Perfect protein sources for vegans
Protein is a very important part of a healthy diet, especially for people who exercise frequently. We need it to build and repair tissue and also because it is essential for ensuring the health of muscles, bones, cartilage, skin and blood. Roughly, women should be aiming for 46 grams of protein per day, men for 56 grams. Both chicken and eggs are great sources of protein, but these fall away if you’re sticking to a vegan diet plan. Luckily there are plenty of other ways to ensure you are getting enough of it.
If you’ve never heard of tempeh: it’s a plant-based protein and has a flavour somewhere between nutty and mushroom-like. It’s made by taking soybeans, forming them into a cake and fermenting them overnight. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used in place of meat in sandwiches or as an addition to dishes such as stir fries and curries. In 3 ounces of tempeh, you’ll find 16 grams of protein and a whole load of probiotics, which promote good gut health. It’s also packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Legumes are a great source of vegetable protein and one cup of green peas contains 7.9 grams of it. If you’re not a huge fan of the taste, try blending them with something like pesto or tomato to make a sauce or soup.
Health fans have been raving about quinoa for some time, using it to replace rice and pasta in their dishes. These grains, unlike many others, are a great source of protein, boasting 8 grams per cup. Try it with a curry or add to a salad to make it more filling.
These make a great snack when eaten in moderation, as they are full of good fats and protein. Try sticking to a handful a day if you’re watching your calorie intake and make sure they are unsalted. All nuts contain about 5 or 6 grams of protein per ounce.
All beans are high in protein, in two cups of kidney beans you’ll find an impressive 26 grams. They’re brilliant for bulking up a vegan dish, such as a meat-free chilli. You can also have them in fajitas, salads, curries and Chinese dishes.