High Protein Vegan Foods You Must Eat

High Protein Vegan Foods You Must Eat

Foods with the highest protein in a vegan diet

The most common concern about a vegetarian and vegan diet is that they might have insufficient protein. Getting enough protein and the required vitamins and minerals can be harder for people who do not eat any animal product. However, experts agree that a well-organised vegetarian or vegan diet can provide us with all the nutrients we need.

Here is a list of 9 plant food that contains a high amount of protein:

1. Seitan

This product is a popular protein source for many vegetarians and vegans. This is made from gluten and the main protein in it is wheat. But due to its high wheat content people with celiac and gluten intolerance should not consume this product. For others, this is a protein-rich healthy substitute for meat. It contains 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces and is also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten. This product is also a good source of selenium and contains tiny amounts of calcium, iron and phosphorus. We can make seitan by pan-frying it, sauteing or even by grilling it. It resembles the look and texture of meat when cooked and is one of the alternatives to meat.

2. Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame

All of these originate from soybeans. Soybeans are a whole source of protein which means that it provides the body with all essential amino acids. Edamame is an immature soybean and it has a sweet and slightly grassy taste. Before consuming them they need to be steamed or boiled. It can be eaten on its own or can be added to salads or soups. Tofu is prepared by pressing bean curds together in a process that is slightly similar to cheesemaking. Tempeh is prepared by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans before pressing them into a patty. Both tofu and tempeh can be used in various recipes that range from burgers to soups.

3. Lentils

Lentils are a great source of protein, fibre and key nutrients which include iron and potassium. We can use them in a variety of dishes ranging from hearty soups to fresh salads and spice-infused dals. A single cup of lentils provides approximately 50% of your recommended daily fibre intake and it also contains slowly digested carbs. Furthermore, it promotes a healthy gut as the type of fibre found in it has been shown to feed the good bacteria in our colon. Lentils can also help us reduce the risk of heart attack, diabetes and excess body weight.

4. Chickpeas and most varieties of beans

Kidney, pinto, black and various other beans contain favourable amounts of protein per serve. Garbanzo beans, commonly known as chickpeas are another legume with high protein content. Per cooked cup of both beans and chickpeas contain about 15 grams of protein. Chickpeas can be eaten hot or cold and they are highly versatile with plenty of recipes. Chickpeas can be added to stews and curries, roasted in the oven or even spaced to paprika. Chickpeas and other beans are great sources of complex carbs, iron, folate, fibre and potassium.

5. Nutritional yeast

This yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae yeast, it is sold commercially as yellow powder or flakes. It has a cheesy flavour, so it is a popular ingredient in dishes like scrambled tofu and mashed potatoes. It can also be sprinkled on the top of pasta or even used as a savoury topping on popcorn. Per ounce of this yeast provides the body with 14 grams of proteins and 7 gram of fibre. Fortified nutritional yeast is also an excellent source of zinc, copper, magnesium, and all the B vitamins, including vitamin B12.

6. Spelt and Teff

Spelt and teff are grains that belong to a category known as ancient grains. Some other ancient grains are einkorn, barley, farro and sorghum. Spelt is a type of wheat that contains gluten and teff originates from annual grass, which is gluten-free. Per cooked cup of spelt and teff provides 10 to 11 grams of protein, which makes them higher in protein than any other ancient grains. Both of these are excellent sources of nutrients, which include complex carbs, iron, fibre, magnesium and phosphorus. Spelt and teff are great alternatives to common grains, such as wheat and rice.

7. Hemp seed

This comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is known for belonging to the same family as the marijuana plant. Hemp Seed contains trace amounts of THC, which is the compound that produces a marijuana-like drug effect. Although this seed is not as well-known as other seeds, it contains 10 grams of complete, easily digestible protein per ounce. This seed also contains a good amount of iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium and selenium. It is also a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the ratio that is considered optimal for human health. Hemp Seed can be used in homemade salad dressings or can be sprinkled in your smoothie.

8. Green peas

Green peas are commonly served as a side dish, per cooked cup of green peas contains 9 grams of protein. A serving of green peas can cover more than 25% of our daily fibre, vitamin A, C, K thiamine and folate requirements. They are also a good source of magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and copper. We can use them in recipes such as pea and basil stuffed ravioli, avocado guacamole and that-inspired pea soup.

9. Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae and is absolutely a nutritional powerhouse. Two tablespoons of this algae provide 8 grams of complete protein. In addition, it covers 22% of our daily requirements of iron and thiamine and also 42% of our daily copper needs. It contains decent amounts of riboflavin, magnesium, manganese, potassium and also small amounts of other nutrients that our body needs. A natural pigment, phycocyanin is found in spirulina, this pigment appears to be a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, it has health benefits that range from a stronger immune system and reduced blood pressure to improved cholesterol levels and blood sugar.

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