In the culinary world, there are more people today embracing a vegan diet than ever before, and the number is still growing. A major factor that has led to this growth comes from the nutrients gotten from plant-based foods, which are significantly higher and healthier than nutrients found in animal-based foods. However, the issue of nutrients in a vegan diet raises a major concerning issue about vegan diets, which is the lack of sufficient protein in plant-based foods. Doing away with all forms of animal-based products also means doing away with nutrients it usually provides, such as iron, calcium, and most importantly, protein. Nevertheless, research has shown that you can live on a vegan diet and sufficiently get all the nutrients you need, including protein. This involves the inclusion of certain plant foods that contain significantly high levels of protein in your diet. In light of that, highlighted below are the primary protein sources for vegans.
High Protein Vegan Foods
Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein and should be included in any healthy plant-based diet. You can do this with tofu, tempeh, soy milk, or edamame, which are all made from soybeans. Introducing any of them into your diet, in whichever form, will do a lot of good, as all three soy-based proteins contain calcium, iron, and about 20 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. Plant-based burgers can be made with soy. If you’d love to try one, all you have to do is search for a plant based burger near me, and you’ll get options.
A mainstay protein source for the majority of vegans and vegetarians is seitan. Seitan is a chewy and hearty vegan food that is created from vital wheat gluten, which is the main protein in wheat. Seitan closely resembles and has the texture of meat, more so than many soy-based mock types of meat products. A 3-ounce serving of seitan provides about 25 grams of protein for your body. Seitan also contains small amounts of calcium and iron and is a good source of selenium.
Almost all varieties of beans, from kidney beans to garbanzo beans, contain very high amounts of protein per serving. Most types of beans provide about 15 grams of protein per 100 grams served. Beans are also a good source of fiber, iron, potassium, complex carbs, and different beneficial plant compounds. Furthermore, beans, along with other legumes, help to decrease cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and manage blood sugar.
4. Nutritional yeast
Another prime source of protein for vegans is nutritional yeast, or as commonly called in the vegan community,”Nooch”. This is deactivated yeast that comes in the form of yellow powder or flakes. Nutritional yeast has a unique cheesy taste that makes it quite popular in the vegan community, especially in dishes like scrambled tofu, potato-based dishes, and pasta dishes. As a protein source, it provides about 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, and it also serves as a good source of vitamin B-12.
5. Green vegetables
Vegetables, in general, are often seen as a great source of vitamins and minerals only. However, vegetables like spinach, green peas, and Brussels sprouts all provide a good amount of protein when served.
Apart from the primary protein sources given above, other sources include lentils, whole grains, Ezekiel bread, potatoes, nuts, seeds, etc.