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Vegan Protein Sources

Many people associate protein with animal products. If you’re not getting your recommended daily allowance (RDA) ...

Vegan Protein Sources

Many people associate protein with animal products. If you’re not getting your recommended daily allowance (RDA) from meat and fish, then you must be getting it from eggs and dairy products, right? But what if you’re a vegan who shuns animal products altogether?

 

Fortunately the good earth has provided us with abundant and complete plant protein sources. The author of Simply Vegan, Reed Mangels (PhD, RD), recommends eating a varied diet with around 10% of its caloric intake in the form of protein.

 

Five Great Vegan Protein Sources

 

Legumes:

Black beans, French beans, kidney beans and pinto beans contain about 13-15g of protein per cup, with peas at 9g, lentils at 18g and chickpeas at 19g.

 

Dark green vegetables:

Healthy in so many ways, spinach has 7g per cup, kale has 5g, and asparagus and broccoli have about 3g each.

 

 

Soya:

As the holy grail of nutrition for many vegans, about 35-38% of soya beans’ calories come from protein according to the United Soy Bean Board. Soya is also the only known food source of isoflavones, proven to prevent heart disease and osteoporosis (University of California San Francisco Medical Center). The protein content of soy-based foods can vary greatly, from soya milk and tofu to tempeh and “fake meat” products. Check the labelling to be sure.

 

Nuts and seeds:

All nuts are high in protein, the best being almonds at 30g of protein per cup. Sesame and sunflower seeds are also great sources.

 

 

Grains:

Though not for the celiac, seitan or wheat gluten is a tasty and popular high-protein meat substitute. It also has the highest protein content of any vegan food at 60-80g per cup! Alternately, quinoa contains 9g per cup and is gluten free. Other good options include oatmeal (6g), whole-wheat pasta and sprouted grain bread.

 

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