Not getting enough protein seems to be a common concern that surrounds a vegan or vegetarian diet. If you have well-planned meals, this should not be a concern as these meals will provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.
Why would someone be concerned about lacking sufficient protein intake?
- Protein is a key nutrient for growing and maintaining muscles
- Sufficient protein intake can keep your skin and hair strong and healthy
- Protein helps to keep you feeling fuller longer
Based on Dietary Guidelines, meeting the targeted amount of protein with well-planned meals should not be hard:
- Women should intake about 46 grams per day
- Men should intake about 56 grams per day
So, what types of foods should be incorporated into a vegan or vegetarian diet that are rich in protein? Below are some top foods that are measured in grams per 1 cup:
- Tofu = 43.5 g
- Lentils = 17.9 g
- Unsweetened Soymilk = 14 g
- Green Peas = 8.6 g
- Nuts/Seeds = 8.5 g
- Quinoa = 8.1 g
- Eggs = 6.3 g
- Peanut Butter = 7.7 g
- Spinach = 5.3 g
- Sweet Corn = 4.7 g
- Mushrooms = 3.9 g
Vegetables and fruits are typically low in protein but when you combine them together for every meal, you are able to provide your body with recommended protein needed to keep the body functioning properly. Eat more foods like, broccoli, split pea, white button mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, edamame, soybean sprouts, guava, raisins, cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines, bananas, almonds, chia seeds, lima beans, chickpeas, black beans, and tempeh. They are typically higher in protein as well as very tasty!