Published: 10/11/2012 - Updated: 10/25/2018
Author: Miriam Reyes
If you are vegan, you should know, it is important to include enough protein in your diet to satisfy your requirements, and it can be a challenge, but not impossible.
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in how our bodies function. But too much protein is associated with several conditions. We must be aware that it is more important to eat a varied diet to focus on any nutrient. As long as calorie ingestion is adequate, it may be easier for vegan diets to keep protein recommendations about 36-45 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. That's about 48-60 grams / day.
Main sources of protein in the vegan diet
Today, it’s a great time to be a vegan. As the number of vegans are growing, vegan product demand increases. There are plenty of nutrient-dense foods, rich in protein. Even meat eaters should vary their protein sources, and try some of these:
They are the basis for all diets.
- 1 avocado: provides 10 grams of protein
- 1 cup broccoli: 5 grams
- 1 cup of spinach: 5 grams
- 2 cups cooked kale: 5 grams
- 1 cup cooked peas: 9 grams
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato: 5 grams
They are an excellent source of vegetable protein. Specifically lentils and beans have been the basis of many diets for centuries.
- 1 cup soy beans: 28 grams (1 cup tofu – 22 grams, 1 cup of tempeh – 30 grams)
- 1 cup lentils: 18 grams
- 1 cup refried beans: 15.5 grams
- 1 cup chickpeas (hummus): 14.5 grams
- 1 cup black beans: 13-15 grams
Nuts and seeds
An important source in the diet of most vegetarians and vegans.
- 1 oz cashews: 4.4 grams
- 1 oz sesameseeds: 6.5 grams, 3 tablespoons of “tahini”: 8 grams
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) of nuts: 5 grams
- 1 oz pistachios: 5.8 grams
- 2 tablespoons of almonds: 4 grams
- Nut butters, peanut butter, almond butter, etc. 2 tablespoons has about 8 grams of protein.
Soy milk, almonds, or some grains, contributes about 7-9 grams of protein per cup.
Grains and sprouted grains, multi-grains are an important part of the diet.
- Quinoa is versatile and delicious: 1 cup – 9 grams.
- The bulgur, amaranth, brown rice, wheat germ, oat bran are other cereals that are high in protein.
- Wheat gluten flavored: about 52 grams per cup, but it may not be a good idea to eat a lot of it.
- Oatmeal: 1 cup gives us 6 grams.
- Brown bread: about 9 grams.
There are some “spirulina” based supplements that are often used by vegetarians and vegans for its rich content of nutrients and protein.
Other topic about vegan diets is whether; vegans do or do not need more iron or iodine. The requirements can be supplied without animal sources, but it is good to be aware of it.
Whether it is a lifestyle long term or cleaning diet, to become vegan can be fun and rewarding. However, as with any diet, it is possible to be an unhealthy vegan. No matter the diet in question, we must always satisfy the basic requirements of our body.
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