If you are living a vegan lifestyle, then I am sure you’ve been asked where you get your protein. Because a vegan diet does not include meat, protein must be sourced from plant-based foods and not understand what foods provide protein or how to combine foods can lead to protein deficiency correctly.
Being on our Custom Meal Plan is the simple way to make sure you are getting enough protein from quality sources, but if you aren’t on a meal plan, knowing where to get your protein and how much you should be consuming can get a little tricky.
Here is what you’ll learn in this post…
- How much protein the average person should consume
- Best plant-based protein sources
- How to ensure that you get enough protein
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO YOU NEED
Knowing how much protein you should be consuming on a daily basis is important, especially if you want to stay successful and continue on a vegan lifestyle. This means that if not consuming enough protein can lead to protein deficiency and that can cause issues with your thyroid, mood, and energy levels. Maintaining enough protein as a vegan or vegetarian is crucial for staying healthy and something that should be considered if you want to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The amount of protein that a person needs depends on many variables, such as your weight, body composition, and goals. While no one solution fits everyone, there are some basic guidelines you can begin with. Start by figuring how much protein you should be eating according to your body weight. You should be eating 0.5g of protein for every pound of body weight as a minimum. This will give you enough protein to be sustainable where you are at.
From here, your protein intake will change according to your goals. If you want to lose weight and burn fat quickly, increase your protein intake to 0.7g of protein per pound of body weight. If you are trying to build muscle, increase your protein intake to 1g of protein per pound of body weight.
For example, if you want to sustain your body weight and you currently weigh 63Kg’s that is 140 pounds, you will want to consume 70 grams of protein a day. If you are trying to burn fat, increase your protein to 98g of protein a day and if you are trying to bulk, you should be consuming 140g of protein. Keep in mind if you are trying to burn fat or build muscle, you should also be working out regularly.
Try to include protein at every meal. When eating a plant-based diet, your foods will have less protein in them than animal protein, and so it may be more difficult to achieve this if you are not portioning out your foods correctly. You can also use supplementation to reach your ideal protein intake.
What counts is how much you are consuming, not just what you eat. Whether you get your protein from animal sources or protein sources, the rules are the same, and the amount of protein your body requires is the same.
BEST SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR VEGANS
Vegans get their protein from the same places as people who are omnivores. They either get it from the foods that they eat or through supplementation.
To help increase the amount of protein you are consuming combine some of the foods to maximize the amount of protein you are getting. For example, in one meal you can include beans, rice and a side of broccoli, or make a stir-fry with chickpeas, spinach, and brown rice. Combining your protein options during every meal will help you increase your protein consumption and give you more of a variety of amino acids.
Here are some of the best and healthiest sources of protein for vegans:
- Sprouted Beans, Lentils, and Chickpeas– These are great alternatives to animal protein and are often substituted in a meal where meat would be. The best way to eat these is to sprout them as it cuts down some of the phytates, which can interfere with your body’s ability to digest the food properly.
- Dark Leafy Greens– The great thing about dark leafy greens is that they contain protein and you can eat as much of them as you want, without worrying about interfering with your goals.
- Nuts and Seeds– Nuts and seeds make a great snack to add between meals and provide a protein boost. You can also get added protein from nut butter, like almond butter. This is great because you can bake with it, eat it by itself or on a rice cake, or add it to a smoothie.
- Fermented Tofu and Soy Products– Soy is usually something we want to avoid, but fermenting the soybean can make this a good option for protein.
- Quinoa– Not only is quinoa a great source of protein, but it is also a good carb that you can add to your diet.
- Avocado– Adding avocados into your diet can give you a delicious source of protein, but be careful not to over consume because it is also high in fat. Although it is considered a healthy fat, over consuming avocados can impact your goals.
- Peas– Peas contains a good amount of protein and can easily be added to your meals, especially if you are making rice.
- Broccoli– Love it or hate it, broccoli is a traditional vegetable that is included as a side for many meals, and luckily it contains a few grams of protein. Plus, it is one of those veggies that you don’t have to worry about over consuming.
- Mushrooms– Mushrooms are an excellent protein source and can give the texture of meat if it is something that you miss. You can add them to your recipes or eat it by itself. They taste greatly stuffed, or simply sautéed or grilled.
Related: TOP 5 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENSTRUAL HEALTH
ENSURE YOU GET ENOUGH PROTEIN
Here at ParaFit, we like to promote health and wellness, no matter your nutritional habits. If you are living a vegan lifestyle, but want to make sure that you are getting enough protein, as well as hitting any goals you may have, then our custom meal plans can help you establish better eating habits.
We can create vegan meal plans to help people maintain a healthy life, lose weight and even gain muscle. No matter your journey and regardless of where you are at on that journey, we want to provide you with the tools to be successful.