There’s a misconception that you can’t get enough plant-based protein. When people think of protein, the foods that come to mind first are typically sources such as chicken, fish and red meats. However, it is definitely possible to get enough quality protein on a plant-based diet, either as a vegetarian or vegan.
Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. Your body uses these to repair muscles, produce hormones, stabilise blood sugar levels, provide energy and much more!
A varied diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy, nuts and seeds can provide the amino acids your body needs. Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, including plant-based protein sources in your meals is a healthy practise. Generally, plant-based proteins are also rich in fibre, which is beneficial for a healthy gut microbiome.
Top plant-based protein sources:
- Tofu and tempeh
- Nuts, nut butters and seeds
- Pea/rice protein powders
- Dairy products – e.g. organic natural/Greek yoghurt, goat’s/sheep’s milk yoghurt, goat’s cheese
How much protein?
The recommended dietary allowance for protein suggests that individuals should focus on getting at least 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Again, this may increase depending on the above variables – e.g. dietary intake of 1.0-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day is recommended for those participating in minimal to intense activity, respectively. Bottom line: adapt your protein intake to your body and lifestyle needs.
As a secondary measure to consuming a diverse wholefood diet, the below supplements may be beneficial to vegans and vegetarians. Of course, it’s always best to be guided by your health practitioner to assess which vitamins are suitable for your individual requirements.
These nutrients and minerals can be harder to achieve without animal protein sources, so being more conscious of getting these in is important.
Try these balanced, nutritious and delicious vegan-friendly recipes filled with plant-based protein!