How To Be Vegan And Get Enough Protein

Protein In More Detail

How Do Vegans Get Enough Protein?

Proteins are the building blocks of the body and an important part of our diet. A balanced diet should include a daily intake of around 0.75grams of protein for every kilo of body weight. There are many protein rich foods for vegetarians, rivalling the protein content of meat products. Popular concern that vegetarians lack protein is misplaced and plant protein has the advantage of containing reduced saturated fat associated with meat protein.

Tips For Increasing Your Protein Consumption

Our beans page offers advice about how to prepare beans in ways that maximize digestibility. You may find that tofu, tempeh, and soy-milk easier to digest than other bean-based foods. Alternately, nuts, seeds, and quinoa are all rich in protein, and easily digested.

If you dont how beans taste or you have trouble digesting them, you should seek out other high-protein foods. Nuts, seeds, and nut butters are all delicious and abundant in protein. Oatmeal and whole wheat bread are also among the most protein-rich vegan foods.

Protein powders can be a godsend to anyone who cant tolerate beans or nuts. They provide a big dose of protein, in a form thats more digestible than bean-based meals. Most brands of protein powder deliver about 20 grams of lysine-rich protein per serving. Orgain makes an all-organic vegan protein powder that sells for half the price of other brands. Buy a shaker cup and you wont have to clean your blender each time you prepare a serving.

How Much Protein Is There In Plants

Plenty! Plant foods can provide all the essential amino acids. These nutrients are protein building blocks that cannot be made by your body. Ensure that most of your meals contain good sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, soya alternatives to milk and yoghurt, or peanuts.

Need more information? Read our detailed PDF.

You can compare your diet to our guidelines using the free VNutrition app.

These are general guidelines about nutrition. If you have concerns about your diet, please talk to your doctor about seeing a dietitian.

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Protein On A Vegan Diet

And thats great news for vegans! While you may be eating less protein than our carnivorous friends in a single serving, eating plants rich in protein can still help you reach your daily goal.

Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind to make sure your earth-friendly, plant based diet has enough protein.

What Are Good Sources Of Protein For Vegetarians And Vegans

How To Get Enough Protein As A Vegan: The Complete Guide

Most vegetarians have enough protein in their diet. Good sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans include:

  • pulses and beans
  • eggs
  • lower-fat dairy products

A variety of protein from different sources is necessary to get the right mixture of amino acids, which are used to build and repair the body’s cells.

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How Much Protein Do You Need

Protein is your bodys main building block. Its essential to make muscles and tendons and skin tissues, and it helps your body produce antibodies to fight infections, Geib says.

Ideally, healthy adults should get about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of their body weight each day. That comes out to 54 grams or so for a 150-pound adult.

But thats just a starting point. If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, or if youre an athlete, youll need more. It depends on many factors including your individual activity level and your muscle mass, Geib says.

For most people, its not necessary to meticulously count or track how much protein youre eating every day.

Just make sure youre eating some with every meal, Geib says. A lot of times Ill see vegetarians and vegans who are eating a lot of pasta or junk food, and theyre not getting in those fruits and vegetables and that well-balanced diet.

If you feel weak or fatigued regularly, or if you find yourself getting hungry shortly after eating a meal, those could be signs that youre not getting enough. A registered dietitian can help you make tweaks to your diet to make sure youre properly fueling your body.

What To Look For In Vegan Protein Powder

Weve seen what plant-based protein powder is all about, and some benefits that elevate it over your run-of-the-mill protein. However, all plant-based protein is not built the same. There are several key differences that will make or break a protein powder. Some of these things may be based on your personal preference, while others will be objectively worse or better.

For example, the flavor and texture is the biggest sticking point for most people. After all, if you dont enjoy it, its going to be much more difficult to motivate yourself to supplement with it. In terms of flavor, youre going to have to read reviews and experiment to find your favorites. And when it comes to texture, some people dislike the texture of certain plant-based protein powders since theyre chalkier. However, this will be different between brands and types of powder.

More importantly, you want to know what exactly is in the protein powder. Supplement regulation isnt as stringent as medical regulation, and so its common to find plenty of fillers in powders. Sometimes these fillers are a benefit because they offer some other type of micronutrient or supplement , but other times theyre just there to bulk up the volume. These fillers can also significantly raise the number of carbs and sugars youll be ingesting along with the protein.

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Everything You Need To Know About Vegan Protein Powder

If you follow a vegan or plant-based lifestyle and love to exercise, the chances are you might not be getting enough protein from food sources alone. Cue: vegan protein powder. Vegan or plant-based protein powders come in a range of different forms including, soy-based protein, pea protein powder, hemp protein powder, and mixed protein powders.

