People are looking to go for vegan diets today more than ever. They are avoiding animal-based products like butter, eggs and honey, which might make you ask, if you aren’t one of them, how do they get the protein they need? What is vegan protein?
Vegan Protein – How Does it Work?
Today, more and more people are becoming aware of the horrors and torture faced by animals in the meat industry. Even the dairy industry is exploiting the cattle beyond their body tolerance to meet the increasing demands of the growing population.
Several people have gone undercover and have captured the mind-numbing cruelty footage at slaughterhouses. Animals feel pain and have feelings as well. With the rising compassion, more and more people are now shifting to vegan diet plans.
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But a major question faced here is how they will compensate the protein intake?
Since chicken, pork, beef, eggs and dairy products are considered the best form of protein, what other options are available in the plant kingdom which will provide the same amount of protein for daily body needs? Here are a few ways in which you can add proteins to your daily diet.
The Top Sources of Vegan Protein
The first and foremost source is soy. It has very high levels of protein and almost all the essential amino acids needed by the body. It is available in many forms e.g. as tofu, soy milk. Soybeans etc. Ditch the regular milk and now start adding soy milk to your tea or coffee. It is tasteless.
Therefore, you will not be able to appreciate the difference. Tofu can be used instead of regular cottage cheese and soybeans can be added to salads and curries. Another good news is that it is gluten-free and can be consumed by people who have Celiac disease, i.e. gluten sensitivity.
Some people are allergic to soy. These people can go for other good sources like quinoa. Quinoa can be used in salads and is very popular among weight watchers and bodybuilders. It has high proteins and healthy carbohydrates in it. If you love experimenting with your food, you can use quinoa in baking muffins, cookies, and cakes to get both taste and health at the same time.
Beans like black beans and chickpeas are also good sources from proteins. You can boil them and use them in salads or soups, or as stuffing in vegetable rolls. They are tasty, healthy and very easy to cook as well. Lentils are also another quick and healthy alternative. They also help in promoting the overall digestive health. Proteins provided by lentils are very easily assimilated and utilised by the body.
A good news for cheese lovers is that they do not have to compromise on their cheese obsessions. Nutritional yeast can be added to many dishes which gives it a cheesy flavour along with good amount of protein. Even the green vegetables which we all run away from having high protein content in them. Green peas and kale are two such examples which will provide the essential micronutrients and proteins, both at the same time. These can be used in almost any dish that you like to prepare.
All the above vegan protein sources need to be cooked before consumption. What if you are in a rush but still want to get some protein in your meal? Peanut butter is an easily available, ready to eat and delicious protein source. You can have it with whole wheat bread and jam or add it to your smoothies and shakes. For other readily available options of adding proteins in your diet, look for protein powders or supplements which are derived from plant sources.
These are easily available in the market. They are both tasteless and flavoured and can be chosen according to one’s preference. Just a few grams are enough to meet your protein demands of the day.