Get your protein without adding meat to your diet!
Without protein, your body cannot function properly. Your muscles grow weak, your blood thins, and your brain function is reduced. You’ll find that protein is probably the most important macronutrient around, so it’s essential that you get as much protein in your diet as possible.
But what do you do when your diet is a vegan one? You can’t enjoy the same proteins as vegetarians or carnivores, so where can you get your protein from? Here are some of the best vegan protein sources around:
- Buckwheat — A single serving of buckwheat contains about 6 grams of protein. Despite its name, buckwheat is not a grain, but it’s actually a type of grass–in the same family as rhubarb. You can find Japanese buckwheat noodles, buckwheat pancakes, or buckwheat “groats” to eat if you want to enjoy a healthy diet filled with protein!
- Quinoa –– Quinoa is one of the only non-animal protein sources that contains all nine essential amino acids for your body to produce protein, so it’s one of the best vegan protein sources around. Best of all, it’s rich in fiber, making it one heck of a filling meal!
- Chia –– Chia seeds may be tiny, but they’re loaded in both fiber and protein. The fiber soaks up water and expands, filling your stomach and stopping those hunger pangs in their tracks. You get about 2 grams of protein per tablespoon of chia (expanded), so it’s worth making a chia pudding or sprinkling the seeds into your soups or salads.
- Beans — Beans pair wonderfully with rice, and you can enjoy hearty meals with this tasty combo. Thankfully, beans are also very rich in protein–about 7 grams per cup. That means your chili sin carne is one of the best protein-rich vegan meals around.
- Soy –– Everyone knows soy is rich in protein, which is why there are so many vegan “meat alternatives” made from soy. Tempeh, tofu, and natto are just a few of the vegan protein sources made from soy, and you get between 10 and 15 grams of carbs per serving of these foods.
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- Seitan –– This is a product made from wheat gluten, a vegan protein source that you can eat in place of tofu or beans. Unless you’re gluten intolerant or suffer from celiac disease, you’ll find that this is one of the healthiest vegan proteins around!
- Peanut Butter — While it may be higher in carbs and fats than protein, you still get about 15 grams of protein in every peanut butter sandwich. Definitely one of the tastiest proteins you can enjoy.
- Hummus –– Hummus is made from chick peas, one of the best legumes around. Not only are chick peas loaded with fiber, but they’re a great source of natural protein. A single serving of hummus and pita bread contains about 7 grams of protein, and combining the proteins in wheat and legumes makes for a wonderful vegan meal.
- Ezekiel Bread –– This is a type of bread made with a variety of grains and legumes, and it’s one of the healthiest types of bread around. You get about 4 grams of protein in every slice of the stuff!
- Spirulina –– Made from algae, spirulina is an odd superfood that packs both a protein and antioxidant power punch. If you eat spirulina with nuts and grains, you can get about 4 grams of complete protein with every serving. Please pass the algae!