Increasing protein intake can be a challenge for vegans, who avoid animal products and rely on plant-based sources for their protein needs. However, it is not impossible to meet the recommended protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Here are four tips for increasing protein intake when following a vegan diet.
Vegan Protein Shakes
For those who are looking for an easy and convenient way to increase their protein intake, vegan protein shakes can be a great option. They are quick to prepare and can be consumed on the go. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing and preparing vegan protein shakes:
Choose a high-quality vegan protein powder: Look for a protein powder that is made from a variety of plant-based sources, such as pea, rice, and hemp proteins. Make sure it is free of any artificial sweeteners or additives. Take a look at this Pumpkin Spice Protein Powder from Naked Nutrition.
Add some fruits and vegetables: Adding fruits to your shake not only adds flavor and nutrients, but also helps to make the shake more filling. I personally love to add berries and bananas to my smoothies, depending on the flavor of the protein powder.
Experiment with different flavors: There are many different flavors of vegan protein powders available, so don’t be afraid to try different combinations to find your favorite. You can also add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for extra flavor.
Consider adding healthy fats: Adding healthy fats like avocado or nut butter to your shake can help to increase the protein content and keep you feeling full for longer.
Vegan protein shakes can be a great way to increase your protein intake when following a plant-based diet. Just be sure to choose a high-quality protein powder and add a variety of fruits and vegetables for maximum nutrition.
Legumes and Beans
Legumes and beans are a great source of plant-based protein. They are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating a variety of legumes and beans into your diet can help you meet your daily protein needs.
To increase your protein intake, try adding legumes and beans to your meals. For example, you can add chickpeas to your salad or lentils to your soup. You can also make a bean dip by blending chickpeas or black beans with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.
It’s important to note that legumes and beans are not complete sources of protein, meaning they do not contain all of the essential amino acids that the body needs. However, you can still get all of the essential amino acids by combining legumes and beans with other protein sources, such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein for vegans. They are also packed with healthy fats, fiber, and essential minerals. Here are some of the best nuts and seeds to include in your diet to increase your protein intake:
Almonds: Almonds are a great source of protein, with 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving. They are also a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber.
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, with 9 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving. They are also a good source of iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Chia seeds: You may be surprised to know that Chia seeds actually have quite a bit of protein in them, coming in with around 4 grams of protein for every 2 tablespoons.
Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are a complete protein source, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. They have 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoon serving and are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Nuts and seeds can be eaten on their own as a snack or added to meals for extra protein. They can be sprinkled on top of salads, blended into smoothies, or used as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Incorporating nuts and seeds into your diet is an easy and delicious way to increase your protein intake as a vegan.
Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are two of the most popular and versatile plant-based protein sources for vegans. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and straining the bean curd. It has a mild flavor and a firm, spongy texture that makes it a great meat substitute in many dishes. Tofu can be used in stir-fries, soups, salads, and even desserts.
Tempeh, on the other hand, is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a special type of mold. It is quite different to tofu and has a chewier texture. Tempeh can also be crumbled and used as a ground meat substitute in tacos and spaghetti sauces.
Both tofu and tempeh are rich in protein, with tofu containing around 10 grams of protein per 100 grams, and tempeh containing around 19 grams of protein per 100 grams. They are also low in fat and calories, making them a healthy addition to any vegan diet.
To incorporate tofu and tempeh into your diet, try adding them to your favorite dishes or experimenting with new recipes. Some ideas include:
Tofu stir-fry with vegetables and brown rice
Tempeh burgers with avocado and sweet potato fries
Tofu scramble with spinach and mushrooms
Tempeh tacos with salsa and guacamole
Tofu chocolate mousse for dessert
Tofu and tempeh are excellent plant-based protein sources for vegans. They are versatile, nutritious, and delicious, making them a great addition to any meal.
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