After An Extra Protein Packed Punch For Training
If you train really hard at the gym or as an athlete, without adequate protein, you could leave your muscles with a deficit of the building blocks they need to recover. Theres a lot of debate as to the ideal amount of protein to consume on a daily basis each individual needs to work out their bodys specific need.
If you feel like you do need even more vegan protein in your diet you can always top up after your workout with a protein shake! Fundamentally, vegan shakes consist of either soy, hemp, rice, and/or pea protein powders. We love Australian vegan-friendly brands PranaOn and Nuzest.
Best Sources Of Vegan Protein
The best sources of vegan protein for you should follow the following criteria:
- Provides a good amount of protein density – at least 25% of the calories are coming from protein.
- Provides other nutritional benefits like vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, or fiber.
- Fits within your calorie and macro goals.
- Tastes good and makes you feel good from the inside out!
To get some ideas on where to start, here are some favorites:
Nuts And Seeds High In Protein
Power-packed with nutritional benefits, nuts and seeds are a great way for vegans to cram in essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like protein. Here are the top five nuts and seeds to get if youre looking to increase your protein intake:
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Vegan Meats And Dairy Alternatives
Animals arent protein sources theyre our friends. There are so many vegan meats, non-dairy milks, and other plant-based foods that are high in protein, mind-blowingly delicious, and so much healthier that you wont even have time to crave animals bodies, eggs, or milk.
Nutritional Yeast 9 grams of protein per two tablespoons : Good source of fibre, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and all the B vitamins, including B12
Seitan 25 grams of protein per 100 grams : Great source of selenium
Soy Milk 8 grams of protein per cup : Great source of potassium, isoflavones, and vitamins A and B12, and often fortified with calcium and vitamin D
Tempeh 41 grams of protein per cup : Great source of probiotics, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus
Tofu 20 grams of protein per cup : Great source of calcium, manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine
How Can I Get 120g Of Protein A Day
Getting 120g of protein a day is achievable with the right diet. Make sure to include plenty of high-protein foods in your daily meals and snacks, such as eggs, red meat, nuts and seeds, dairy products, lentils and legumes, ancient grains like quinoa and amaranth, leafy greens like spinach and kale, fish such as salmon or tuna, tofu or tempeh, nut butters and other snacking options. Additionally, you can supplement with protein powders if needed.
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Cup Nuts Or Cup Hummus
If you are looking for a non-traditional protein source to include into your vegan diet, hummus and nuts are clever solution. Both hummus and nuts can be high protein snacks between meals. A ½ cup serving of nuts or hummus contains 15g of protein . It is important to note- both nuts and hummus contain a higher fat content than other vegan protein choices, so remember to be mindful about how often you include them in your plan. Heres a great recipe for a Classic Hummus to include throughout your weekly planning. Remember ½ cup to get 0.5P serving.
The Best Vegan Foods High In Protein
I collected the nutritional information for over 120 vegan whole foods from the USDAs food database, which includes protein content.
The standard way to look at nutrients in food is per 100 grams, but Ive also included a column for the amount of protein per 100 calories if youre trying to lose weight and still hit certain macros.
One food that was not included here was nutritional yeast, since I wasnt sure if it counts as a typical food. However, fortified nutritional yeast has a lot of protein and vitamin B12, and can be added on top of many meals for a cheesy flavor.
The top results are mostly legumes and seeds: Multiple types of beans, along with lentils and peanuts. Soybeans are at the top of legumes.
Surprisingly, whole grains like oats also have a good amount of protein, just a lot of calories overall as well.
If youre trying to hit certain macros on a diet plan, the list above may not be enough information for you. The following post might be more useful: The 30 Top High Protein Low Fat Vegan Foods.
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Plant Based Protein Considerations
There is some debate around what is considered the “best” vegan protein option to opt for. Of course, what truly reigns supreme can differ from one person to the next, depending on your fitness and health goals, as well as your food preferences.
Here are some of the top considerations when looking to add more protein to your vegan meal plan.
Best Vegan Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein
Per 2 scoops: 90 calories, 2.3 g total fat, 0 grams total carbs, 0 g sugar, 525 mg sodium, 18 g protein
“One tablespoon contains 8 grams of protein and only 35 calories,” Salbuvik says, which means this pick is ideal for a calorie-restricted diet. Salbuvik also likes that this protein powder is made with only one ingredient: vegetable pea protein isolate.
A February 2011 study in showed that a calorie-restricted legume-based diet can lead to more weight loss than a similar diet that’s legume-free in people with obesity. This may be because pea protein is high in fiber, which is great for keeping you satisfied and your blood sugar levels stable.
