I would assume that all vegans have heard this question. All individuals whom are still animal protein eaters scratch their heads wondering where vegans acquire their protein. Its very simple and let me break it down for you because a lot of potential vegans might be afraid of not getting their protein.
These are some of the largest and most powerful mammals on land. These three animals share one common trait. They are all herbivores (vegan). Does anyone ask these guys where they get their protein. Of course not and it would be silly to do so. You eat the steak for protein, but have you wondered where the cow gets its protein?
So what’s a complete protein vs. an incomplete protein? In layman terms a complete protein contains an adequate amount of all nine essential amino acids and an incomplete protein does not. All animal proteins are complete proteins. Now there are a plethora of plant proteins however, they are incomplete. This is such a simple fix. For example, pair some black beans with brown rice and you now have a complete protein. Its not difficult to get your protein. I probably get more protein in a day than a meat eater. I know many wonder how, so lets take a look at a list of plant proteins:
Table 1. Plant-based food sources and their protein content per 100 grams, per 100 kcal en per portion.
|Pulses||Per 100 grams||Per 100 kcal||Per portion*|
|Lima beans (butter beans)||8,2||6||16,4|
|Grains (dry form)||Per 100 grams||Per 100 kcal||Per portion*|
|Bread (white, wheat)||8,3||3,6||6,2|
|Bread (whole wheat)||8,4||3,4||6,3|
|Pasta (whole wheat)||12||3,4||9|
|Vegetables (raw)||Per 100 grams||Per 100 kcal||Per portion*|
|Sweet potato (yam)||2||1,4||5|
|Nuts||Per 100 grams||Per 100 kcal||Per portion*|
|Seeds||Per 100 grams||Per 100 kcal||Per portion*|
|Meat replacements||Per 100 grams||Per 100 kcal||Per portion*|
|Tofu / tahu||12||10||18|
|Vegan minced meat||18||12,4||1|
This table shows that many of the foods that a vegan eats contain protein. If you still feel like maybe you’re falling short on your protein then you can incorporate a vegan protein shake in your diet. There are numerous versions of vegan protein powders. I personally feel that hemp protein is the best because it contains all nine essential amino acids and is great for immunity. I also suggest taking a superfood mix with spirulina. It’s one of the most nutrient dense and protein rich plants you can consume. There are also vegan and organic protein bars that can be eaten as a snack. Plant based burgers and substitutes are also an option. Beyond Meat is my favorite product and the Beyond Bugers are the absolute truth! Each patty has 23 grams of protein so there you go.
Here’s an example of how I get my protein ( I am a religious intermittent faster so you can eat more if needed):
3am- almond yogurt with chia seeds, 2 pieces of gluten free vegan toast with nut butter, banana, and protein shake with spirulina
12pm- protein smoothie
6pm- vegan enchiladas with quinoa, black beans, brown rice, and gluten free soft tortillas.
7pm- two vegan protein bars
So I go 15-16 hours a day without eating solid foods, but you don’t have to. The point is to show that I get an adequate amount of protein everyday. So, if this is an issue that has made you hesitant of becoming vegan then stop worrying.