It’s ridiculous how family and friends think you’ll get into trouble by going vegan because protein can only be obtained from animals. And to some extent, this has held people from making a transition to a healthier diet and lifestyle thinking they’ll miss out on proteins.
Yes, proteins are essential. You need them for growth and maintenance, for transportation and storage of nutrients, as an immunity booster…I mean, the benefits are endless, but you can tap into all of that with a simple well planned plant-based diet.
Read along to see why you don’t have to worry about proteins because the list below can provide more than the amount you need on a daily basis.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans belong to the legume family. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ½, a cup of chickpeas provides up to 7g of protein.
Chickpeas are also a great source of fiber, phosphorus, iron, and folate.
You can enjoy them roasted as a snack or make some hummus to use as a spread or as a dip.
- Hemp seeds
These are seeds from the hemp plant, a cannabis Sativa species.
3 tablespoons can provide approximately 10g of protein.
As little as it looks, hemp seed is also packed with all the 9 essential amino acids, and fiber.
You can blend them with your smoothies or sprinkle them on soups or salads
Lentils and other legumes like peas and beans are generally high in proteins. They are also rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
They are high in polyphenols, a potent anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and anti-diabetic antioxidant.
½ a cup cooked legumes can offer about 9g of proteins.
You can enjoy your lentils in a veggie burger or soups.
- Nutritional yeast
Besides being a great source of vitamin B12 for vegans, nutritional yeast is so full of protein with a quarter a cup providing 8g.
Plus, it’s free of sugar, gluten, artificial flavors, and dairy.
Enjoy it in sauces, soups, or blend it with soaked cashew for delicious homemade vegan cheese.
A small handful of nuts provides between 5-6g of protein. All nuts contain proteins; however, almonds take the lead, followed by pistachios.
Plant nuts are also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol and improve heart-health.
Enjoy them as a snack, in smoothies or sprinkle them on salads for that extra crunch.
Quinoa, although a seed, can be a replacement for grains like rice.
Like hemp seed, quinoa is a complete protein containing all the 9 essential amino acids.
With a cup of cooked quinoa, you can obtain 10g of proteins and a good amount of dietary fiber.
From breakfast to dinner, you can enjoy quinoa as a cereal, in salads or as a replacement for pasta or rice.
- Black beans
Black beans contain about 5g of protein per ½ a cup. They are also rich in other essential nutrients such as magnesium, iron, folate, and fiber.
Add them to soups, in salads, stew, or star-fries.
Proteins are a requirement for a properly functioning body. And no, you don’t need meat. Combining these plant sources can provide just enough. What’s even better, plant-based protein foods are also rich in other vital elements such as minerals, vitamins, and fiber that the body needs.
Joan C. is a Registered Medical Clinician, a content creator, and a health and wellness enthusiast. She’s all about educating clients on the power of plant-based nutrition, mindfulness, and lifestyle habits as a strategy to impact health and longevity.