10 High protein foods for vegans

10 High protein foods for vegans

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People choose to adopt a vegan diet for a variety of reasons.

Protein deficiency is one of the biggest problems vegans experience, especially when starting out.

So many people switch to a vegan diet with little to no idea of the nutritional value in different foods and the essential nutrients we need.

If you don’t know a lot about nutrition and you switch to a Vegan diet, you may notice some negative effects on your body.

This can include hair loss or thinning hair, weak nails, dark circles under eyes, mood swings, fatigue and general lack of energy.

Importance of protein

If you’re a newbie vegan, seasoned or just curious then I am really happy you’re here!

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients you need. 

Protein is a source of energy, but its main role in the body is growth, strength and repair. 

Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle tissue. It has been proven that amino acids also play a significant role in performance and recovery.

The body cannot produced sufficient amounts of essential amino acids to meet its demands so these must be obtained from various protein rich foods.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the recommended dietary allowance  for protein is 56g for adult males and 46g for adult females. Although women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have an RDA of 71 g of protein.

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    Protein rich food for Vegans

    The following foods are among the best high quality protein sources you can get.

    1. Tempeh

    This is a traditional Indonesian soy product made from fermented soybeans. It is very similar to tofu and is commonly used in  salads and stirfry’s.

    For some really awesome Vegan tempeh recipes you can check out the link here 21 Delicious Vegan Tempeh Recipes

    2. Tofu

    Tofu, also known as bean curd, has been around for over 2000 years.

    It is a food made of condensed soy milk that is pressed into solid white blocks in a process in a similar way to cheese.

    Tofu is very low in calories while still remaining relatively high in protein and iron. It can also be high in calcium and magnesium depending depending on the coagulants used during the manufacturing process. 

    Similar to tempeh, it is commonly used in salads and stir fry’s.

    You can find 31 easy and delicious tofu recipes here at My Darling Vegan.

    3. Lentils

    Lentils belong to the legume family along with beans peanuts and peas. They are highly nutritious, and can be stored for a long time without refrigeration.

    Lentils are not only high in protein, but are a good source of iron, fibre, magnesium and folic acid.

    They are really easy to add to salads, soups, stir fry’s or you can use them to make burger patties!

    4. Quinoa

    Quinoa is one of the most popular health foods. 

    Quinoa is not only high in protein, but is gluten-free, and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids.

    It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

    Here are 17 Vegan Quinoa Recipes.

    5. Soymilk

    Soy milk is quickly becoming a very popular alternative to dairy milk. 

    Soy milk is a plant-based drink produced by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out remaining particulates.

    It is a great alternative to dairy milk in coffee, tea, smoothies, protein shakes, oatmeal and anything else you want to add it to! 

    6. Beans – Black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, soy beans

    Beans are part of the legumes family. Beans contain amino acids, which are the chemicals that combine to form protein.

    Although all of the above beans relatively high in protein, only soybeans contain all nine amino acids.

    Incomplete proteins can be easily combined with nuts, seeds, dairy, or grains at a single meal or over various meals throughout the day to make complete proteins.

    7. Nuts

    Ok, so there are so many nuts out there and they all contain pretty high amounts of protein! Instead of giving a break down of the nutrients in every single nut, i’m going to list them for snacking options! Almonds are my personal favourites but there are many options to choose from!

    Perfect snack at work or in between meals.

    Almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachios.

    8. Chickpeas 

    Chickpeas, also known as the garbanzo bean is part of the legume family. 

    They are a great replacement for meal in any dish ad are a great source of protein. As a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, chickpeas may offer a variety of health benefits, such as improving digestion, aiding weight management and reducing the risk of several diseases.

    I add chick peas to so many things! Salads, stirfry’s, wraps, burger patties or even by themself with tomato and avocado!

    9. Pumpkin seeds

    Although you would need to eat loads of pumpkin seeds to get your daily quota of protein, it is a great addition to salads, oatmeal, cereal and snacks to help reach your daily protein needs.

    10. Plant Protein Powder

    One of the easiest and quickest ways to meet your daily protein needs. But its important to. choose the right one! Don’t worry, I have done the research for you.

    The following brands are without doubt among the best out there.

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant Protein

    MRM Veggie Elite Performance Protein

    There are many great companies out there who make being vegan a whole lot easier.

    One of my favourites is Veganly Box. They are a vegan subscription snack box providing 8 vegan snacks per box. Subscription length ranges from 1 month to 6 months, starting from $24.99. You can check them out here.

    Another highly rated and very popular service is Vegin Out.

    They are a vegan meal delivery service delivering weekly meals to your door. They also have bundles and specifically designed meal plans –

    • Single weekly Vegan Meal Delivery
    • Every other week Vegan Meal Delivery
    • 21-Day Vegan Cleanse and Vegan Meal Plan
    • 5-Day Vegan Soups & Juice Cleanse
    • Blood Sugar Control Vegan Meal Plan (Diabetic Friendly – 6 Day Meal Plan)
    • Low Carb Weekly Vegan Meal Delivery
    • Probiotic Juice and Raw Juice, 12-oz – great addition to your regular vegan meal order

      You can check out their full range of services here. 

     

    Conclusion

    Regardless of whatever diet you might follow, I cant stress enough how important it is to get enough protein in you diet.

    Protein contains essential amino acids which help support growth, strength and repair, all vital to optimal health. 

    These 10 high protein vegan foods are all whole foods, which mean they are perfect for any diet, not just vegan.

    Whats our favourite vegan protein food source? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

     

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