Often confused with Vegetarianism, Veganism is a form of selective lifestyle wherein you eliminate the consumption of animal-sourced products altogether. People who follow veganism only consume plant-based and ethically sourced products which are cruelty-free and are mostly safe for the environment.
If you are a vegan or someone who is considering going vegan, chances are that you have had people come up to you and ask how you will be getting in your protein. One of the most common misconceptions about the best protein food sources is that only non-vegetarian food offers maximum protein. However, in reality, there are several plant protein options such as tofu or whole grains which are high in protein and offer various essential micronutrients.
Regardless of your reasons for switching to vegetarian food sources or a vegan diet, it can have a huge impact in aiding your overall health and development. Plant-based protein is an ethical, nutritious alternative to animal-based protein and is better absorbed by the body. In fact, several clinical studies have observed that the consumption of plant protein can be beneficial for reducing the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes.
Let us understand more about how Vegan products can help meet your daily protein requirements.
Vegan Sources That Are High In Protein
Here are a few plant-based protein food sources that also qualify as the best and most versatile vegan protein foods:
- Tofu: Being one of the richest vegan protein sources, Tofu offers about 8 grams of protein in a single serving of 100 g. Tofu is also a good source of zinc, manganese, and potassium. Consumption of Tofu is beneficial for promoting the growth of gut micro bacteria and maintaining estrogen levels in women.
- Pea Protein: A single scoop of pea protein contains almost 24 grams of protein. It is one of the best sources of vegetable protein with mellow flavours that offer a versatile range of cooking utilities. It is also a good source of iron, manganese, and lysine. Consumption of pea protein is helpful for regulating cholesterol levels, improving muscle mass, and maintaining gut health.
- Lentils: A single cooked cup of lentils provides 18 grams of protein. It is also a rich source of carbs and fiber. Lentils come in a wide range of varieties that can be incorporated into several cooking styles and have been proven to be beneficial for improving digestion, increasing good cholesterol levels, and preventing heart disease.
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans or chana, chickpeas contain about 15 grams of protein per 100 g serving. They are a good source of iron, manganese, and calcium. Studies have shown that the consumption of chickpeas helps in regulating your body weight, reducing hunger pangs, and keeping blood sugar levels in check.
In addition to these beans, edamame, pistachios, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc are few other sources of good if not the highest vegetable protein, that you can explore.
Sample Vegan Diet
Here is a sample vegan diet with ample vegan protein sources and is also easy to follow:
Breakfast: 2 medium-sized Oatmeal Pancakes with a cup of green tea
Mid-morning snack: A teaspoon of flax seeds followed by a handful of mixed nuts of your choice.
Lunch: 2 Almond flour rotis, a cup of steamed and tossed vegetables, a cup of cooked dal with a side of Tofu salad.
Mid-afternoon snack: A cup of tossed or plain sprouts, seasoned according to your choice.
Dinner: Half a bowl of cooked brown rice, a cup of tomato soup, a bowl of sambar with a side of cooked leafy greens.
Post-dinner snack: A single fruit of your choice.
This diet full of high protein vegetarian foods accounts for a healthy 1200 calories distributed through six even meals and contains about 85 grams of protein.
Health Benefits Of Veganism
Switching to a plant-based vegan diet can have several benefits for your health, such as:
- Weight Loss: Vegan food sources are high in fiber, which aids digestion and boosts metabolism, which in turn helps in promoting weight loss.
- Improves Kidney Function: Studies have observed that vegans typically have lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin resistance, which helps in regulating kidney function and reducing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
- Battles Arthritis: Vegan food sources are high in antioxidants and probiotics, which help in reducing the stress exerted on your body. Patients diagnosed with arthritis experienced a significant decrease in joint pain and muscle swellings after being supplemented with a vegan diet for a period of six weeks.
- Fulfils Nutritional Requirements: Compared to animal-based protein, vegan foods offer significantly higher folates, magnesium, potassium, and fiber content. This is essential for fulfilling your daily intake requirements as well as closing the nutritional gap experienced by several people.