Clean Sources of Plant Based Protein
Protein is necessary for the body. Proteins are building blocks for our tissues, organs and organ systems.
Many people that have been raised eating meat and dairy are sure that a vegan diet will be deficient in protein. Marketing is very powerful and has impacted our belief system in a very profound way.
As it turns out, it is easy as a vegan/vegetarian eater to acquire sufficient protein in one's diet as many of our plants, legumes, nuts and seeds are packed with protein!
It is recommended that 10-12 percent of calories coming from protein for vegans. (1)
When we speak of Clean proteins, we are referring to those proteins with minim al additives and that have been sustainably harvested and grown. They can also be simple sources that are free of pesticides. Choosing the right proteins for ingestion is key to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here are some clean sources that we use and make sure that we incorporate into our diet on a daily basis.
1 cup of cooked spinach = 5 grams of protein!. In the protein and green department, spinach evidently delivers. As a woman I do not depend on spinach in a huge way because of the oxalic acid and the link between kidney stones and oxalates. Spinach however is perfect as a protein source once in a while.. Everything in moderation right? Kale is also a great source of protein with about 3 grams of protein per cup. We recommend a thorough washing and organic all the way with green leafies.
1 cup of cooked lentils = 18 grams of protein. 1cup of chickpeas = 15. Clearly these are where one should focus as a vegan for a staple protein source. Soak and cook your own beans or buy ones in BPA-free cans is our recommendation here. Again, we recommend organic
1 serving (3 TBSP) of shelled hempseeds = 10 grams of protein. We throw hemp seeds on everything from salads to breakfast oatmeal bowls, in smoothies, and toasted on pastas. Awesome source of protein.
1 cup of peas = 8 g protein! Again either try to use frozen and if you do buy canned choose BPA-free and organic. We recently had a pea homous and it was spectacular.
1/4 cup serving of almonds = 8 grams of protein. Nuts, so easy to carry around and keep on hand. Levelling blood sugar and tiding you over in between meals. Again, buy organic.
And of course this list would not be complete without the beautiful and amazing avocado which provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. At about 2 g protein per 100g and unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocadoes also contain fiber.
There are so many great sources of protein for vegans and it is simply a matter of education. This list is a great place to start and springboard off from.
In my diet, I try to have a consistent variety of all of the above.
How do you cope with the dietary protein requirements of being vegetarian/vegan? We would love to hear about your tips and tricks in the comments below.