Yes, I am a Vegan who consumes enough Protein.
Eating a vegan diet as I do, the most common confusion regarding my nutritional intake I receive from other’s concerns is “are you getting enough protein?” I understand where they are coming from when they approach me with this concern. From a young age we were taught that you must drink whole milk to build strong bones, and eat chicken and steak to gain muscle. In schools everywhere there are posters with famous people rocking a milk mustache to glorify it’s appeal even more. So, let’s clear up this stigma by saying there IS a way to get all the macro and micro nutrients you need on a solely plant-based diet. And it’s pretty simple too. Let’s dive into some sources of protein and get into how we can integrate them easily into our diet allowing us to build just as much muscle in a more sustainable manner.
The beautiful thing about plant protein is that it isn’t so high in saturated fats (cancer causing) like meat holds true to. And just as long as you know where to look for these proteins and how to add them to your diet, you will stay on top of your intake levels to ensure you reach the correct amount of grams of protein per day for your body and your goals.
Spirulina, Nuts, Lentils, Edamame, Seitan, Tofu, Tempe, Hempseed, Pumpkin Seeds and also tons of vegetables with hidden larger quantities of protein will serve you well in acclimating your diet to a higher ratio of grams of protein.
Soy beans and Edamame are the highest containers of protein in beans at about 29 grams and 17 grams in a one cup serving. In one tablespoon of Spirulina, you receive 4 grams. The highest Nut protein will be found in Peanuts at about 38 grams in one cup. In boiled lentils you will discover 18 grams in a one cup serving amount. 20 grams in one cup of Tofu, 31 grams in one cup of Tempeh, and 15 grams in a 3 oz. serving of Seitan. Hempseed and Pumpkin seeds are one of the most vital sources of nutrients as well. Hempseed contains about 5.3 grams of protein in just one tablespoon and also contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. Pumpkin seeds contain roughly 12 grams of protein in a one cup serving, and are rich in amino acids like tryptophan which boosts the serotonin in the body.
Enjoying all these Whole Foods is the best way to integrate these macros into your system, but if you are a busy bee, brands like VegaOne commit to bringing Protein Powder filled with an array of different plant proteins to grocery stores and health food stores everywhere.
Download the My Fitness Pal app if you are unsure you are meeting your dietary needs on a daily basis and you will be able to input the foods you are eating to see exactly the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats inside of them as well as the micronutrients. It will also tell you if you’re meeting your personal daily requirement in each area, which can be a huge help when you are learning to make some new healthy diet choices away from consumption of meat protein.
In closing, consumption of a diet consisting of lively, vital foods like I’ve listed will increase your energy and boost the way your cells renew themselves. Not only is it beneficial, it is also entirely practical and possible to reach your goals within this diet if you are knowledgeable and utilizing the tools at hand. Clean protein sustains life.
By: Mindy Sheppard