Meatless Monday: Where Do You Get Your Protein?
The one question you can expect to hear when telling someone you are vegan is: “What about your protein intake?”
What they might not know is that there are many non-animal sources of protein; with a little creativity, vegans can get their proteins as easily meat-eaters.Plant-based protein yield many health benefits, they contain very few fatty acids and are full of vitamins.
Some Popular Vegan Sources of Protein:
- Tempeh (1 cup): 41 g
- Soybeans (1 cup): 29 g
- Lentils (1 cup): 18 g
- Black beans (1 cup): 15 g
- Chickpeas (1 cup): 12 g
- Avocado (1): 10 g
- Broccoli (1 cup): 5 g
Our body needs the nine essential amino acids to build proteins. “Complete protein” sources provide a balanced proportion of all the nine essential amino acids. These are animal protein sources, such as milk and meat. Plant-based protein sources are said to be “Incomplete protein” sources, as they can lack one of the essential amino acids, or posses it only in a small proportion.
For a vegan diet, it is often recommended to combine sources of incomplete proteins to get all the nine essential amino acids. Some easy combinations are:
- Legumes and grains: rice with beans
- Grains and seeds: whole wheat bread topped with sesame seeds
- Grains and nuts: peanut butter with whole wheat bread.
A vegan diet that includes many types of food will provide all the amino acids needed. However, food combination might not be necessary.The missing amino acids could be obtained from an amino acid bank inside the body. Therefore, “Incomplete” protein sources could perfectly fulfill the job of providing the essential amino acids. Only exclusively carnivore animals would need complete protein in their diet.
Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes
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