Top 6 Secret Sources of Protein for Vegans
According to Google Trends, interest in veganism has increased seven-fold between 2014 and 2019.
There are many reasons people consume a vegan diet, including the associated health benefits.
It's common for vegans to be concerned about getting enough protein in their diets. This is because the most common sources of protein for those consuming a traditional diet come from animal sources.
Getting enough protein for vegans is important and takes planning. The good thing about planning ahead is that it forces you to look closely at your eating habits.
The truth is, getting enough protein as a vegan isn't hard at all. Keep reading to learn more about the best sources of protein on a vegan diet.
Understanding Protein for Vegans
Before we dive into the best protein sources for vegans, let's take a moment to talk about the importance of consuming protein as part of your diet.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you should consume a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. For example, if you weigh 165 pounds, you should consume 60 grams of protein each day.
Some people should consume more protein. This includes older adults, women who are pregnant or nursing, and athletes looking to build muscle.
Animal products like meat, milk, and eggs naturally contain significant amounts of protein. This means that people who consume these foods will have an easier time meeting their daily protein needs.
Protein is an essential nutrient that's made up of amino acids. Our bodies create 11 amino acids on their own, but we need to get another 9 from our diets.
Animal products are what we call complete proteins. This means that they contain all of the amino acids we need. When it comes to plant proteins, certain kinds are also complete proteins, but not all of them are.
Vegans need to consume a variety of plant-based foods to ensure they are getting all of the amino acids we need. These foods include high protein foods like the ones we are about to discuss.
Now, let's take a look at the top sources of protein for vegans.
This ancient grain has a similar appearance to couscous but a different, more crunchy texture and a nuttier flavor. Quinoa is considered a pseudocereal because it doesn't grow from grass, like most grains and cereals.
For this reason, it's naturally gluten-free.
Quinoa is a complete protein. It's easy to find in most grocery stores as well as online. Many vegans use it instead of rice.
2. Soy Proteins
There are three protein sources made from soybeans that are a great choice for vegans. These include edamame, tempeh, and tofu.
These are immature soybeans that are consumed whole. They are green in color and have a sweet, grassy flavor.
Most people steam or boil them. You can add them to grain bowls, soups, salads, or eat them on their own as a snack.
Most people have heard of tofu but they don't know much about its protein content.
Tofu is made from soy milk. It can be made into a variety of textures. It has a bland flavor, meaning it usually takes on the flavors of the foods it's cooked with.
This is made from fermented soybeans to form a dense cake. Other seeds and grained are often included. Tempeh has a chewier texture and a nuttier flavor than tofu.
This is another pseudocereal that happens to be a complete protein. Amaranth was originally an important food in Myan, Aztec, and Incan cultures. In modern times, it has become popular as a grain alternative that is gluten-free.
Amaranth has many uses. It can be boiled and eaten on its own or cooked in a skillet and used to make granola bars. It has a similar taste and texture to Quinoa.
It can even be used as a flour to bake without gluten.
4. Ezekiel Bread
This bread is made from sprouted whole grains and legumes. These include soybeans, barley, millet, spelt, lentils, and wheat.
It is different from most bread in the fact that it contains all of the required amino acids.
Buckwheat is another pseudocereal that provides all of the necessary proteins. However, it's not as high in protein as amaranth or quinoa.
It has a nutty flavor and is often cooked and used like oatmeal or ground into flour and used for cooking. In Japan, buckwheat is used to make noodles called soba.
Spirulina is actually a type of blue-green algae. It's commonly used as a supplement for vegans and vegetarians because it's a good source of protein.
It comes in a tablet and powdered form. The powdered form is often added to foods like salads, soups, smoothies, and granola bars. You can find Spirunila in specialty stores and online.
Are You Getting Enough Protein?
If you're eating a vegan diet, you have to work harder to ensure you're getting enough protein. The extra effort it takes to plan your diet is worth it for most people.
Eating a vegan diet will bring many benefits to your health and wellness.
The most important part of planning your diet is understanding the best sources of protein for vegans. Are you getting enough protein in your current diet?
We offer convenient protein and energy bars that contain only vegan sources of protein.