Nobody can begrudge you for being a vegan considering the proliferation of diseases associated with animal products. While this is a wise choice, it is important for you to avoid losing their daily essential protein intake.
Unlike vegetarians who consume dairy and poultry products that contain proteins, you shun animal products completely. Considering that humans derive a huge chunk of their proteins from animals, you are disadvantaged and need to have alternative sources of protein.
Let us begin by establishing a few issues about Proteins:
- Proteins are called body building foods for a reason. They comprise about 20% of the body and are responsible for building of muscles, metabolism, repairing body tissues and formation of hormones and enzymes among other functions.
- Without adequate proteins, your body would become dysfunctional because there would be no sufficient amino acids (types of protein) to help in all biological procedures. Remember that you need 21 amino acids and while your body can only generate 11 of these inherently, you can only get the remaining 10 through the food you eat.
Where Can A Vegan Get Proteins From?
As a vegan, you need to understand that while animal products contain a lot of protein, you can still derive your daily intake from plant sources. However, it is crucial for you to understand exactly which foods contain proteins. The last thing you want is to get a disease related to protein deficiency or to experience a breakdown of body functions owing to lack of proteins.
From the onset, you need to understand that the recommended daily intake of proteins differs from person to person depending on gender, health condition, age and physical activity. If you are in doubt about exactly how much protein you need to take, it is important that you talk to a nutritionist .You should also consider that the digestive process of animal protein differs from that of animal protein thus requiring adjustment of portions to fit your individual needs.
Some Of The Best Sources Of Proteins For Vegans:
Green Peas: You may not take milk because of your beliefs but one cup of peas will give you the same amount of protein you get from a glass of milk (7.9 grams). The advantage with this legume is that it can be cooked separately or be blended with other foods. Peas also contain fiber which you need for proper digestion.
Quinoa: This seed contains 8 grams or more of protein in every cup. More importantly, it carries all the important amino acids (9) that you need for your body to grow and repair damaged tissue. You can eat quinoa by adding it to soup, serving it with brown sugar during breakfast or tossing it with vegetables.
Non-Dairy Drinks: Here you can choose between soy milk, coconut milk and almond milk. The three are produced from plant sources with soy milk having the same amount of protein as the one you find in a comparable measure of cow milk. Although almond milk is low in proteins, its nutritional content is high.
Nuts and Butters: Almonds, pistachios and cashews are some of the best sources of protein from the plant world. Every ounce of these nuts contains 5 to 6 grams of protein. They also have fats. Peanut and almond butter contain a lot of healthy protein, but you must avoid those with added sugar and hydrogenated oils.
Vegetables: They may have incomplete protein but they can come in handy for your protein needs if you blend them with whole grains. Brussels sprouts, spinach and broccoli are very rich sources of protein. Don’t forget also that lentils and chickpeas are legumes with high protein content. The other advantage of getting your protein from vegetables is that you will also be fulfilling your mandatory need for vegetables as part of a balanced diet.
Beans: Perhaps this is the best and cheapest sources of proteins for vegans. Legumes grow in abundance in many places on the planet. You can choose from white, black, heirloom, pinto and many others. They are all loaded with proteins and fibre, are easy to prepare and can be eaten solely or as part of other meals.
Soy: Although soy is a bean, it deserves to be discussed in isolation owing to its high protein content. Its versatility is evident in the manner in which it has been made into different products like milk and meat. In terms of nutritional content, soy is a complete protein.
Tofu and Tempe: These are foods that are made from soya beans. They contain all the proteins found in soya but are also made edible and more nutritious. The two also contain high amounts of fibre and vitamins, which give you even better reasons to eat them. Various communities have made tofu and Tempe staple foods and the health benefits to such people are evidenced by good health and longer lives.
Edamane: This is a creative way of enjoying soy. It is simply soy that is still in the pods, boiled and served while hot or cold. Every half cup will give you about 8.4 grams of protein. You can eat it with pastas and salads (but remember to remove the shell) or as an appetiser before supper.
Hemp: Yes, you read it well. Right from the dreaded marijuana! Hemp is derived from cannabis but does not have the element that intoxicates. Hemp seeds can be added to baked goods, pestos or smoothies for their high protein content. You may also want to try out hemp powder, milk or oil as they are made from a complete protein.
Sunflower, Sesame and Poppy Seeds: Each of these seeds contains a lot of protein, with sunflower leading at 7.3 grams for every quarter cup. While there are a variety of ways to prepare them, you will get more benefits if you simply add the seeds to your meals, where necessary.
At A Glance:
- Choosing to be vegan is important for your healthy and also makes it possible for you to live longer and enjoy life.
- Studies have shown that vegans live longer than people who eat more animal products.
- Veganism is a lifestyle choice which prevents you from contracting a lot of diseases especially those associated with animals.
- However, as a vegan you need to understand that you will have to look for other sources of protein in order to live optimally.
- You need protein for almost all body functions, to build muscles and to repair tissues and also for other biological processes to take place.
- Your safest best for proteins, considering your lifestyle, is in plant sources. Such protein is natural and cheap to obtain.
- Legumes are among the best sources of protein for vegans since they are complete proteins, while also containing a lot of fibre too.
- Soy-based foods like tofu will guarantee you your daily protein intake while offering you other dietary benefits,
- Nuts and butters are other natural sources of healthy plant protein, which also supply you with essential fats.
- Brace yourself for lots of proteins from hemp. You will not be consuming addictive and poisonous cannabis but complete protein in hemp seeds, milk and oil.
Check out my Favourite Vegan Raw Blueberry Cake Recipe!
Prepare your Ingredients!
Bottom layer Ingredients:
3 cups of organic almonds
and pinch of sea salt
Second layer Ingredients:
2 cups of soaked organic cashew nuts
1 cup organic fresh blueberries
1 cup coconut water ( I am a coconut abscessed, but you can use just filtered water )
2 tbsp honey or agave syrup
3-4 tbsp melted coconut oil
How to prepare it!
Preparing your First layer:
Add all of the ingredients, almonds, dates and a pinch of salt to the food processor and mix everything until sticks together.
With your hands press the crust out in a cake – I like a tin layer!
Preparing your Second layer;
Yummy blueberry mash cream!
Add all the ingredients, cashew nuts, blueberries, dates, honey, coconut oil and coconut water to a blender. Blend until you get a thick, smooth mash.
Spread the mash over the crust and let the cake sit in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours!
Take the cake out just before serving, so it does not melt!
Be creative and decorate the cake with some fresh blueberries and few mint leaves!
Isn’t it easy?!
A Perfect dessert for those hot summer days! Enjoy!
Your Grace Guru