||1 cooked cup||10g|
|Sweet potato||1 cup||2.1g|
|Potato||2 medium potatoes||8.5g|
So, you can see, it’s so simple to meet, and in fact, exceed the daily recommended intake of protein on a vegan diet.
Milkshake made with 1 cup soya milk (7g), 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (8g), and half a cup of oats (6g) = 21g
1 cup of pistachios = 25g
1 medium potato (4g), 1 serving of broccoli (4g), 1 cup lentils (18g) = 26g
Baked beans (14g) on 2 slices of wholewheat bread (8g) = 22g
Total protein intake = 94g. This far exceeds the recommended intake for that day, so playing around with combinations of different foods is only going to make it more interesting!
I have created a free vegan protein foods chart for you to download, and you can also print it out. Pop it on your fridge, and then when you plan your meals, you can reference it quickly to make sure you get enough of what you need! Just pop your name and email in the box below, so you can access your freebie in the resource library.
In conclusion, it is absolutely possible to get more than enough protein, while eating a vegan diet. Through a healthy balance of fruit, vegetables and also nuts, and seeds, you can actually get everything you need! So make sure you have a variety of different protein sources throughout the day, to ensure you get the whole nutrient package provided by the fruits and vegetables available to us. Next time someone asks you where you get your protein from, you will be able to tell them!