7 vegan friendly protein sources
Vegan protein is derived from plant-based foods like nuts, grains, and legumes that contain non-animal protein or products. Most people across the globe are opting for this "vegan diet" or "vegan protein" as their preferred meal choice due to its multiple health benefits.
Vegan protein is a pure plant based diet that is based on healthy vegetables, vegetable proteins, good fats, and whole grains. A well-balanced vegan diet can fulfil your body’s requirements and provide an adequate amount of minerals and vitamins. A vegan diet has multiple benefits as it is low in cholesterol and fat as compared to other animal sources.
Vegans include protein from different plant-based products, and they avoid protein intake from animal sources like milk, meat, or eggs. Thus, it should be carefully planned to meet all the body’s needs that are essential for growth and development and to further avoid vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Why is protein important?
Protein, as we all know, is the building block of cells and helps in their formation, development, and repair. It is important to include protein daily in your diet and, as per Recommended Dietary Allowance 2020, adult sedentary males require 54 g/day of protein and adult sedentary females require 46 g/day of protein to perform normal functions in the body.
Protein is made up of amino acids known as ‘building blocks’ as they have long attached chains that are considered as a macronutrient that is required daily to maintain healthy weight and metabolism. It helps in various functions of our body that are mentioned below:
- Protein helps in building up the cells of the body, their repair and formation.
- Red blood cells also contain protein for carrying oxygen to the whole body and supplying nutrients.
- Protein also helps in making up our body’s enzymes, which help in digestion of food and making new cells and chemicals.
- It helps in hormone regulation, transformation, and the development of cells during puberty.
Thus, protein is a crucial micronutrient that is digested slowly and provides satiety for a longer period of time. It also helps in maintaining body weight, building lean muscle, speedy recovery from injury, etc.
High protein vegan foods
As mentioned above, vegan protein is a strict plant-based protein and a high protein vegan diet is the sole source of nutrition for the vegan population. Let’s find out 7 Vegan friendly protein sources:
High protein rich grains:Grains like quinoa, millet, oats, brown rice, etc. are also known as the best vegan protein sources. These are an excellent source to supplement your diet into a high protein vegan diet and can be made easily into Quinoa chaat, oats soups etc.
Legumes and pulses:The plant-based products that can be used as a high protein vegan diet is widely acceptable globally. It is a high source of vegan plant protein and is vegan friendly too. Below we have listed some pulses and legumes and their protein content as per IFCT 2020.
|Legumes and pulses||100 g of edible portion|
|Green gram whole||22.53 g|
|Red gram dal||21.70 g|
|Black gram dal||23.06 g|
|Horse gram dal||21.73 g|
Soy based milk and products:As an alternative to meat alternatives, this is also a great source of vegan plant protein. Soy food includes tofu, soy milk, soy-based products, and as per IFCT 2020, soybean has the highest protein content, which is 35g per 100g of edible portion and is the best vegan protein among other food groups.
High protein nuts and seeds:As we all know, nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and fibre. Vegan shakes can be prepared using soy milk, fruits, and nuts, and they are also referred to as vegan muscle building diets. As per IFCT 2020, below we have listed some nuts and seeds with high protein content.
|Legumes and pulses||100 g of edible portion|
|Gingelly seeds brown||21.61 g|
|Ground nut||23.65 g|
|Pistachio nuts||23.35 g|
Nutritional protein yeast:Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the deactivated strain known as nutritional yeast. It has a cheesy flavour and is popularly known as a high protein vegan source. It can be used in various pasta, noodles and other dishes.
Spirulina protein:This is also counted under high protein vegan sources. Spirulina protein, or microalgae protein, has been developed to make a health promoting protein plant-based product due to its high protein content.
Plant based meats:Plant-based meat refers to items that resemble meat products but are made of plants. These items include vegetarian-friendly meat and fish substitutes. The nutritional content of plant-based meat substitutes varies depending on the product selected. That being said, a study found that eating more plant protein and dairy instead of red meat may improve heart health.
Thus, 7 vegan friendly protein sources mentioned above can be adequately planned and included in your daily meals to maximise the protein requirement and absorption in your body.
This article highlights the best 7 vegan friendly protein sources that should be included and planned accordingly. Include vegan protein-based ingredients in each meal or snack to boost your daily protein intake and keep protein deficiency at bay. Plant-based protein sources can be used as best alternative sources to animal protein and can be used in many varieties like nuts shakes, protein meal, Quinoa salad, carrot tofu soup, etc.