Protein powder is worth adding to your diet as it helps to aid in muscle recovery and refuel your body post-workout. Over the last few years, plant-based protein supplements have become much more accessible , so theres really no excuse to not fuel your body with the right kind of nutrients.

Read on as we unpack everything you need to know about vegan protein powders and how you can incorporate them into your routine.

What Are The Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet

How To Get Enough Protein As A Vegan

There are many reasons someone chooses a vegetarian diet, says Glick. People do it for the health benefits, environmental benefits or animal activism.

Vegetarian diets can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, promote a healthy weight through an emphasis on fruits and veggies and improve diabetes management. Diets higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal products have also led to improved brain function and .

Opting for plant-based foods may also be better for the environment. As Glick explains, the production of animal products takes more fuel, contributing to climate change more than non-animal products. Some people also choose vegetarian diets to protect animals and animal welfare.

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How To Get Protein As A Vegetarian Key Veggie Foods With Protein

Vegetarians can get enough protein each day from beans, pulses and dairy products.

Dairy sources include eggs, cheese, milk, yogurts, fortified soy, oat or rice drinks. Pulse sources are any beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

There are also vegetarian foods which include tofu, mycoprotein and tempeh. Nuts and seeds are tasty and protein-filled too.

All these ingredients can be used in a variety of simple meals, or eaten on their own. Pulses in particular are very cheap and good for you as theyre also packed with fibre and minerals.

What Are The Health Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet can be very healthy, but your diet won’t automatically be healthier if you cut out meat. Like everyone, vegetarians need to make sure they:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates
  • include some dairy or dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts
  • eat some beans, pulses, eggs and other proteins
  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids the government recommends 6 to 8 cups/glasses a day

If you choose foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts.

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The 18 Best Protein Sources For Vegans And Vegetarians

Alina Petre, MS, RD Rachael Link, MS, RDKim Chin, RD

A common concern about vegetarian and vegan diets is that they may lack sufficient protein.

However, many experts agree that a well-planned meatless diet can provide all the nutrients you need, including protein .

That said, certain plant foods contain significantly more protein than others, and new and older studies alike suggest that higher protein diets can promote muscle strength, feelings of fullness, and weight loss (

How To Eat More Protein On A Veggie Or Vegan Diet

Get Enough Protein
  • Opt for soya

Soya is a great vegan and vegetarian protein source. The soya bean is a legume, used to make tofu, soya milk and fermented soya products such as tempeh. As an example, 100g of tofu contains a healthy 8g of protein, so when mixed with other veggie and vegan protein sources, it can contribute towards a good dose of muscle-boosting protein.

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  • Meat swaps

If you miss the taste or texture of meat, or youre a meat-eater looking to incorporate some meat-free days into your week, then youre in luck as a wealth of meat taste-alikes are available. Brands such as Quorn make great basics such as vegetarian mince and nuggets, whilst newer groundbreaking brands such as Beyond Meat and The Vegetarian Butcher do great protein-rich meat-alternatives products that mean you can continue to enjoy tacos, meatballs and burgers – just without the meat.

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  • Stock up on protein powder

If youre training hard and keen to maintain or even build muscle mass, you may have a slightly increased protein requirement. To cater to this need, Emily suggests adding vegan protein powder to your diet. Adding a scoop to your morning smoothie or oatmeal is a great way to boost your protein intake.’

  • Add pulses to pretty much everything
  • Snack on nuts and seeds

Although theyre high in fat, nuts and seeds also contain some protein, particularly walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.

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  • Eggs and dairy for veggies

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How Do Vegans Get Ripped

According to the people over at Mens Fitness the principles of building muscle are the same if youre vegan or not: after a workout, eat protein balance your meals with fat, protein and carbs and eat fewer carbohydrates at night. Good news for anyone who wants to get ripped and follow a vegan diet.

Fitting In More Protein

If youre struggling to pack on muscle mass and develop strength, protein powder might be the key that youre missing. While its relatively easier to eat more protein as an omnivore, vegans can also successfully use protein powders to increase their gains. Just including a protein shake once or twice a day between meals can be enough to significantly increase your daily calories, and therefore increase your mass and energy levels.

Opting for milk instead of water in protein shakes is a good idea for omnivores, but vegans can include the powder in fruit smoothies, for example. Adding protein powder into oatmeal or baking recipes is also a great way to up your protein intake in as effortless way as possible.

