Did you know that your everyday Milk & Paneer have alternative vegan sources of protein? If you are a vegan and concerned about your protein intake, you must have a look at this detailed list of 10 Vegan Sources Of Protein You Must Include In Your Diet!
What Is Veganism?
Let us bust some myths about veganism. Vegans do not eat meat, poultry or other dairy products but procure the same stamina and physical strength. There are many vegan fitness experts, athletes and other personalities who have put out why vegan living is a great idea. As much as veganism is a life choice, the myth that vegan foods do not have protein is wrong.
Protein Is Not About Meat
Protein is made of essential amino acids. Although the chief source of amino acids is the animal products, there is a whole other list of food from plant sources that are considered a great source of protein. This is ideal for vegans as nuts, seeds, legumes and plant sources are vegan foods and still comprise of the same protein benefits. Foods such as almonds, walnuts, sesame, hemp and flax seeds, legumes, chia seeds, green peas etc. are easily available vegan foods. With the idea that vegan foods also procure the same amount of protein through plant sources, the dairy sources such as soymilk and soy protein has been long sought after.
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Top 10 Vegan Sources Of Protein
Lentils have always proven to be the best plant source of protein. Among high protein foods, vegan edibles such as split green peas can be used for a variety of dishes. You can use lentils for making any kind of snacks such as tacos, veggie meatballs, savouries and soups to cater to your taste. Vegan foods such as lentils are best sources of protein, fibre
and carbohydrates and savoury too!
#protein check: 1 cup of lentils gives you 18 grams of protein and 1 cup of green peas gives you 9 grams.
2. Tofu or Tempeh:
Tofu is perhaps the most important high protein vegan foods you can choose. The fermentation process in the making of tofu from soy gives you healthy bacteria that is good for the body. Tofu gives you necessary amino acids
, easy to digest and also procures fibres and fats. You can cook tofu in many ways: salads, stir-fry with veggies or make roll-ups and even use it for spaghetti.
#protein check: You can get about 15 grams of protein per serving of tofu and about 20 grams of protein from tempeh.
3. Soy-Milk: This is probably the most popular high protein vegan diet which includes soy based products such as cheese and milk. The good news is you don’t have to cut out dairy from your life as soy-milk is as perfect protein as regular milk does. You can try almond soy-milk or plain soy-milk which that enough protein content and if added with vegan friendly cereal then you’ve got your perfect breakfast!
#protein check: With vegan foods such as soy-milk or other fortified soy products
you can get up to 10 grams of protein, ranging from 7-10 grams.
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4. Vegetables: Vegan foods such as green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale fulfills the protein content you need to have in your vegan diet. Additionally, you can use cabbage or cauliflower as rice bases and add carrots and choice of vegetables to make a savory bowl. Your nutritional needs can be easily taken care of with these high protein vegan foods.
#protein check: Kale gives you about 5 grams of protein whereas cooked spinach gives you 7 grams.
Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews build up a great protein content in the vegan foods list. Cashews can be used for many dishes and brazil nuts are rich in selenium. You can use nuts
to make your own granola bars at home or can crush them to sprinkle on salads. You can even make your own nut butter or can also buy it from the stores and include it in your diet.
#protein check: Nut butter can give you about 8 grams of protein where a 1.4th of a cup of nuts provides 7-9 grams of protein.
Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax
and hemp seeds are a rich source of some of the essential amino acids. They are not only counted as reliable high protein vegan foods but are also rich sources of minerals.
#protein check: Same as the nuts 1.4th cup of seeds can give 7-9grams.
The best plant source of protein is spirulina
because its major content is 70% protein. You can assume this is the most reliable vegan source of protein that can be generally consumed as a healthy dietary component. You can make smoothies with spirulina and its distinct taste with the green colour will surely add to your vegan foods.
#protein check: 2 table spoons of spirulina gives you about 8grams of protein.
For the wholesome combination of protein and fiber you can rely on quinoa on your list of vegan foods. Quinoa
is also a seed however the uses of this vegan food is diverse. As a savoury, you can make quinoa pulao or make quinoa salad. Nutri-bowls such as boiled quinoa with olive oil and other palatable spices of your choice can also add to a savory meal. You should boil quinoa before consuming it and it can also be used as sprinklers on cooked veggies.
#protein check: If you take ½ cup of cooked or boiled quinoa you can get up to 7-9 grams of protein.
Talk about heart healthy vegan foods and you have kidney, black and pinto beans. They are also starchy just as lentils and are considered to be another reliable source of protein for vegans
. High protein vegan diets often include beans as one of the main sources of carbs and fibers too.
#protein check: Taking one cup of cooked beans would mean taking 13-15 grams of protein. Not bad!
10. Chia Seeds: Chia seeds
are a rich source of proteins and omega 3s and procure a thickness and consistency to dishes it is added to. Chia seeds absorb water and turn it into a thickened gel-like state which is considered as unique to vegan foods. It is fiber rich too. You can use chia seeds to be sprinkled on oatmeal or porridges or even use it to make pudding by soaking it in soy milk.
#protein check: Taking 2 table spoon of chia seeds in your diet can give you 2 grams of protein.
So no more dependency on non-vegetarian sources or dairy products for protein intake. Consult an expert nutritionist and you can supplement your protein requirements the vegan way.