Protein is an incredibly important nutrient in everyone’s diet. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian you will meet a lot of people who are very concerned about your protein status. Protein is composed of amino acids there are 20 amino acids in total and different combinations of this makeup all the proteins in our bodies. Protein is responsible for building muscle, fuelling our brains, maintaining our organ function, it lowers our blood sugar, and helps us to focus at our desks. Now we’ve made it clear its importance where do we get it? There has been an abundance of high protein diets in recent years but we do not need a tub of whey protein or a piece of chicken to reach our daily RDA.
Now there are 20 amino acids. Some of these are essential, this means that these cannot be made by the body but must be consumed in the diet. We do not need to get all the amino acids in one meal. You can eat a mix of foods which contain both the essential and non-essential amino acids and reach your RDA. There are plenty of plant-based foods which contain all your amino acids, the famous quinoa for one. In fact, plant-based protein is safer and while everyone’s protein requirements are different (0.8g per kg of body weight) none of us need animal-based protein to obtain growth.
Of course many will believe that meat is the primary source of protein we have been conditioned to think like this, but, consider for a moment cows and gorillas never get any guff about where they get their protein and they eat an entirely plant-based diet. We can’t deny that cows and gorillas manage to grow big and strong. These days we even have vegan bodybuilders which clearly demonstrates that getting protein from plants is not an issue. You don’t even have to sit and graze like a gorilla to meet your protein requirements. It’s much simpler than you believe.
Below I have provided a list of the top 20 sources of protein on a vegan diet. (Spinach does not feature, maybe Popeye should have been eating hemp?)
|Protein per 100g||% of RDA|