Vegan Protein Sources And Their Benefits

My first question when I decided to change my diet was “Where do I get my proteins from?”. I see that many people have this concern. Let’s try and clear it up  and discover some vegan protein sources.

What Are Proteins and Why Do We Need Them

  • Proteins are large molecules made of amino acids
  • They are antibodies that protect us from viruses and bacteria
  • Proteins are enzymes
  • They are hormones
  • They provide the structure of cells
  • Proteins contribute to transport and storage

How Much Proteins Do We Need

I am sure this was one of your first questions when you considered a vegan diet…

It was mine too and I started to do some research. After some digging, I discovered that when it comes to proteins you can definitely have too much. Nowadays, on a standard meat eating diet the intake of protein is a lot more than necessary. The problem is that it comes with side effects that target your kidneys, gut, heart and liver.

However, can you get too little? Probably if you live on crisps and coke for a long period of time…but we are talking about an adult with a varied intake of vegan proteins. I couldn’t find any medical studies or any other evidence showing cases of protein deficiency in todays world in vegan/vegetarian populations.

Adults require no more than 0.8 to 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight.

Animal Protein vs Plant Protein

Animal protein intake has been associated with:

  1. Heart disease
  2. High Cholesterol
  3. Kidney disease
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Cancer
  6. Inflammatory bowel disease
  7. Gout
  8. Diabetes
  9. Obesity
  10. Stroke
  11. Alzheimer’s disease

How about the vegan protein?

  1. Prevent, stop and even reverse cardiac disease
  2. Lowering cholesterol
  3. Preventing and treating kidney disease
  4. Preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes
  5. Improve digestion
  6. You can get all nine essential amino acids
  7. Weigh loss

Let’s see where we can find them

Lentils

With 18g of protein in a cup, lentils provide a significant amount of your daily protein requirements. Here are some of their benefits:

  • Reduce the risk of colon cancer
  • Help reduce cholesterol
  • Help reduce hypertension
  • Have into inflammatory effects
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Protect against osteoporosis
  • Improve periodontal health
  • Inhibit cancer cell growth

Beans

From Edamame with 31.3g of protein per cup to Lima Beans with 14.7 g of protein per cup, beans give you a variety of choices.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas contain 12g of vegan protein in cup. Here are some of the reasons you should put them on your menu:

  • With their low glycemic index, chickpeas keep blood sugar under control and reduce insulin spikes
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce the risk of colorectal cancer
  • Improve gut health
  • Maintain weight control

Peas

With 8.6grams of protein in a cup, peas are one of the best sources of vegan protein. Here is why:

  • Low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals
  • They contain fibre which promotes the feeling of fulness
  • Regulate blood sugar reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Increase gut health
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Can protect against cancer

Nuts

Almonds and pistachios contain 6g of vegan protein per a handful, while cashews and walnuts 4.3g

Quinoa

With 8g of vegan protein per cup, Quinoa is has many health benefits.

  • Boosts metabolism
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Quinoa is high in fibre, therefore promoting gut health
  • Stabilises blood sugar, having a low glycemic index
  • Is gluten free
  • Has anti inflammatory properties

Tofu

Tofu contains 20g of vegan protein  per cup. Why you should consider tofu?

As you know, too much tofu isn’t good, so after some research, the recommended amount is 3 to 5 servings per day.

Seitan

Seitan is a wheat vegan substitute for meat. High in protein, 21g per serving, contains very little fat and just 4 g of carbohydrates.

  • It’s a source of  vegan protein
  • Easy to cook
  • Good if you have soy allergy

It is a processed vegan protein source. Not everybody likes or tolerates it. Not recommended if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Besides the above protein sources, you must know that all plants and legumes and fruits contain proteins. Here are some examples:

  • Apples 0.3g/100g
  • Banana 1.1g/100g
  • Asparagus 2.2g/100g
  • Broccoli 2.8g/100g
  • Onion 1.1g/100g
  • Olives 0.8g/100g
  • Potato 2g/100g

The bottom line is that there are plenty of vegan protein sources. Having a varied diet will provide you with the necessary amount and quality of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Find out here why you should consider trying a vegan diet.

Did this help you? What else would you like to know about?

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