Plus, this protein powder is batch-tested and verified gluten-free, unflavored, unsweetened and contains no artificial additives.
Buy it: Price: $17.49
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Mediterranean Vs Vegan Diet: Which Is Better
The Mediterranean diet and vegan diet are two popular eating plans. Both have been well-studied for their many potential health benefits.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating patterns of people in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy. Its known for promoting a variety of foods that are both flavorful and nutritious.
Meanwhile, the vegan diet encourages a wide range of plant-based foods and is associated with both health and environmental benefits.
While there are some clear similarities between these two diet plans, you may also wonder how they compare.
This article takes a closer look at the Mediterranean and vegan diets to help you determine which is right for you, if either.
Umami Almond Quinoa Burger
Think its only those meaty store-bought burgers that are high in protein? Most homemade burgers are made with nuts, seeds, beans, and grains which are all great sources of protein. Combining quinoa with raw almonds, these Umami Almond Quinoa patties are protein-rich veggie burgers. They are very flavorful without being spicy for little palates.
- 1tbsptamarior coconut aminos for soy-free version
- 1 1/2tbsptomato paste
- 1/2tspdried rosemaryor 1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 3/4 1cupgreen onionssliced
- 1/2cupsun-dried tomatoesnot oil-packed preferably pre-sliced or, chop before adding to processor, see note
- 1 1/2cupscooked quinoacooled first can substitute brown rice
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How Much Protein Do Vegans Need
Not as much as people would have you believe. Somehow, everyone got the idea that we need exorbitant amounts of protein, way more than is even recommended. I know, its fun to blame government agencies and cry conspiracy, but if you actually look at the recommendations, theyre not that high at all.
For example, the U.S. recommended daily allowance of protein is .8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight for the general population.
Protein for vegan athletes is somewhat more complicated, as greater tissue-repair need require more protein and general, and athletes tend to pay more attention to amino acid balance.
Some successful endurance athletes get as little as 5% of their calories from protein and since a gram of protein contains about four calories, thats less than 35 grams of protein a day for a 2500-calorie-per-day diet!
At the other extreme are vegan bodybuilders and those new to the plant-based diet who are accustomed to higher amounts of protein and worried about what will happen when they stop eating meat. They aim for higher amounts of protein, often 25 to 30 percent of calories. Its hard to get this amount from whole plant-foods, so they often turn to vegan protein supplements to get the extra boost theyre looking for.
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Vegan Protein Sources To Help You Crush Your Macros
EMMIE SATRAZEMIS, RD, CSSD September 14, 2019
While most pant based eaters likely don’t struggle with getting enough protein for basic needs, achieving a high protein vegan diet may be a different story. Plants aren’t traditionally protein-rich, even though they can contain some protein, so when it comes to switching up your vegan macro balance to align with your fitness goals you have to know where to look. To help you crush your daily macros, here’s everything you need to know about upping your protein with plants.
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Why Do We Need Protein
Protein is an essential part of our nutrition, making up about 17% of the bodys weight and it is the main component of our muscles, skin, internal organs, especially the heart and brain, as well as our eyes, hair and nails. Our immune system also requires protein to help make antibodies that are required to help fight infections, and protein also plays a role in blood sugar regulation, fat metabolism and energy function.
Protein foods actually break down into 22 naturally occurring amino acids, which are known as the building blocks of protein. Of these, nine are known as essential amino acids, which means we must get them from food, as the body cannot make them itself. Protein is also a good source of a range of vitamins and minerals such as zinc and B vitamins. As a vegan, its important that all these amino acids are included in the diet to provide optimum nutrition.
The key to getting the right amount of protein, and all the necessary amino acids, is to combine different grains with different vegetables and pulses such as beans and rice, or tofu with broccoli. Variety is key when it comes to being vegan, and not using substitute products such as vegan cheese to make up any deficiency as they are technically a processed food and offer little health benefit.
Looking for more information on high-protein foods? Why not check out our high-protein recipes collection and then discover the best vegetarian protein sources to try.
How Seitan May Affect Gut Health
Seitan is made from pure gluten, so some people are concerned that eating it may negatively affect your gut health.
Theres not much evidence that gluten harms gut health in folks who arent sensitive to it.
There are theories especially in natural health spaces that eating gluten may contribute to developing leaky gut, but this syndrome isnt recognized by most mainstream medical professionals.
In a healthy, properly functioning gut, intestinal permeability is tightly regulated. That means only small food particles can pass through into the bloodstream .
