Where On Earth Do Vegans Get Their Protein? Demystifying Plant-Based Protein Sources
A common misconception about vegans is that we don’t get enough protein.
As we don’t consume traditionally accepted sources of protein such as lean meat, poultry, fish or eggs, there is a misconception that we are somehow surviving without intaking any!
This is of course completely untrue.
In this blog post, we will be discussing how and where vegans find their protein, as well as why it is important for everyone to intake a good amount of protein every day.
I will be covering such topics as:
- Where Vegans Actually Get Their Protein From?
- Other Sources of Protein
- How much Protein do Vegans Need?
- Example of a Protein-filled Breakfast
Where Do Vegans Actually Get Their Protein From?
No matter what diet you are following, protein is an essential part of it. Your body needs it to function properly and it helps build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Now, there is no secret source of protein. We, vegans, aren’t hiding a fountain of essential amino acids from the rest of the world. There are ways to find protein, which don’t include harming animals or relying on the dairy industry.
Firstly, protein powder.
Protein powder can be used for many things and in many meals. It doesn’t just have to be utilized by bodybuilders and athletes, it can also be blended into your morning smoothie or mixed into your porridge. Just two scoops of Vitally Vegan will give you a whopping 20 grams of protein!
Not liking the taste of protein powder is also no longer a problem. Here at Vitally Vegan, we have six, you read that right, six different flavours. We have Blueberry Protein Powder, Coconut, Coconut mixed with Chocolate, Chocolate Orange, Forest Fruits and Salted Caramel Vegan Protein Powder, and all of them have been blended to be delicious and nutritious.
We are also completely transparent with what's in our protein powder. A serious problem with whey protein is that it’s the byproduct of milk. This means that it can contain a lot of hormones that would have been given to the cow in order to increase its milk production. These don’t appear on the label and therefore, you don’t always know what you are drinking.
However, with Vitally Vegan, I can guarantee that all of my products are 100% dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, hormone-free and have no artificial sweeteners. Not to mention, we pride ourselves on being a plastic-free vegan protein powder, so you are caring for the environment with every purchase too.
Other Sources of Protein
Besides protein powder, there are a lot of ways in which vegans consume protein in everyday meals.
Some staples of the vegan diet are lentils, chickpeas, tempeh, black beans, nuts, tofu, quinoa and pasta. All of these include protein and in the right portion sizes, will give any meal a decent helping of vital nutrients.
For example, one cup of lentils has 36g of protein, whereas one cooked chicken breast includes 31g of protein.
You can get just as much protein from two cups of lentils and also get a lot of their added nutritional benefits. Such as aiding in heart health, lowering cholesterol, increasing overall energy and stabilizing your blood sugar, all of which you won’t get from eating a chicken breast.
You can also get a substantial amount of protein from some vegetables. Veggies such as watercress, alfalfa sprouts, spinach, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, asparagus, mustard greens, broccoli and collard greens all contain a good chunk of healthy protein.
How much protein do vegans need?
For some reason, it has become an assumption that vegans need more protein than most people because we don’t consume animal products.
Which again, is simply not true.
So you may be asking yourself, how much protein do I need a day?
To determine your protein needs in grams (g), first, calculate your weight in kilograms (kg). Next, decide how many grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is appropriate for you. Rule of thumb is anything from 0.8 g to 2g per kilogram of bodyweight. This all depends on your lifestyle, how often you exercise and the type of exercise you do too.
For example, I weigh 56kg and weight train 3/4 times a week. therefore I require 68 grams of protein a day roughly.
Calculation: 56 x 1.2 = 67.2
This can then be broken down across 3-4 meals averaging 20g of protein per meal.
It’s just as easy to get protein using a vegan diet than it is having a meat-based diet. The difference is that a plant-based diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes and cognitive decline.
Example of Protein-Filled Breakfast!
To finish this blog post off, I thought I might give an example of a breakfast that I have regularly.
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It kicks starts your metabolism, can improve your memory and lower levels of your “bad” LDL cholesterol. It is also a perfect way to sneak in a good amount of protein.
You will need:
- 30g Jumbo Oats
- 2 Scoops of Vitally Vegan Chocolate & Coconut Protein Powder
- 175ml Hazelnut Milk
- Toppings: Raspberries, Hazelnuts, Desiccated Coconut, Cacao Nibs and chunks of Vegan Chocolate (optional).
This recipe averages at 29g of protein, which is a massive chunk of your daily intake. It’s also really simple to make and delicious, even if I do say so myself.