One of the biggest nutrition questions today is: How much protein does the body need? And more specifically, how do vegans get protein? Protein is extremely important and necessary for our bodies, so it is important to cover this topic. This article will answer your protein question by giving you information on how much protein is needed per day, what foods have protein in them, and more.
How much protein does the body need?
Getting the proper amount of protein from your diet is an important part of maintaining a healthy life. How much protein should a person consume per day, anyway? The minimum amount of protein, recommended by The Recommended Dietary Allowance, is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
It is sometimes hard to imagine, how much protein that is and what should we eat enough of it. I want to give you an idea about how plentiful and easy it is to get enough protein as a vegan.
Which plant-based foods have protein in them?
Protein can be found in animal sources like meat, pork, and fish, but just as easily in plants like nuts, beans, and whole grains. Let’s learn more about these plant-based protein sources.
Protein source #1: Beans, lentils, and legumes
Beans, lentils, and legumes are great sources of plant-based protein. They are reasonably cheap and sustainable, have a low glycemic index, are high in protein and fiber, and are satiating.
Legumes are popular in vegan dishes because of their “meaty” texture. Furthermore, because of their relatively neutral flavor, they blend nicely with other vegetables and match well with a range of flavors.
Protein source #2: Whole grains
Whole grains are good for the heart and the digestive system. Whole grains provide a variety of nutrients, including protein. Wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, and rye are examples of whole grains when consumed in their “whole” state.
Protein source #3: Nuts and nut butter
Nuts and nut butter provide protein, healthy fats, and other important vitamins and minerals.
Protein source #4: Seeds
Seeds are extremely nutrient-dense. They are high in calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and selenium – as well as healthy omega-3 oils. Some seeds such as chia seeds and flaxseeds can be eaten whole while others like hemp seeds are best when the husks are removed.
Protein source #5: Soy products
Soy products like tofu and tempeh contain a complete source of protein. Soy products are a healthy and delicious way to incorporate soy into your diet. Choose soy milk, tofu, or tempeh to get the most benefit from soy’s unique nutrient profile.
Protein source #6: Plant milk and yogurts
Calcium-fortified plant milk and yogurts are also great choices to add protein to your diet.
Protein source #7: Vegetables
Most vegetables also have varying amounts of protein. Peas have approximately 6 grams of protein per serving but don’t forget spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. These all include around 3 grams of protein per meal.
Protein source #8: Fruits
Even fruits have some protein! In fact, avocados have 2 grams per cup of fruit. Additionally, bananas have 1 gram of protein per cup of fruit. Other fruits such as figs have amounts between .5-.75 grams per fruit.
Are you still questioning how do vegans get protein?
While there’s a lot of misinformation and myths around the vegan protein question, there’s no reason to worry whether you’re getting enough protein. If you want to learn more, you can check out this Vegan protein chart.
Vegans can get their protein from many different sources to fulfill their daily requirements without any issues. Take note of all the different sources above you can pick.
A balanced vegan diet is naturally high in protein, and it isn’t hard at all to make sure you get enough. If you’re consuming enough calories for the day, you will get plenty of protein by eating a variety of foods from this list.
Hi, I’m Petra and for most of my life, I was an omnivore. A vegan couple made me curious about veganism, so I did some research. What I found out about the animals, our planet, and the health benefits of a vegan diet made me go vegan overnight. It’s been 5 years now and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.