Plant Based Vegan Diet
When considering the transition into a plant based vegan diet, the first question tends to be - “How do vegans get their protein?” - Well, leaving the meat behind doesn't mean you can't continue to lead a physically active and adventurous lifestyle. It's just about finding a remedy by gaining the know-how. So read-on and absorb some knowledge from this handy guide, because when you put it to the test, the power of a vegan plant based diet rewards you with a triumvirate of energy, endurance, and strength.
Don't believe me? Did you know one of the world's strongest men, Patrick Baboumian, has been on a strict vegan diet for the past 5 years? That's right, so if the strongest man in Germany, who holds the log lift world record in the 105kg category, manages on a plant based vegan diet, then that's all you need to know.
Start believing in veganism and reap its tremendous benefits, because the selection of vegan protein sources are plentiful.
What is a plant based diet?
A plant based diet is in the name. Food simply focussing on products sourced from plants. A person on a plant-based diet will undoubtedly meet their 5-a-day target and gain many important vitamins and minerals in the process. Now, there can be variations in plant based diets that can be flexible enough to still include meat, fish, dairy and other animal products. However, a plant based diet is generally considered to be vegan, due to veganism's complete commitment to plant sourced products. Along with the obvious fruit and veg, vegan ingredients include grains, nuts, beans and seeds.
All in all, the decision to go vegan, or at least become 'flexi-vegan', proves to be a commendable, positive, healthy and more sustainable lifestyle choice, both for yourself and for the planet. The personal 'feel-good' factor is paired with supporting the natural localization of produce, as well as helping the environment in the fight against climate change.
Where do vegans get their protein from on a plant based diet?
The selection of protein is surprisingly large for vegans, with a positive shift to veganism on the rise worldwide, more options and recipes are increasingly available. Here is a list of the top-10 protein sources available to vegans.
- Soy – Edamene, Tofu and Tempeh
Soya beans are an excellent addition to a vegan diet by being a complete protein powerhouse. Alongside this, soya also contains many nutritional benefits, like fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins. Overall, soy is packed with protein and encourages positive cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels.
Here is a quick guide to making your very own 'Tempeh'
How to get protein as a vegan without soy?
2. Lentils – Brown, green, yellow, red or black, whatever the color, lentils are a great source of protein, as well as having a low calorie count, while also being rich in iron and folate.
3. Chickpeas – Descendent of the legume and found commonly in tubs of hummus, chickpeas provide 19g of protein to a 100g serving.
4. Peanuts – This stand alone snack provides 25 grams of protein per 100g serving, while also incorporating helpful fats, fiber and other nutritional benefits.
5. Almonds – Containing vitamins, minerals, and fiber, a mere 22g serving will provide you with an 8th of your daily protein recommendation.
6. Spirulina – This cyanobacteria, sourced from blue-green algae, is made up of a staggering 60% protein.
7. Quinoa – Widely considered a “super-food”, quinoa owns this title in being an incredibly well balanced nutritional “super-grain” (which is actually a seed) and a complete protein in the process.
9. Hemp seeds – What is actually technically a nut, hemp seeds are made up of 25% of quality protein.
10. Beans – An essential and common component in the plant based vegan diet, which comes in a vast variety of flavors.
What about Vegan Protein powders?
Another protein source on a plant based vegan diet can be made easily with just adding a little liquid to a vegan protein powder. A vegan protein shake is ideal if you often exercise and need help to restore and develop muscle growth.
Taken from yellow split peas, pea protein powder is widely considered a great supplement for the vegan gym-goer, in its ease of preparation and convenience of consumption.
Other vegan protein powders also include Hemp and Pumpkin seed, Soy, Chia and Sancha Inchi.
With being “on-the-go” in mind, vegan protein bars are a very suitable and enjoyable option that helps re-galvanize energy levels and muscle development. Nagi's raw, vegan protein bars are known to be some of the best on the market, and are a great way of adding raw vegan ingredients to your plant based diet.
Available in a wide range of combined flavors, treat yourself and enjoy some healthy, protein-packed, conveniently pre-prepared vegan snacks.
Does vegan protein powder help you lose weight?
This is completely dependent on your intake. If the shake is drunk as a supplement/replacement, it will help you lose weight, while being drunk as an addition to your 3-main-meals serves the shake to increase body weight.
How much protein does a vegan need?
As recommended, a vegan male requires 63 grams of protein while a vegan female stands at 52 grams.
How much protein do bodybuilders/athletes need?
Recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a bodybuilder should aim for between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, while an athlete up to 2 grams.
Protein intake should be spaced out across the day, but especially consumed within 1 hour of a work-out.