By Victoria Q
A very common concern about a vegan diet is that they might lack of protein intake. When talking about protein, everyone already knows they’re from animal products such as cow’s milk, chicken breast, lean pork, lean beef, eggs, cheese, yogurt and many more. What people don’t know is that many plant-based foods are also high in protein.
So, if you’re thinking of going vegan, or just want to cut back from eating meat for a few days, you can still get the nutrients you need. Besides, a diet rich in whole plant foods may lower your risk for chronic health illnesses and promote weight loss. Take a look at some of these high-protein vegan foods to add to your diet.
Tofu is made from bean curds pressed into solid white blocks of varying softness. It can be silken, soft, firm, extra firm or super firm. Tofu is flavourless so people often cook with strong taste sauce or dressing. Tofu can be eaten just the way it was or cooked. It can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from burgers, grilled to soups and chillis. It contains iron, calcium and protein of 10 – 19g per 100grams.
Tempeh is a traditional Javanese soy product that is made from fermented soybeans. It is made by cooking and fermenting mature soybeans before pressing them into a patty. Tempeh has a nutty taste. Just like tofu, tempeh also can be used in a variety of recipes. You can make your own tempeh crisps by frying them as a snack. It also contains a good amount of probiotics, iron, calcium and 10 – 19g of protein per 100grams.
Edamame is immature soybeans with a slightly sweet and grassy taste. They need to be steamed or boiled before consuming and can be eaten right on their own or added into soup or salad. Some people eat them with wasabi (spicy green paste) while drinking alcohol as a snack. Edamame is rich in folate, vitamin K, fibre, iron, calcium and 10 – 19g of protein per 100grams.
4. Nutritional Yeast
Those who are already vegan will likely hear of nutritional yeast. It is a deactivated strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, sold in yellow powder or flakes. It has a cheesy flavour, which makes it a popular ingredient to make cheesy flavour in vegan foods such as mac n cheese, mashed potato and creamy pasta. 28g of nutritional yeast contains about 14g of protein, which make it a good choice for a protein boost. It also has an excellent source of zinc, magnesium, copper and all vitamin B groups.
5. Nuts And Nut Butters
Nuts are a very common source of plant-based protein. It also a great sources of fibre and healthy fats. They are perfect for snacking, baking or topping. While nut butter is made by grinding roasted nut with vegetable oil with or without salt into a paste. Even though roasting may damage nutrients in nuts, nut butters are still high in protein and were popular to use as spread on sandwich, pair with oatmeal, in baking and smoothie. 28g of nut contains between 5 – 7g of protein, depending on the type of nut.
Many beans contain a high level of protein. There is roughly 15g of protein per cooked cup (240ml) depends on the type. They are also excellent sources of complex carbs, fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and several beneficial plant compounds. Studies show that beans can reduce cholesterol, help control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and even reduce belly fat. Beans can be used in making vegan burger patty, chillis, salad, tacos and dessert too.
7. Soy Milk
Soy milk is a very popular milk among vegetarians and vegans as an alternative to cow’s milk. Not only does it contain 7g of protein per cup (240ml) which is about the same as cow’s milk, but also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Soy milk is easy to be found in most supermarkets. Option for unsweetened soy milk for a healthier choice. It’s a versatile product that can be consumed on its own or use for most baking and cooking purposes.
Oats are known for an easy and delicious way to add protein to any diet. Half a cup of dry oats provides 6g of protein and 4g of fibre. It is popular as a healthier choice especially for breakfast and dessert (in baked goods). Oats also contain good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate. Although it is not considered a complete protein, they do contain more protein than other grains. Oats also can be used to make oatmeal and porridge. You can ground them into oat flour and use them in baking or pancake recipes.
9. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are derived from the Salvia hispanica plant, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. These little seeds contain 6g of protein and 13g of fibre per 35g. 13g of fibre? What a crazy amount, huh? It also provides a good amount of other nutrients such as iron, calcium, selenium and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Chia seeds have a bland taste and can water, turning into a gel-like substance, which is why they are used to make chia pudding. It also can be added to smoothies and baked goods for extra nutrients.
10. Green Peas
Green peas are surprisingly high in protein, which is slightly more than a cup of cow’s milk at 9g per cooked cup. In addition, they cover more than 25% of an adult’s recommended daily intake (RDI) of fibre, vitamin A, C, K, thiamine, folate and manganese. Nutrients in green peas are excellent, which is why you will often see pea protein powder on market. Green peas are also known to be used in soup, pie, salad and any other cooking.