As soon as you mention that you are vegan to a carnivore, you will very quickly be asked about your protein intake! But what is protein? Protein is a combination of amino acids which have specific roles in our bodies, including metabolism and muscle development. Protein breaks down into amino acids that promote cell growth and repair. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer.
The most commonly accepted sources of protein come from meat, eggs and dairy, however these sources are all produced in horrifically cruel conditions, as well as being high in saturated fat and cholesterol. The kindest and healthiest sources of protein come from a vegan diet.
It has been discovered by Dr. Campbell that protein from animal sources can turn on cancer genes in the body. Dr. Campbell’s China Project observed and identified the essential element which turned on and turned off cancer growth. The element which was found to initiate cancer gene expression was protein from animal sources, especially the protein (casein) from cow’s milk. Watch the video here:
Are you getting enough protein?
There are some signs you can look out for to see if you may have protein deficiency, including:
- Tiredness for no reason
- Weak muscles a long time after a workout
- Loss of muscles due to the body using them as fuel
- Slower recovery from injury
- Loss of hair
How much protein do we need?
For vegans the recommended amount of protein is 0.9 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Typically this works out to be around 63 grams of protein for a male vegan and for a female vegan 52 grams of protein per day.
Vegan sources of protein
Starchy beans, including lentils, pinto, chickpeas, kidney and black beans contain 13 – 15g of protein per cooked cup. Soybeans contain 29g per cup.
Broccoli contains 5g of protein per cup.
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas contain 7.3g of protein in half a cup.
Boiled edamame contains 8.4g of protein per half cup.
One cup of green peas contains 7.9g of protein.
30g of hemp powder provides around 11g of protein. Add to smoothies for an easy way to get your protein!
One cup of cooked lentils provides 18g of protein.
1 cup of soy or almond milk can provide about 7-9 grams of protein.
Nuts and Nut Butter
1/4 cup of most nuts will provide 4 – 8g of protein. 2 tbsp of peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter provides 8g of protein.
4oz tofu provides around 9g of protein.
Quinoa is a seed and it provides 11g of protein per cooked cup. Quinoa is also gluten-free.
Seitan is mostly made from wheat and is known as ‘wheat-meat’ due to its texture. 4oz of seitan provides between 20 – 30g of protein.
Sesame, Sunflower, Flax and Poppy Seeds
Sunflower seed kernels contain 7.3g per quarter cup, followed by sesame seeds and poppy seeds at 5.4g each. 2-3 tbsp of flaxseeds provide around 4g protein.
One cup of cooked spinach has around 7g of protein.
A sandwich made with vegan sprouted-grain bread contains around 10g of protein in the bread alone.
One cup of tempeh provides around 30g of protein.
3 tbsp of Tahini provides around 8g of protein.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Vegan unsweetened cocoa powder contains around 1g of protein per tablespoon.
Sample Menu Showing How Easy It Is To Meet Protein Needs
1 cup Soy Milk 7g protein
1 medium Bagel 10g protein
1 cup Vegetarian Baked Beans 12g protein
1 cup cooked Broccoli 4g protein
1 cup cooked Brown Rice 5g protein
2 tbsp Almonds 4g protein
6 Crackers 2g protein