If you're adhering to the vegan diet, it can often be difficult to ingest an appropriate daily amount of protein. Meat, milk, and cheese accounts for a large portion of most people's diets, and cutting these out means you'll have to find an alternative protein source.
After all, protein is an essential part of our daily diet. It is responsible for hair and nail health, tissue repair, muscle growth and retention, the creation of hormones, and more. Chronically ingesting less protein than needed can result in serious health issues and long-term complications.
Experts recommend roughly 1/3 of a gram of protein for every pound of body weight per day. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be getting about 50 grams of protein per day. These estimates are for sedentary adults. Those who actively exercise should be nearly doubling their intake.
Thankfully, there are countless forms of protein out there that are not only vegan, but taste delicious too.
Nuts are a popular food item due to the fact that they're packed with protein and delicious too. Different types of nuts vary in protein content, but a cup of pistachios has about 25g of protein, 1 cup of pecans has 9g, and 1 cup of Brazil nuts has 19g.
Regardless of which type of nut you choose, having a handful here and there can easily help you reach your daily protein requirement.
Okay, we're a bit biased. However, Modern Oats is a great source of protein that's vegan and gluten-free. Get 8-10 grams of protein with your breakfast to help you feel full throughout the day.
Quinoa is another superstar that should have a prominent place in your diet. Not only is it vegan, gluten-free, and high in protein, but it's PACKED with amino acids.
1 cup of quinoa accounts for 8g of protein.
No vegan protein list would be complete without Tofu. Chances are you've tried this meat substitute at some point in your live. Made from a soy milk base, this tasty treat clocks in at roughly 20g of protein per cup.
A type of legume, chickpeas are a wonderful source of protein. They have a massive 39g of protein per cup, although serving size for legumes is typically half a cup. By adding a few tablespoons of chickpeas to your meal, you'll be on your way to a high-protein diet.
With 80g of protein per cup, and loads of amino acids, hemp seeds are a great way to stay healthy on the vegan diet. Keep in mind, however, that the serving size is closer to 2 Tbsp which equates to about 10g of protein.
Potatoes are our wildcard on this list. They are actually low in protein by volume, but their versatility and serving size makes them a contender. Although there's only 4g of protein per medium potato, being able to include them baked or mashed with your dinner or diced with breakfast makes them a great tool for upping the protein content of each meal.
The magical fruit. Well, technically they're legumes, but they're a delicious source of protein and fiber. A single cup of raw pinto beans contains 41g of protein, equating to roughly half of your daily recommended intake.
Rice, like potatoes, is relatively low in protein but easy to add as a side dish to practically any meal. A cup of brown rice contains about 4g of protein, while a cup of wild rice can contain nearly 20g.
Another member of the legume family, lentils are packed with 18g of protein per cup. Not to mention, they're extremely low in fat and high in fiber as well. Add lentils to your soup or salad for a protein boost.
Whether you're following the vegan diet for eco purposes, or are just watching your waistline, getting a sufficient amount of protein is essential. By adding the above foods to your meals, you'll be able to maintain a healthy level of protein without the need for supplemental shakes.
As always, consult a physician before you plan to drastically change your diet.