Sources of Vegan Protein
It is entirely normal for individuals who are considering switching to Veganism to be concerned about a lack of protein in their diet. It is well known that animal meat contains a high quantity of protein so if this is removed from the diet then it needs to be replaced. However, there is no reason to be worried as it is entirely possible to get sufficient protein in your diet when Vegan (for a more in depth analysis of what Protein is and how much you should look to consume please see our previous blog…)
Obviously, for a quick and easy way to top up your protein intake you can enjoy a delicious smoothie with a scoop of Not Just Protein (18g per serving, mix of pea and hemp). However, at musclemary we always recommend having a well-balanced diet consisting of predominantly wholefoods and adding in a supplement for a boost. There are a host of wholefood options that contain a significant amount of protein and we have picked 10 that individuals may look to try.
Seitan, sometimes referred to as wheat gluten, is a meat substitute made from hydrated gluten, the main protein of wheat. Although it is made from wheat somewhat surprisingly it has little in common with flour or bread.
It has a similar taste to a portobello mushroom and has become popular because of its texture. Seitan can be consumed on its own but is generally eaten with sauces or spices and is often used as the base for many Vegan and vegetarian products
As a considerable number of Vegan meat substitutes such as tofu and tempeh are made from soy, which is a common allergy, Seitan offers an alternative. However, those who do have an intolerance to Gluten should avoid Seitan.
A typical single serving of Seitan contains 21 grams of protein.
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy product that is made from fermented soybeans and has a similar flavour to mushroom. The fermentation process lowers the amount of phytic acid, which may increase the amount of minerals your body can absorb from tempeh, including Vitamin B12. Tempeh can be consumed in a host of ways and is commonly used as part of a stir fry, in curries or salads.
Per 100g, Tempeh contains 20 grams of protein.
Tofu originated from China almost 2,000 years ago. It is made of condensed soy milk and is pressed into solid white blocks which give it a similar look to cheese. Although when eaten in isolation it can taste bland with the correct preparation it can be a great addition to any meal. It is particularly useful for adding bulk to your dish and is often used in stir fries, pad Thai or curries.
Per 100g, Tofu contains 8 grams of protein.
Chickpeas are part of the legume family and have been a staple in the middle eastern diets for many years. They have nutty taste and are generally used with a combination of other foods and often found in curries, salads, fajita mixes and stir fries. They are a rich in fibre and vitamins and minerals including iron and folate.
Per 100g, Chickpeas contain around 19 grams of protein.
Lentils are edible seeds from the legume family and are a staple in Asian and North African cuisines. They are often classified from colour, with each having both a different flavour and genetic makeup. Lentils are packed with nutrients including magnesium, zinc and potassium which gives them an excellent antioxidant profile to fight against free radicals.
Per 100g, Boiled lentils contain around 9g of Protein
Cultivated since around 5000 BC spelt is a grain that is considered a distinct type of wheat. As a result, its high gluten content may mean that those with an intolerance should avoid it. Spelt has an exceptional nutritional profile, with 1 cup containing more that 20% of the RDI of Manganese, Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorus. However, it does contain phytic acid which can reduce the absorption of minerals such as zinc and iron.
100g of Spelt contains 15 grams of protein.
7. Edamame beans
Edamame beans are immature soybeans and a complete source of protein. It is possible to boil, steam or pan-fry depending on the meal they are being prepared for. Not only are they an excellent source of protein them also contain a high percentage of folate, Vitamin K1 and Manganese. However, with the debate around the of impact of soy they may not be suitable for everyone.
1 cup (155g) contains 17g of protein.
Hemp is a plant that is grown in the northern hemisphere and the hemp seeds can be consumed or used to make a variety of food products such as hemp milk, hemp oil, and hemp-based protein powder. They are a complete protein source and the seeds have a mild nutty flavour.
100 grams of hemp seeds contains around 7 grams of protein.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows in both salt and fresh water and is argued to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. It not only contains a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it is an excellent source of protein. Furthermore, it is predicted to improve your blood lipids, supress oxidation, and blood pressure. It is generally consumed in powdered form.
10gs of Spirulina has 5.7 grams of protein.
Quinoa is a grain crop that is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It was referred to by the Inca Empire as the mother of all grains and has been eaten in South American for thousands of years. It is more recently recognised as a superfood as it contains all nine essential amino acids and is high in iron, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E.
1 cup of Quinoa contains around 9 grams of protein.
We hope the above list can help if you are struggling to hit your protein target. As mentioned, supplementation can be a quick and easy way to increase your protein intake. This was the basis behind the creation of our flagship product Not Just Protein.