Most fear that they won’t get enough protein on a vegan diet. Ten years ago I was also one of those people especially as a professional dancer.
“Bone loss, osteoporosis, kidney damage, kidney stones, immune dysfunction, arthritis, cancer promotion, low-energy, and overall poor health are the real consequences from overemphasizing protein.”
I decided to become vegan ten years ago for a healthier lifestyle. After learning more about what happens to the animals that we eat due to the high demand for meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products, it has been even easier to stay vegan. Any moment that I have wavered from a vegan diet I’ve returned right back to it. Definitely check out that article cited above for more information on the health risks from eating too much animal protein.
It is very easy to get the protein that your body needs on a vegan diet. It is also important to eat a diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Let’s not forget eliminating as much processed foods as possible as well as drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water daily! With that said here are some of my favorite vegan protein sources.
1/2 cup of cooked lentils = 9 g of protein
1/4 cup of hemp seeds = 15 g of protein
1 cup of brown rice = 5 g of protein
1 cup of quinoa = 9 g of protein
1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds = 8 g of protein
1/2 cup of cooked black beans = 7 1/2 g of protein
1/4 cup of almonds = 8 g of protein
2 tablespoons of almond butter = 5 g of protein
1/2 cup of tempeh = 15 g of protein
(Tempeh is the only processed vegan protein on this list, yet I recommend it more than others since it is fermented.)
1 slice of sprouted grain bread = 4 g of protein
1 cup of avocado meat = 3g of protein
It is very important to eat a well rounded and balanced diet no matter what you choose to eat. I believe that it is important to also balance out your vegan protein sources. I feel that faux vegan meats are undeniably yummy and great when transitioning to a vegan diet, yet they are still highly processed foods so should be eaten in moderation.
One final thing that is crucial for vegans is to take a vitamin B-12 supplement and a good vegan multi-vitamin and/or green foods supplement such as spirulina or wheatgrass. I have a feeling that this is going to become a series of sorts. Read my story of going vegan here. More on vegan eating soon!
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)