Becoming a vegan is a life-changing decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yet there are a few pitfalls that come from lack of meat in your diet, one of which is the possibility of becoming protein-deficient. After all, aren’t we taught that all of our protein comes from meat and animal by-products? Thankfully, that’s just a myth as there are plenty of non-animal protein sources for vegans to choose from – you just have to know where to look.
Protein plays an important role in a wide variety of bodily functions, some of which include cellular growth, muscle growth, muscle repair, and immune function. But many people lack the necessary protein in their diet, especially vegans. So, what are some non-meat sources of protein?
Nuts are not only a delicious snack that wards off hunger, but they are full of protein. Almonds, peanuts, cashews, peanuts and walnuts all contain high amounts of protein and fiber, making them an excellent choice for any vegan. However, nuts also contain a high amount of fat, so eating them in moderation is helpful.
One of Mother Nature’s most versatile and beneficial vegetables, the soybean, is responsible for giving us dozens of different protein-rich foods. Soy milk is created using ground up soybeans mixed with water. The outcome is a deliciously creamy beverage that has around one gram of protein per gram of milk.
Originating in ancient China around 150 BC, tofu is created from coagulated soy milk. While this may not sound too appetizing, tofu is versatile and can be fried, baked, flavored and seasoned to your personal taste. However, the best part of tofu is how healthy and nutritious it is for it. Tofu is a low-calorie, protein-packed food that’s prepared in many ways. You can even find traditional tofu desserts in China today.
Certain vegetables can also be a good source of protein for a vegan. Broccoli, corn, asparagus, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are some of the vegetables with the highest protein content. This is just one more reason why you should always eat your veggies!
Vegan protein powder is also available for those who still lack the proper amount of protein. Typically, vegan protein powders are made using either hemp, brown rice or yellow pea protein and added with artificial and natural flavorings. Some people find them delicious, while others don’t prefer them. The trick is to find the right flavor and brand.
Plants, nuts, tofu and protein powders are just a few protein sources for vegans to choose from. Look online for more sources and the best vegetarian recipes to help you make more healthy and enjoyable meals.