Have you ever asked yourself, “How much protein should I be getting daily?”, “What are the top sources of vegan protein?” or “Can I even get enough protein on a vegan diet?”
In this blog post you’ll find out if a vegan diet provides enough protein, exactly which sources of protein are the best to choose on a plant-based or vegan diet, and how much you need to consume daily.
What Are Proteins?
Protein is a macronutrient and is essential for life. In the stomach, proteins are broken down by hydrochloric acid and pepsin into amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids play many vital roles in the function and maintenance of the body.
Of the 21 proteinogenic amino acids used by the human body, 9 are classified as essential as they cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through our diet. That’s one of the main reasons why we need to fuel our cells with optimum nutrition.
Busting Protein Myths
There‘s a lot of controversy around vegan protein. Many people on a predominantly plant-based diet get asked where they get their protein from. In fact, I’m sure it’s the number one question that most vegans are sick of being asked!
Thankfully, plant-based proteins are abundant and you can easily reach your protein requirements for the day. Even those who need extra protein, such as vegan athletes, can thrive on plant proteins. All plant proteins contain all essential amino acids. So as long as you eat a variety of plant proteins, your body will get what it needs.
Recommended Protein Requirements
The Dietary Reference Intake for adults is 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 g per pound. Children are slightly higher at 0.95g per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, an adult weighing 150 lbs would require around 54 g of protein daily. To calculate your ideal protein intake just multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36.
Top Plant-based Protein Sources
Below are the 20 Vegan High Protein Sources to increase your energy. We have broken the list down into four categories; gluten-free grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. If you don’t react to gluten then you’ll find protein in other grains too.
We have listed the protein content for each source per 100 g and per cup. Measurements are based on grains that are cooked in boiling water with no salt added and legumes that are canned, drained and rinsed with water.
Take a screenshot and keep it as a reference or print it out and use it as a guide.
A great time-saving tip is to prepare your protein sources on the weekend so that you can add them to your meals throughout the week. This may include soaking and cooking gluten-free grains and legumes, or making quick energy bites with nuts and seeds. Plus don’t forget to view our ever-growing collection of plant-based and gluten-free recipes.
If you need some protein-packed recipes, take a look at our recipe eBook “30 Recipes to Boost Your Energy”.
And if you want to keep a record of your protein intake, grab your free copy of our “Diet & Lifestyle Tracker”.
Share in the comments below which of these protein sources are you favorites.
RESOURCES & FURTHER INFO
- Protein content is taken from the USDA Food Composition Databases https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
- The plant protein combining myth busted https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-protein-combining-myth/
- Learn the truth about protein from Dr. Michael Greger at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5TLzNi5fYd-ROM7UHOLrcuekOyOcGZPR