Where do you get your protein from?! The number one question you will most definitely be asked on a Vegan lifestyle and it will annoy you every time. People seem to have a fear about not getting enough protein in their diet and the truth is that most of the worlds’ population gets above and beyond the daily recommendations of protein intake in their diet. Now, there are complicated equations for working out your average daily intake of protein but to keep it simple just know that you will and can get more than enough protein in a vegan diet also and I am here to give you some recommendations to make sure you will stay strong and healthy in this lifestyle!
A bit of additional information on proteins for you:
1) Why is protein even important?
Well, proteins are found in every muscle in the human body and contain amino acids which are essentially the building blocks of all our cells and tissues in the body. Without this process we will feel lethargic and under energised which leaves us grumpy and unhappy (and we know that that is no fun for anyone!!). In addition to this protein helps keep us full and a full tummy is a happy tummy, right?!
2) Do I need animal protein though?
No. Our bodies cannot store protein like they can carbohydrates and this means that when we become malnourished our bodies essentially eat themselves, i.e. the muscles, to try and fuel the body. To stop this from happening it is important to keep protein intake regular and protein can be found in so many different plant-based foods which may even surprise you.
Here is a list of protein rich foods to keep you full, healthy and happy on a vegan diet. Adding one or more of these to each meal will ensure you need not worry about getting enough protein in your diet and you will be energised and full until next meal time:
Beans and Pulses:
- Chickpeas (salads, hummus, spreads, curries, pasta)
- Kidney Beans (stews, bolognaise, pasta)
- Lentils (soups, stews, curries, pastas, bolognaise)
- Black Beans (bolognaise, rice)
- Butter beans (stews, soups, pasta dishes)
Nuts & Seeds:
- Nut butters (peanut, almond and cashew are my favourite!)
- Tahini (great for adding into a pasta sauce to make it creamy! Mix with lemon for a great sauce on chips or salads)
- Sesame seeds, linseeds, pine nuts (great addition to stir fry’s or sprinkled on salads)
- Chai seeds, flax seeds (great popped into a smoothie, mix with water to make an egg replacement in baking, addition to porridge)
- All other nuts and seeds of course 🙂
Vegetables (yes, veg has protein too):
- Peas (frozen, easy peasy)
- Spinach (great addition to a smoothie, especially if you don’t like the taste as you won’t taste it at all)
- Kale (again, great in a smoothie and a kale salad with tahini dressing is amazing)
- Avocado (guacamole, on toast, chocolate pudding, smoothies, salads)
Grains (pretty self explanatory):
- Brown Rice
- Buckwheat (can be eaten raw, on top of smoothies or nicecream is delicious)
- Oats (add into smoothies, porridge, cookies, breakfast bars)
Protein Powders (add into smoothies and you don’t taste them as they don’t taste great alone!):
- Hemp Protein
- Pea protein
Now go and get some protein in your life, and if anyone asks how you get your protein (because they will…) then you can tell them this !! 🙂