Protein plays a key part in our bodies, from building new cells to DNA maintenance. It’s really important to avoid protein deficiency, as the effects are massive and dangerous.
Critics of veganism often claim that our diet does not provide enough protein. On the contrary, here are 13 foods to include in your diet that will boost your protein intake.
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#1 Chia seeds
Chia seeds are one of my favorite vegan sources of protein. They are a complete protein and contain 5 grams of it in just 2 tablespoons. Chia seeds are versatile and can be added to many different recipes. I enjoy putting them in my post-workout smoothies or adding them to overnight oats.
Seitan is the holy grail of protein for vegans everywhere. It is really simple to make at home! The two main ingredients are vital wheat gluten and veggie broth. The seitan will need to be vigorously kneaded before simmered in veggie broth. It’s recommended to squeeze it out after it has cooled to get rid of excess water. The best thing about seitan is it’s versatility! I’ve made it all sorts of dishes. It’s high in protein and boast 75 grams of protein per 100 grams!
Tofu is a staple food. Repeat that with me. Tofu is a staple food. It’s high in protein (about 36 grams per block) and doesn’t have a strong taste. It works it way into almost any recipe you can think of. I’ve made onion dip, chocolate moose, and much more! There’s several different textures of tofu out there so be sure to consult your recipe before buying some! Most tofu will require you to squeeze or press the water out before use.Pro-tip: Put some extra firm tofu in the freezer! Once it’s frozen, let it defrost in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s easier to squeeze the water out and completely changes the texture!
Beans is always one of my go-to’s if I need to add extra protein to my dish. The protein content for beans varies. The versatility of beans means you can eat something different every day without sacrificing your protein intake. I’m going to add chickpeas under beans and recommend trying chickpea cutlets! Top it with gravy for a delicious, hardy protein source! Plus, for a vegan on a budget, beans are one of the cheapest protein sources around.
Did you know one cup of lentils is equivalent to two chicken fillets? Lentils has the most range of amino acids and they are also a great substitute for protein in your meal.
Spelt is a type of wheat and contains gluten, whereas teff originates from an annual grass, which means it’s gluten-free.
Teff provide 10–11 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), making them higher in protein than other ancient grains. They are excellent sources of various nutrients, including complex carbs, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. They also contain good amounts of B vitamins, zinc and selenium.
Seaweed is vegan by nature and not only rich in protein, but packed with other essential nutrients that are hard to come by in a vegan diet, such as iron and riboflavin. Common roasted seaweed snacks are about half oil and salt by weight. Pure seaweed snacks contain just seaweed, meaning more protein and nutrients per serving.
Similar to tofu, tempeh is high in protein and filled with iron and calcium. It also has a rich nutty flavor and is made from soybeans (considered a great source of protein for vegans), and can be prepared in many ways hot or cold using a variety of fresh spices.
Chickpeas are vegan-friendly legumes filled with protein, and contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup and are a great source of fiber, iron, and complex carbs. They are also known to help control blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and even reduce cholesterol levels. You can serve them fresh and sprinkle on spices or add in extra veggies for a healthy snack or lunch option.
Nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly option that is filled with protein (about 14 grams per ounce). It’s also a great source of Vitamin B12, zinc, and magnesium. You can use at as a topping on salads or snacks, like popcorn or pita chips, or you can use it to make dishes like tofu scramble.
#12 Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are high in protein as well. I like mine cut in half and seared until charred on one side in a frying pan. They carry 6 grams per cup if sliced or shaved and cooked. That way more veggies fit into the cup!
PROBAR is the creator of delicious and convenient, organic, whole superfoods that power active lifestyles. More specifically, PROBAR Protein bar is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and rich in protein! This is the perfect snack for vegans that aren’t reaching their protein daily recommendation. It’s available in seven flavors and packed with chia seeds, flax seeds and 20mg of plant-based protein.