The most frequently asked questions for people following the vegan lifestyle are - “Is plant-based protein an effective substitute for animal protein?” and “Does a vegan diet plan have sufficient proteins?” The answer is yes & yes! A well-planned vegan diet can effectively fulfil the body’s protein requirements.
Following a vegan lifestyle essentially means avoiding the consumption of products made from animals. Cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs from your diet and replacing them with effective plant-based substitutes, is tough initially, but there are numerous alternatives and one such is opting for a vegan diet high in protein. Various ingredients and recipes have emerged in recent times that make transitioning to a vegan diet much easier.
Protein is especially important in a diet for gym-goers. It aids with muscle recovery and growth, therefore protein shakes are extremely convenient for active individuals and athletes. There are essentially two types of protein powder supplements on the market: whey protein and plant-based protein powder such as pea protein powder that are effective for muscle growth and recovery. A slight increase in protein intake can keep you satiated for longer, thereby cutting down on unnecessary cravings.
PROTEIN SOURCES FOR VEGANS & THEIR BENEFITS
There are quite a handful of foods that serve as a solid source of protein for people following the vegan diet. Scroll through this guide to discover which plant-based proteins qualify to be part of your vegan diet and the benefits of a vegan diet.
Tofu is an excellent high-protein option to include in your vegan diet plans. Tofu contains roughly 22 grams of protein per half-cup, making it a great addition to stir-fries, salads, and many “meatless” dishes. The meaty texture of tofu is great for grilling and pan-searing.
A staple in various vegetarian dishes, kidney beans are hearty and a little creamy, adding a nice texture to salads, soups and even gravies. With 7 grams of proteins per half-cup serving, kidney beans can prove to be a delicious addition to your vegan diet.
One of the most versatile plant-based protein sources, chickpeas contain up to 9 grams of protein per three-quarter serving. A great way to add chickpeas is to consume them with kale salad. It will increase both your protein and vitamin intake, as the leafy green contains vitamins A, C, E & K. An alternate method could be to roast the chickpeas until they are crispy and season them with your favourite spices. This would make for a filling and nutritious breakfast.
Small but mighty, peas are one of the greatest sources of plant-based protein that you could incorporate into your vegan diet. Serving 8 grams of protein per cup, peas can be included in many meals as well as side dishes.
Naturally rich in the muscle-repairing nutrient, peanuts give up to 6 grams of protein per ounce. This also means that peanut butter has a high protein content, however, consuming too much peanut butter in your vegan diet can do more harm than good.
The protein content of almonds is similar to that of peanuts, 6 grams per ounce. Almond butter, an alternative for peanut-allergic consumers, also has a significant amount of protein present.
A cooked cup of lentils serves up to 18 grams of protein! The texture of lentils enables them to be an amazing alternative to dishes that usually contain meat, such as stew. This is another plant-based protein that you can consider for your vegan diet.
ARE ALL PROTEIN SOURCES EQUAL?
Proteins contain smaller units that are called amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of the human body that are required for growth and functioning. Essential amino acids are the ones that the body needs but cannot produce by itself, they can only be obtained from the food we consume.
Foods that contain all the essential amino acids fall under this category. Plant-based protein sources such as quinoa and soy products are complete protein sources.
These foods contain only some of the essential amino acids. Incomplete proteins include nuts, beans, seeds, and some vegetables.
Incomplete sources of protein when eaten over a day or in a meal, combine to provide all the essential amino acids. Consuming kale and chickpea salad forms a complete protein source in your vegan diet.
BENEFITS OF INCLUDING MORE PROTEIN IN YOUR VEGAN DIET
- A high-protein vegan diet reduces appetite and keeps you satiated for longer.
- Muscles are primarily made of proteins. An increase in the intake of plant-based proteins can help you gain muscle mass and strength.
- Merely consuming a high-protein breakfast can have a powerful impact. It reduces cravings and desires for late-night snacking.
- Increased intake of plant-based protein through your vegan diet boosts your metabolism significantly, thereby helping burn more calories throughout the day.
- Plant-based proteins help your body repair itself after a gruelling workout.
A well-planned vegan diet containing plant-based proteins coupled with a solid workout routine can prove to be extremely beneficial. It should be noted that consuming a lot of proteins can have detrimental effects as well such as intestinal discomfort, irritation, and nausea, among others.
Effective protein supplements are another good way to go. Scitron’s Organic Pea Protein and Organic Plant Protein contain 25 grams of protein per serving, proving to be an excellent addition to your vegan diet consisting of plant-based proteins. Check out our website for our range of plant-based supplements and incorporate them into your vegan diets and exercise regimens.