Here’s a ‘Plant Protein Sources | How To Get Vegan Protein’ list because, well…
How Do Vegans Get Protein?
A question every veteran vegan has had to answer countless times.
Interestingly, most of the world is actually fiber deficient rather than protein deficient!
Fruits and veggies provide fiber essential for preventing heart disease, obesity, digestive issues and more health complications.
Of course you’ll want to continue meeting that daily protein mark.
So how much protein should you get per day?
It’s advised to get 56g of protein per day for men and 46g of protein per day for women.
Beans are great vegan protein sources! In fact, they’re just about essential for the typical vegan diet.
If you’re newly vegan maybe you find yourself remembering that old grade school rhyme “Beans, beans good for your heart. Beans, beans make you…” Well, the good news is that having gas when you first go vegan is temporary and to be expected. It means your body is so fiber deficient that it will take a few short weeks to adjust but after that you can down beans quite often and not have any embarrassing side effects.
If you continue to have gas, bloating and other IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms, you might want to check out this FODMAP Food List which may help! It shows which foods can irritate digestion.
But thankfully for vegans there are so many more plant protein sources than just beans…
Plant Protein Sources List | How to Get Vegan Protein:
1. chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are great for hummus, mock tuna sandwiches, tossed salad, etc.
2. black beans
Black beans are great for Mexican cuisine like vegan tacos, burritos, salsa, loaded nachos, etc.
Never heard of tempeh? It’s fermented soybeans which people have been eating for 1,000s of years in Indonesia! Great for gut health. Fairly easy to find these days as tempeh’s popularity is rising. You can buy it at Trader Joe’s or just about any asian market in the refrigerated section.
6. peanut butter
Who doesn’t love peanut butter? Unfortunately, it’s a big 8 common food allergen so not everyone can enjoy this classic American staple food. If you’re fortunate enough to not have a peanut allergy then peanut butter is a great source of protein and so easy to add to many foods. Don’t overdo it, as it’s got a hefty fat content.
7. sunflower seeds
You’ve probably tasted it with sushi but have you ever tried edamame salad? Shelled edamame can be eating warm or room temperature…mix with lemon juice and salt and you’re in for a treat.
9. chia seeds
11. hemp hearts
12. nutritional yeast
‘Nooch’ is what it’s known for short. Nutritional yeast is great for making vegan cheese and adding that cheesy flavor without the dairy. It’s packed with vitamins (hence the name). However, use in moderation since it’s actually not that sustainable. The way it’s made requires a lot of carbon emission and air pollution as it turns out! While it may be vegan, if it’s bad for the environment it’s bad for wildlife.
13. sprouted bread
Ezekial bread is one such example of sprouted bread – one of the healthiest types of bread there is!
17. TVP (texturized vegetable protein)
19. pumpkin seeds
22. pumpkin seeds
27. soy milk
29. lima beans
32. whole wheat pasta
33. green beans
36. brown rice
38. sesame seeds
40. mung beans
So there you have it! The next time someone tries to tell you Vegans don’t get enough protein you can rattle off all aforementioned sources. Not to mention plant protein is SO MUCH better than animal protein for many reasons…
Plant protein advantages:
- no cholesterol
- less fat, no saturated fat
- much more sustainable than animal protein
- lower chance of getting food poisoning
- no hormone or antibiotic ingestion
- vegan, no animals are used
Animal protein disadvantages:
- fat, particularly saturated fat (the bad kind!)
- higher risk of getting food poisoning
- hormone and antibiotic ingestion
- animal cruelty
Plant protein vs whey:
What is whey anyway!? Whey comes from milk. It’s a dairy product meaning it’s one of the most common food allergens out there. Even if you don’t have a full blown allergic reaction to milk products, common signs of dairy intolerance include: acne, gas, bloating, irritable bowels and constipation to name a few. Yikes!
Plant protein, on the other hand, is the overall safer bet. Common plant protein sources used for protein powder may include: peas, soy, chia seeds, alfalfa. Soy can cause allergic reactions as well but it’s much less common than having a milk allergy or milk intolerance as with whey.
Additionally, plant protein is vegan and does not come from an animal. Read product ingredients to be extra sure! It’s also more sustainable and overall healthier than whey. Now that brands have truly mastered the taste, texture and protein profile of plant protein powders there’s no reason to keep buying whey protein.
Plant protein powder:
This post was all about plant protein sources and how to get vegan protein!
Protein Foods | MyPlate
Dietary Protein and Amino Acids in Vegetarian Diets—A Review
Vegetarian and vegan eating – Better Health Channel