Vegan protein is the richest, healthiest, most nutritious form of protein available to you today – so embrace all the wonderful varieties, flavours, and textures on offer to you right now for better health and off course zero violence! Let’s ‘debunk’ the protein myth once and for all yea!
Proteins are known as the building blocks of life: In the body, they break down into amino acids that promote cell growth and repair. (They also take longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer and on fewer calories—a plus for anyone trying to lose weight.) You probably know that animal products—meat, eggs and dairy—are really bad sources of protein and are also high in saturated fat and cholesterol. What you may not know is that you don’t need to eat animal flesh or any forms of dairy to get enough protein. Check out these amazing healthy sources of natural protein!
Foods in the legume family are good sources of vegan protein, and peas are no exception: One cup contains 7.9 grams—about the same as a cup of milk only so much more healthier. (For the record, women should get about 46 grams of protein per day, and men need about 56.) If you don’t like peas as a side dish, try blending them into a pesto. Blend peas, toasted pine nuts, fresh mint, olive oil, and vegan parmesan cheese and or nutritional yeast. An all-time favourite corpse -free meals!
Most grains contain a small amount of protein, but quinoa—technically a seed—is unique in that it contains more than 8 grams per cup, including all nine essential amino acids that the body needs for growth and repair, but cannot produce on its own. (Because of that, it’s often referred to as a “perfect protein.”) Plus, it’s amazingly versatile: Quinoa can be added to soup or vegan chili during winter months, served with natural sources of sugar and fruit as a hot breakfast cereal, or tossed with vegetables and a vinaigrette to make a refreshing summer salad.
Nuts and nut butter;
All nuts contain both healthy fats and protein, making them a valuable part of a plant-based diet. But because they are high in calories—almonds, cashews, and pistachios for example, all contain 160 calories and 5 or 6 grams of protein per ounce—choose varieties that are raw or dry roasted. Nut butters, like peanut and almond butter, are also a good way to get protein. Look for brands with as few ingredients as possible.
There are many different varieties of beans—black, white, pinto, heirloom, etc.—but one thing they all have in common is their high amounts of protein. Two cups of kidney beans, for example, contain about 26 grams. If you want to buy them dried and soak them overnight before you cook them, that’s super fantastic and shall save you on costing’s.
Also known as garbanzo beans, these legumes can be tossed into salads, fried and salted as a crispy snack, or pureed into a hummus. They contain 7.3 grams of protein in just half a cup, and are also high in fiber and low in calories. You can make a really great meal with some whole-wheat flatbread, some veggies, and some homemade hummus. Toss chickpeas in the blender with some herbs and some tahini or walnut oil and you’re good to go.
Tempeh and tofu;
Foods made from soybeans are some of the highest vegan sources of protein: Tempeh and tofu, for example, contain about 15 and 20 grams per half cup, respectively. They’re highly nutritious, and they can really take on the taste and texture of whatever type of food you’re looking for. You can get a really soft tofu and mash it with a fork, or you can get a firm one and have a really substantial product that can stand in as a replacement for unhealthy ‘meat’.
Not crazy about meat substitutes? Get your servings of soy the way it appears in nature: Straight from the soybean, still in the pod. Boiled edamame, which contains 8.4 grams of protein per half cup, can be served hot or cold and sprinkled with salt. Try it as a snack, an appetizer before dinner, or added to salads or pastas (minus the shell, of course.)
Some vegetables don’t have nearly as much protein as legumes and nuts but some do contain significant amounts—along with lots of antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber. If someone is eating a lot of vegetables—and a wide variety of different types of vegetables—it will certainly add up to a good amount of amino acids. Two cups of raw spinach, for example, contain 2.1 grams of protein, and one cup of chopped broccoli contains 8.1 grams.
Adding hemp to your diet does not mean you’re eating rope (or marijuana), you can find it in some cereals and trail mixes, or you can buy hemp seeds (10 grams of protein in 3 tablespoons) and add them to smoothies, pesto’s, or baked goods. Hemp milk can also be a dairy-free way to add protein to your diet, and it’s even lower in calories than skim milk.
These seeds – are an easy way to add protein (4.7 grams per ounce, about two tablespoons) and fiber to almost any recipe: Chia seeds can be sprinkled over salads, stirred into vegan yogurt or oatmeal, blended into smoothies, or they can take center stage: They plump up and take on a gelatinous texture when soaked in a liquid, forming a rich and creamy pudding-like treat.
Sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds;
Don’t discount the other seeds in your pantry though either; the more familiar varieties are also high in protein and healthy fats. (Per volume, sunflower seed kernels non GMO contain the most protein—7.3 grams per quarter cup—followed by sesame seeds and poppy seeds at 5.4 grams each.) Try thinking of outside-the-box ways to add more seeds to your diet. Instead of saving poppy seeds for once a year for your holiday bread, try adding them to a vinaigrette.
Another ‘meat’ substitute popular with vegans, seitan is made from wheat gluten, seasoned with salt and savoury flavour’s and loaded with protein—36 grams per half cup, more than either tofu or tempeh. It looks like duck meat and tastes like chicken (sounds yuck but minus the ‘yuck’ – if you know what we mean) , and can be used in any recipe that calls for ‘poultry’.
Milk alternatives aren’t just for the lactose intolerant: They can be great additions to any diet; just watch out for lots of added sugar and flavour’s – most can now also be made by yourselves with simple kitchen add ons such as blenders and nut bags and are so easy to make in less than 35 seconds, and so much more cost effective. (Plain soy milk, for example, contains about 100 calories per cup—comparable to skim milk’s 80 calories—but the flavoured varieties can contain much more.) Soy milk has the most protein, at 4 to 8 grams per 8 ounces, but almond, hemp, and rice milk also contain about 1 gram per cup.
Unsweetened cocoa powder;
Bet you didn’t know you can get protein from chocolate! Unsweetened cocoa powder—the pure type used in baking or making hot chocolate from scratch—contains about 1 gram of protein per tablespoon. The powder is bitter all by itself, however, so most recipes may call for natural healthy sugar and oils. Stick with non-fat (or almond milk) and choose healthy plant based sweeteners for a healthy, low-cal hot cocoa, or add it to air-popped popcorn (along with sugar, allspice, and cayenne pepper) for a sweet and spicy whole-grain treat.
Still worried about protein – worry no more. There is enough protein in almost every healthy plant based source available to you, and we really don’t need that much at all. As long as you are eating a healthy well balance vegan form of source, you are sure to get more than enough healthy protein. Eat well – do good and everything else shall fall into place. Worry no more!