Though it’s still the most commonly asked question of vegans – “Where do you get your protein?” – people are starting to realize vegans can and DO get enough protein.
Every day you read about athletes who choose the vegan diet to get into peak performance shape.
Still, when most people think of protein they tend to think cheese, eggs, fish and chicken. But as someone who has been a vegan for several years, I can tell you with absolute certainty that every whole food contains protein.
I prefer to get my protein from a whole foods diet, as opposed to processed, soy-based products. As a matter of fact, finding plants packed with protein is easy to do, and easy for your body to use. Plant-based foods are free from cholesterol, tend to be high in fiber, and are often alkalizing to the body.
Conversely, all animal products are devoid of fiber, and are acidifying to the body, which causes calcium to be leached from your bones, as well as decreasing oxygen levels in the blood, and negatively impacting the digestive system.
So, for anyone wondering how to get protein from whole foods, here are 10 great plant protein sources…
- Beans/Legumes (lentils, black beans, chick peas, etc.)
- Peas (split peas, black-eyed peas)Split peas
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews)
- Seeds (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds)
- Nutritional Yeast – is a deactivated yeast sold commercially as a food product. It has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes.
- Tempeh – a fermented soybean-based food. It’s a perfect meat alternative in pasta dishes.
- Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower)
- Spirulina – This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is now one of the most researched, and alongside its cousin chlorella, most talked about superfoods today. Grown around the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii, spirulina is renowned for its intense flavor and even more powerful nutrition profile. It’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids.
- Plant Based Protein Powders (rice protein, pea protein, hemp protein)
This is just a small list. There are tons of plant protein sources available.
So, the next time you hear someone asking a vegan where they get their protein, you can give them a list!
Until next time…
Peace, Love & Fitness!