Both longtime vegans and newcomers have probably heard this question—or variations of it—more than a few times: “How do you get enough protein?”
This might be the biggest misconception that people with animal-based diets have: That eating meat is the only way to get enough protein into your diet. More specifically, people believe that meat is the best way to get the nine amino acids that our bodies need from protein to build muscle and perform other important functions.
It is true that meat does have all nine of the essential amino acids. However, it does not mean that vegans must deprive themselves or struggle to get the nutrients they need. Indeed, products like non dairy protein bars and plant-based protein powders make it easier than ever.
But even leaving products like those aside, there are plenty of protein-rich vegetables and other vegan-friendly foods. Here are some of them:
Lentils are a fantastic source of protein—a single cup contains 18g, which is about a third of the average recommended daily protein intake. Not only that, that same cup would have about 50% of the recommended daily fiber intake. Lentils also have good levels of iron, manganese and folate.
Chickpeas and Other Beans
Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and most types of beans are loaded with protein and nutrients too. They have 15g of protein per cup as well as high levels of fiber, folate, iron, phosphorous, potassium and manganese. Studies have shown that including a lot of beans in your diet can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Did you mother ever tell you to eat all of your peas when you were a kid? If she did, she was right. Those little round, green veggies are packed full of good stuff. A cup of them has 9g of protein and high levels of fiber and vitamins A, C and K. Peas are also an excellent source of iron, thiamin, manganese and magnesium. Because peas have so many nutrients, they can make a good addition to a vegan protein shake.
If someone argues that vegan protein sources do not have all the essential amino acids, tell them about quinoa. This seed has all the amino acids that people need as well as several important minerals and antioxidants.
Also called the mountain peanut and the Inca peanut, sacha inchi is a fantastic, vegan-friendly protein source. An ounce of this seed has 8g of protein, which is more than an ounce of almonds (which are still a good protein and nutrient source, by the way). On top of that, sacha inchi is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers inflammation and helps improve bone health, vision, hair health and skin health.
22 Days Nutrition is dedicated to helping people discover the immense benefits of the vegan diet. The company offers products like first-rate vegan protein powders, which include protein from organic peas and sacha inchi.
About 22 Days Nutrition
22 Days Nutrition offers great-tasting, nutritious, plant-based snacks and meals. The company’s chocolate plant based protein powder and other products enable people to improve their health and embrace a vegan lifestyle.
For additional information, visit 22daysnutrition.com
22 days delivers nutritional products that help you stay focused on what you need to accomplish by feeding your body with the best possible ingredients. We believe that foods should satisfy both your body and your spirit. That’s why we create ways to inspire you through taste, attitude, and a global conscience.This author has published 18 articles so far.