Eating vegan can have wonderful health effects. Not only do you increase your overall vitamin and mineral intake but you generally reduce your consumption of refined sugar and fat. The only thing that can be tricky is making sure that you are eating enough high protein foods.
It isn’t that plants don’t have protein, but if you aren’t eating the right types of foods, you could easily become protein deficient. Eating enough protein will make sure that you have energy throughout the day and support your muscle. You will also notice that a diet high in plant proteins helps you feel fuller longer compared to one lacking in protein.
If you aren’t sure of good sources for plant protein, look no further. We have a list of your best options for vegan proteins, along with their nutritional breakdown.
This legume is no one trick pony. There are plenty of ways that soy is prepped that will offer you different options for protein.
- Tempeh: 21 g per ½ cup
- Roasted Soy Beans: 18 g per ½ cup
- Steamed Soybeans: 4g per ½ cup
- Tofu: 10g per ½ cup
- Soy milk: 2 g per ½ cup
One of the favorite ways for people to eat chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) is in hummus. Don’t limit yourself though; these legumes make a great base for chili, curry, and other dishes.
- Hummus: 4.5 g per 2 tbsp.
- Boiled, drained: 7 g per ½ cup
You have two real options when it comes to peanuts, dry roasted, or peanut butter. Remember these are extremely calorie dense, so a little goes a long way!
- Peanuts, dry roasted: 7 g per 1 oz.
- Peanut butter: 7 g per 2 tbsp.
Just about any type of bean you select is going to have a good source of both iron and protein in it. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water with your beans; they have a lot of fiber in them. If you are not used to eating beans, they may be an adjustment for your digestive tract.
This staple of any Vegan’s diet should be varied and plentiful. Making sure you get high protein grains is very important. Women’s Health Magazine has put together an amazing list of the best high protein grains for you to stay fuller longer.
Spelt 10.7 g per 1 cup cooked
Kamut 9.8 g per 1 cup cooked
Teff 9.8 g per 1 cup cooked
Amaranth * 9.4 g per 1 cup cooked
Sorghum 8.7 g per 1 cup cooked
Quinoa* 8.1 g per 1 cup cooked
Quinoa and Amaranth are not technically grains. They fall into the seeds family of food. They are prepared and eaten like traditional grains so many people, even nutritionists consider them to be pseudo grains. Since you cook and eat them like a grain, we put them in with the grains.
Why haven’t we included any vegetables in our high protein foods list? Simple, you are probably eating all of them already. Every good vegan knows that Spinach and Mushrooms are high protein and should be staples in your diet. Why would you want repeated information?
How Much Protein Do I Need?
Now you know the foods to add to your diet. You may be wondering exactly how much protein you need every day. While things like activity level and medical conditions can change the recommended daily intake, the U.S. Dietary Reference Intake for protein is 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight. One 205 lb. person would need approximately 55 g of protein every day.
Now you have everything you need to make sure that you are getting enough protein. There is no reason to feel sluggish and tired throughout the day. With all the high fiber legumes and grains, your diet is going to be full of protein.