There is some evidence that the gut may become leaky, allowing larger particles through. This is called increased intestinal permeability, and it may be associated with a higher risk of food sensitivities, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases in some people .
However, there isnt enough evidence to support the claim that leaky gut itself is a true medical condition, and studies on glutens ability to affect intestinal permeability have produced mixed results.
While some test-tube studies suggest it can occur even among people without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity older human studies indicate that its more likely among people who have these conditions, as well as those with irritable bowel syndrome .
A registered dietitian can help you identify the possible link between your diet and any symptoms youre experiencing .
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Do You Need To Take Protein Supplements On A Vegan Diet
You dont need to supplement protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet , as long as you are making sure to enrich your diet with alternative sources of protein.
Plant-based protein is a rich and varied alternative to animal products and even those bodybuilders who still consider themselves carnivores are switching to hemp, pea, and rice protein as it is a complete protein containing all of your 9 branch chain amino acids.
Here are some articles you might find useful:
- check Vegan Athlete Diet
Can You Get Enough Protein As A Vegan Athlete
Being vegan can have its challenges for athletes and those who exercise, as it is important to ensure there is adequate energy and protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as some key nutrients such as vitamin B12, zinc and iron, as well as calorie intake.
A recent study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that vegan diets can be more difficult to maintain and that there may be some issues around digestion and absorption of key nutrients, but with careful management and some supplementation, a vegan diet ‘can achieve the needs of most athletes satisfactorily‘.
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Penguin Grass Fed Protein Blend
Image courtesy Penguin
Our Vegan Protein is a restorative blend made from pea protein. It comes in five delicious flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Cookies & Cream, and Rocky Road. Each serving contains 30 grams of protein, 20 grams of CBD, and 10 grams of Collagen. With 840 total grams per bag and 30 servings per bag, you’ll be able to stick to your diet while still indulging in something yummy. Our unique formula includes a customized mushroom complex rich in antioxidants, Turmeric for anti-inflammatory purposes, Collagen for skin health, and Ashwagandha an adaptogen. You won’t find any artificial sweeteners or coloring here!
Vegan Protein Source #: Farro
This ancient grain packs a decent amount of protein when compared to other grains in the American diet. Although the exact amount of protein varies per type of farro, half of a cup of pre-cooked Italian farro has 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture . Naturally rich in iron, a nutrient even nutritionists dont get enough of, farro is an excellent source of nutrition for vegans. Use farro like you would use any other cooked grainas a base for cooked Asian vegetables, an addition to your favorite soup, or topped with berries and almond milk for a delicious breakfast.
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What To Look For In The Best Vegan Protein Powder
When shopping for a vegan protein powder, Sass recommends looking for products with simple, recognizable ingredients and steering clear of artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. You can easily find single-ingredient vegan protein powders where the only ingredient is the plant protein itself and nothing else. These are also more versatilewithout added sweeteners and flavors, they can be used in a wider variety of dishes, she says.
Consider the source of the protein as well. The best sources will be organic and non-GMO, explains Dr. Pedre. Organic and non-GMO avoids contamination with pesticides, which are harmful to gut bacteria and can lead to leaky gut, he explains.
When shopping for a vegan protein powder, common protein sources include blends of different plant-based proteins, such as pea, brown rice and different seeds, making these varieties of vegan protein powders the most accessible and often affordable. However, as mentioned above, soy-based protein powders might have a nutritional edge over other varieties, as they contain all nine essential amino acids.
Veggies Beans And Lentils
Not only do vegetables, beans, and lentils have heaps of protein in them, theyre also superior to animal-based protein sources. Who needs saturated fat, cholesterol, antibiotics, hormones, faeces, and bad karma when you can eat plants loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, and good vibes? These foods not only dont increase your risk of developing cancer and disease, as meat does, but actually lower it.
Artichokes 8 grams of protein per cup: Great source of vitamin C, fibre, potassium, and magnesium
Asparagus 4.5 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of B vitamins and folate
Avocado 4 grams of protein per cup: Loaded with vitamins C, E, K, and B6 as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium
Black Beans 15 grams of protein per cup: Great source of antioxidants, fibre, folate, copper, manganese, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron
Broccoli 4 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of calcium, vitamin C, fibre, and B vitamins
Chickpeas 15 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese
Edamame 20 grams per cup: Great source of vitamin K1, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, iron, copper, and manganese
Green Peas 9 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and several B vitamins as well as fibre, folate, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K
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