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Getting Protein From Plant Sources

  • 1Eat vegetable sprouts. We often eat the vegetable and toss out the plant’s nutrient-rich sprout or shoot, but a plant that’s sprouted has grown into a deeper nutritional state. In fact, sprouts have the highest protein content of any vegetable.XResearch sourceXResearch source
  • Eat sprouted beans, lentils, and peas that are low in calories but dense with protein.
  • Try cutting the sprouts away and adding them to your salads and sandwiches.
  • 2Choose protein-rich vegetables. Most people consume far too much protein in their diets. Humans only need to get about 10 â 35% of their calories from protein. Most whole vegan food sources provide 10 â 20% of their calories from protein.XResearch sourceFood and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, âDietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids,â Washington, DC: National Academy Press . Consuming whole, unprocessed foods is always best to obtain adequate, optimal sources of protein. Good examples of plant-based proteins include:XResearch source
  • Cooked lima beans, which have 11.6 g per cup
  • Green peas, which have 7.9 g of protein per cup
  • Kale, which has 0.7 g of protein per cup
  • Other rich sources of vegetable protein include broccoli and broccoli raab, cooked mushrooms, yellow corn, and green leafy vegetables like spinach and collard greens.
  • Uncooked wheat germ has 26.6 g of protein per cup .
  • Cooked oat bran has 7 g of protein per cup .
  • Split peas
  • Power Up Your Diet With Vegan Probiotics

    How to Get Enough Protein On a Vegan Diet

    You can also elevate a plant-based diet further withGRO WELL Hair Boost Supplement + Probiotic Multi-Pack, which is perfect for those looking to boost immunity, hair and overall health. The delicious supplement is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, 50 million CFU probiotics and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which support healthy keratin and collagen production. Supercharge any drink with the powder to support a healthy gut microbiome and circulation, as well as promote and help encourage visibly thicker, fuller, longer-looking hair.

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    Veganuary: 6 Easy Ways To Eat Enough Protein On A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

    Worried about getting enough protein on a veggie or vegan diet? It’s not hard if you know how…

    Often, we might struggle to eat more protein on a veggie or vegan diet. Typically, we associate protein with meat, dairy and animal products, whereas vegetarian diets don’t allow for much in the way of these, whilst vegan diets avoid them altogether in favour of a plant-based approach to eating.

    But there are plenty of other ways that veggies and vegans can ensure they get enough protein, as a slew of the best vegan cookbooks have demonstrated – and as we set out in more detail below.

    But first things first – just why is protein so important?

    Holland & Barrett nutritionist Emily Rollason explains that protein plays an important role in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

    Made up of amino acids, protein is responsible for building muscle, bone and skin. Every cell in your body contains protein and its vital for many functions such as repairing tissue and producing new blood cells, as well as production of hormones to name only a few.

    She adds: Because of this, it also benefits the body by aiding with recovery after an injury or intense workout and reduces muscle loss.

    Emily explains that protein is a macronutrient, which means the body needs large quantities of it to provide energy to the body and to stay healthy.

    Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast

    Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.

    However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.

    Protein powders make it easy to create a healthy, high protein shake. There are several types on the market, including whey, soy, egg, and pea protein.

    Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (

    Heres a basic whey shake recipe:

    Whey Protein Shake

    • 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
    • 1 scoop of whey powder
    • 1 cup of fresh berries
    • stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
    • 1/2 cup of crushed ice

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

    To boost the protein content even further, use extra protein powder or add peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, or chia seeds.


    Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.

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    A Better Option For Recipes

    Theres a plethora of recipes out there that call for protein powder in unique and tasty ways. A lot of these are recipes for baked goods, such as brownies and pancakes. However, not all protein powders can be used interchangeably in these recipes because of uniquely different properties. Plant-based protein tends to be thicker and usually absorbs water better than animal-based protein, which makes it uniquely useful for cooking and baking needs.

    Whether or not youre a maestro in the kitchen, plant-based protein powders give you a lot more options outside of the classic protein shake or smoothie. Not only can they be more tasty, but they can effortlessly boost your protein intake throughout the day without you noticing or having to put in extra effort.

    What Are Good Vegetarian And Vegan Sources Of Omega

    Proteins: The Simple 8 Ways How Vegans Get Enough Of Them ...
    • flaxseed oil
    • soya oil and soya-based foods
    • walnuts

    Omega-3 enriched eggs are also a good source if you’re a vegetarian and include eggs in your diet.

    Evidence suggests that the type of omega-3 fatty acids found in these foods may not have the same benefits for reducing the risk of heart disease as those found in oily fish.

    However, if you follow a vegetarian diet, you can look after your heart by eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, cutting down on food that is high in saturated fat, and watching how much salt you eat.

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