The vegan diet has received a ton of criticism over the last few years. A lot of people believe that it’s unhealthy and lacks vital nutrients that our body needs to survive. However, if you’re a vegan or practicing raw vegan, you know very well that this isn’t necessarily true. Of course, cutting out meat, dairy and eggs has its challenges, especially when you’re searching for protein substitutes, but thankfully there are a ton of healthy and natural protein sources out there that are 100 per cent environmentally friendly and animal cruelty-free.
You might be surprised to know that these foods have a naturally high protein count, some even more than meat. The next time you’re grocery shopping, vegan or not, make sure to pick up one of these plant proteins:
Hemp Seeds: A complete source of amino acids, two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain more protein than a single ounce of chicken. This naturally high plant based protein contains an abundance of nutrients, including more iron and fiber than grains or legumes, chlorophyll, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin B. Hemp seeds, which are creamy and delicious blended into salad dressings, sprinkled on oatmeal or used in baking, do wonders for promoting healthy digestion and can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Incorporate hemp seeds into your diet regularly and your risk of heart disease will decline tremendously.
Almonds: Nuts in general are often overlooked as being incredibly high in protein. Two tablespoons of almond butter contains more protein than a large hardboiled egg, not to mention, they’re packed with healthy fat, high in fiber, and can help lower cholesterol. Ranked as the nut with the highest protein, almonds are generally less expensive compared to other high-protein nuts. We suggest buying raw almonds in bulk – not only will you save money, but raw nuts and seeds means that they haven’t been put through any heating processes, which ensures that their vitamins and minerals remain at their highest and most organic level.
Kale: A powerhouse of antioxidants, and one cup of it contains more protein compared to a glass of milk. Although milk wins on the calcium levels, kale provides other vitamins and nutrients that milk is missing out on – vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins, iron and magnesium, just to name a few. High in iron and fiber and incredibly low in calories, kale is a great ingredient for curbing cravings and assisting with weight loss. Its high fiber content can also help stabilize blood sugar, not to mention, it contains omega 3 fatty acids, which is great for your skin, eyes and brain.
Hemp seeds, almonds and kale are just a few of the many plant-based protein alternatives for vegans, vegetarians and health foodies who are interested in consuming natural, vitamin rich protein. What’s your favourite plant-based protein?