How to get protein as a vegan?
One of the most prevalent concerns about vegetarian and vegan diets is that they could be deficient in protein.
Many experts agree, however, that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet will provide all of the nutrients you need.
Even if you are not a vegan or vegetarian, make sure to check this list out as they are environmentally more sustainable protein sources compared to animal-based products.
Here is our favourite vegan protein sources that you should incorporate in to your diet.
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame are all made from soybeans.
Soybeans are regarded as a complete source of protein. This ensures that they provide the body with all of the necessary amino acids it needs.
Edamame are immature soybeans with a sweet and slightly grassy flavour. They can be eaten on their own or added to soups and salads after being steamed or boiled.
Tofu is made from bean curds that have been pressed together in a method similar to cheesemaking. Tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans before pressing them into a patty.
Tofu does not have a strong flavour, but it readily absorbs the flavour of the ingredients with which it is prepared. Tempeh has a distinct nutty taste.
Tofu and tempeh can also be used in a number of recipes, from burgers to soups and chilis.
All three contain iron, calcium, and 10-19 grammes of protein per 3.5 ounces.
Edamame are also high in fibre, folate, and vitamin K. Tempeh is high in probiotics, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus.
Nutritional yeast is a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast that has been deactivated and is marketed commercially as a yellow powder or flakes.
It has a cheesy flavour and is commonly used in dishes such as mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu.
Nutritional yeast may also be used as a savoury topping on popcorn or sprinkled on top of pasta dishes.
This total plant protein source contains 14 grammes of protein and 7 grammes of fibre per 28 grammes.
Fortified nutritional yeast is also high in zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and all B vitamins, including vitamin B12.
Soymilk is made from soybeans and it is a better alternative to cow's milk.
It has 7 grammes of protein per cup (240 ml), and it also has a lot of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
Soy milk is widely available in supermarkets. It's a highly adaptable food that can be eaten on its own or used in a range of cooking and baking recipes.
To keep the amount of added sugars to a minimum, it's best to use unsweetened varieties.
If you have soy allergy or intolerance, we advise to not consume soy-based milk alternatives.
Chia seeds are definitely one the best alternatives with 6 grammes of protein and 13 grammes of fibre per 35 grammes.
Furthermore, these tiny seeds are high in iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and a variety of other plant compounds.
They're also extremely adaptable. Chia seeds have a neutral flavour and can absorb water to form a gel-like material. This makes them a versatile ingredient in a wide range of recipes, from smoothies to baked goods and chia puddings.
Nuts, seeds, and their derivatives are high in protein.
5–7 grammes of protein can be found in 28 grammes of nuts and seeds.
Antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds are plentiful in nuts and seeds. In addition to iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and some B vitamins, they are rich in fibre and healthy fats.
When selecting nuts and seeds, keep in mind that blanching and roasting can cause the nutrients in nuts to be lost. As a result, whenever possible, opt for raw, unblanched versions.
Also, go for natural nut butters to avoid the oil, sugar, and salt found in many store-bought varieties.