If you’ve made the switch to banning all animal products from you diet, there are still ways to get the protein you need. With more and more people becoming conscious about what they put in their bodies, there are quite a few out there who have decided to make the switch from being a meat-eater to basing their diet only on plant-based sources. There’s a ton of reasons why people decide to go vegan, but for the most part it is due to the health reasons and preserving all living forms. Some people even claim that eating vegan diet makes them feel much better than when they ate meat.
Below You Can Find Some Good Reasons to Go Vegan
- It’s the Best Way to Help Our Friends in the Animal Kingdom
Eating meat, especially the factory raised that is most widely available in the world today, doesn’t do much good to the animals we’re getting these sources from. Animals that are raised for meat and dairy products don’t always live in the best conditions, and switching to a vegan diet is one of the best ways we can cut down on this type of cruelty. For each person that goes vegan, over 100 animals are saved each year. How’s that for helping out our friends in the animal kingdom?
- It Can Help you Lose Weight
Are you looking to shed a few unwanted pounds? Going vegan can help tremendously if you want to slim down and look your best. On average vegans weigh less than those that consume meat and dairy (around 20 pounds less). This is pretty amazing for those that want to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off for a long term.
- It’s Good for Your Health
Do you want to be the healthiest you have ever been and prevent any unwanted diseases? Most people don’t want to develop a life-threatening disease, and becoming a vegan can do wonders for keeping you healthy throughout the rest of your life. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure than those who eat meat. Going vegan is one of the most ideal (and simple) ways to avoid these nasty conditions and to live a healthy life.
You probably already knew all this though, right? You might be wondering how to get the protein you need while reaping all of the benefits of a vegan diet. It turns out, a little goes a long way and we can easily get what our bodies need without the need to consume meat and dairy. Seriously, as long as you’re getting the right amount of calories in your diet, you really only need about 48-60 grams of protein each day. Good news, but you still may be wondering where the heck these recommended grams of protein are going to come from without sourcing to meat or dairy. Luckily for the vegan like you, there is little mystery behind this, and it’s simple to find the right amount of protein your body needs from plant and grain based sources.
5 Great Sources of Protein for Vegans
All vegans (and carnivores alike) know the importance veggies make in their diet. There are some vegetables that serve as an awesome source of protein. Kale has been touted as the “new beef” for the ample amounts of protein it provides. Just two cups of kale has 5 grams of the protein your body needs. Speaking of green vegetables, you may not have known that peas are packed with protein. Just one cup of boiled peas has a whopping 9 grams of protein. Pair that with some carrots for a well-balanced meal! Just one avocado has 10 grams of protein and offers some of the healthiest fats your body needs.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are literally a staple in most vegetarian and vegan diets, and for a good reason. They are packed with protein. One ounce of pistachio nuts contains 5.8 grams of the protein you need, with an ounce of sesame seeds sliding in at 6.5 grams. Two ounces of walnuts will give you a full 5 grams, and an ounce of cashews falls just short of this at 4.4 grams of protein. Nut butters are also a delicious way to get your body the protein it needs. Almond, peanut, and cashew butters are some of the most popular vegan choices, and two tablespoons offers just around 8 grams of a healthy protein alternative.
Good, healthy grains are a part of every health conscious diet, and eating the right grains can offer all the protein you need if going vegan. Quinoa is all over the place these days. With a numerous health benefits, it also comes with plenty of protein offering 9 grams per cup. Oatmeal is a great way to get your protein in the morning without having to eat any eggs. Just one cup has 6 great grams, and will keep you fuller through the day than any egg could ever do.
Beans, beans the wonderful fruit, the more you eat….Okay, all jokes aside, beans and legumes are actually considered vegetables and do wonders for adding a ton of protein to a vegan diet. One cup of soybeans has…are you ready…almost 30 grams of protein. You can get this in their raw form or in the form of tofu. Just make sure the tofu is sourced from organic sources as soybeans tend to become pretty processed. A cup of garbanzo beans, or a cup of prepared hummus, will give you 14 grams of the daily protein you need. Mexican food lovers can get 15.5 grams of protein from a cup of refried beans.
Most traditional protein supplements are made from whey or casein – both of which are derived from animal proteins. In addition to the fact that they’re obviously not vegan, many people have a tough time tolerating whey and casein- what’s more, these supplements are both milk derived, so they have a tendency to cause weight gain. The good news is that there are some great vegan alternatives out there, that combine protein from a variety of plant based sources to create a balanced amino acid profile. My favorite is the Sun Warrior Warrior Blend, which combines pea, brown rice and hemp protein.
As with any diet, it is possible to be an unhealthy vegan. While there are a lot of “meatless” options out there, many of these foods are overly processed and laden with chemicals. The best way to be a healthy vegan is to get your food from all natural sources and be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that is full of all the nutrients your body needs.