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“You’re vegan? Where do you get your vegan protein from?” I can’t count how many times people have asked me that question and every time I just inhale and ask them, “do you have time to listen?” There are so many options when it comes to vegan protein, and vegans usually get more than enough protein as long as they’re eating a variety of vegan whole foods. The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions protein is whey, dairy, meat, and eggs. There’s protein in just about everything, it doesn’t have to come from meat, eggs and dairy. The question should be, “how much protein does the body need to maintain healthy bodily function for muscle regeneration, and recovery?” It’s not that vegans don’t get enough protein, it’s that they’re being compared to the standard American and Americans tend to eat twice the amount of protein they need.
Studies have shown that a diet high in protein increases the risk of kidney disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. This doesn’t mean everybody should be a vegan. Everyone has a unique body and people should eat according to their individual necessities. There's cases where a person just can’t function on a vegan diet no matter how good he eats, and that’s ok, the point is to be aware of the amount of animal protein you’re consuming and to make sure you are eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Everyone can benefit from more fruits and vegetables in their diet. Experiment with your body and see if a vegan diet is the best option. Do you notice fatigue after you eat meat? Try cutting back, or eliminating it completely to see if you feel a difference. It doesn’t have to be about becoming part of an animal activist group. You can just adopt a healthy way of eating. Let your body choose what it likes to eat. Give your body what it needs to feel at it’s best. Listen closely to the reactions of your body, and any moods that may be linked to the foods you’re eating.
There are a lot of benefits in adopting a vegan diet. A vegan diet is known to increase energy levels; it benefits the digestive system, and lowers risk of disease when done correctly. Einstein himself admitted, "So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore." Who knows? It might just turn out that you feel at your best when you consume plant-based vegan protein. Try it out and see how you feel. If you’re worried about not consuming enough protein, here are a few options you can take with plant-based proteins. Pack on the nuts, legumes, and vegetables that are highest in protein content in every meal, and you can make yourself some smoothies with some of the protein powders listed below. Sun warrior and Vega are my personal favorites.
To know how much protein you need daily, Multiply .37 by your weight in lbs. For example if you weigh 150 lbs. you multiply that by .37 which comes out to approximately 55g of protein a day. Take a look at a few vegan protein sources you can include in your diet to make sure you get what you need. Look below and do the math.
- Protein Powders
- Sun warrior protein: 16g per scoop
- Vega One: 15g per scoop
- Garden of Life Raw Protein: 17g per scoop
- Lima Beans: 1C=14.66g protein
- French Beans: 1 C=12.48g protein
- Peas: 1C=8.58g protein
- Almonds: 1C=6.02g
- Brazil Nuts: 1C= 4.06g protein
- Cashews: 1C= 5.17g
- Brussels Sprouts: 1C= 3.98g protein
- Raw mustard Spinach: 1C=3.3g protein
- Swiss Chard: 1C=3.29g protein
- Sweet potato: 1 medium potato=2.29g protein
- Spirulina (seaweed): 1C=64.37g protein
- Amaranth: 100g cooked= 3.8g protein
- Buckwheat: 100g cooked= 13.25g protein
- Oats: 100g cooked= 16.89g protein
- Quinoa: 100g cooked= 4.4g protein
- Medium avocado= 4.02g protein
- Blackberries: 1C=2g protein
- Guava: 1C= 4.21g protein
- Passion fruit: 1C= 5.19g protein
- Watermelon: 1 medium wedge= 1.74g protein
The next time you construct your salad, throw on a good portion of beans, nuts, grains and extra veggies apart from the regular lettuce and tomato. The more you pile on, the more plant based protein you will receive. Get used to eating more if you want to be vegan. You have to eat a lot to make sure you are fueling your body with enough calories. Make your 3 meals protein packed and a smoothie in between and that should do the trick. It really is a no brainer. You can include protein in all of your meals making it add up easy and quickly.