We know protein is a common concern when it comes to veganism. But is the worry necessary?
Let’s talk about why protein is important. This macronutrient, made up of amino acids, is in our muscles and bones, is an energy source and is essential to our bodies’ growth and recovery.
Recommended protein intake varies. The medical recommendation in the UK is 0.75 grams per kg of body mass. Some researches recommend that plant-based protein intake should be around 1.1 grams per kg. Having those numbers in mind, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your diet and make sure that you are including protein-rich foods in it.
Soy is a major plant-base source of protein, and is incredibly versatile: you can consume it as soy milk, soy beans or tofu. If you worry about the deforestation caused by soy production, think about this: only 6% of the soy grown in the world is directly consumed by humans. 80% of it goes into feeding livestock.
You want to know the best milk in terms of protein concentration? Well, if you’re looking for the traditional ones, soya is still the best bet in terms of protein. With an almost identical amount of protein and calcium as full fat cow milk, it has half the calories and fat content.
But there are plenty of other options available in the market now, that might even top that! For example, Mighty Society has a Pea protein milk-like drink, with even more protein than soya and more calcium that dairy milk. Oat milk is another great option: although a bit lower in protein, it’s a source of fiber. Some companies also add important vitamins, such as D2 and B12.
Other Protein Sources
Seitan and tempeh, beans, quinoa, buckwheat and nuts are also important additions to your daily diet in terms of protein intake.
Let’s take a look at lentils, for example. A super versatile legume, rich in folic acid and iron, fiber and anti-oxidants. In terms of protein, it has 12-18 g per cup of cooked lentils.
In case you have higher protein needs (athletes, for example), consider getting some vegan protein powders. There are several great brands out there, with specific formulations that combine different plant-based proteins.
Do you still have questions about protein? Write in the comments!