In the world of vegan nutrition, plant-based proteins are the superheroes that fuel our bodies with the strength and vitality we need. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just embarking on a plant-powered journey, understanding the diverse and delicious world of plant proteins is essential. More often than not the vegan diet has been demonised for not providing us with the requisite protein content. However, being a nutrition and fitness coach my research in this matter has opened a vast world of Vegan protein options and the myths surrounding protein in a Vegan diet.
Importance of protein in the diet
We have learned from school protein is a macronutrient. It is called the building block of the body. A Vegan diet excludes all animal products like milk, meat, eggs and other animal-derived ingredients. The absence of conventional animal protein sources presents a danger of protein deficiency unless we back it up with vegan protein options. Before we see the protein-rich vegan diet, let’s address a few myths about protein deficiency in plant-based diets.
Myths about protein deficiency in plant-based diet
- Plant-based diet causes protein deficiency – There are numerous plant sources of protein. If consumed in the right quantity, they will suffice the protein requirement in our body.
- Plant proteins are incomplete – While some of the plant protein sources may lack a few amino acids, if you ensure the consumption of a balanced diet, this can be compensated. Plant-based athletes and bodybuilders have successfully followed an active lifestyle by including a variety of plant protein sources in their diet.
- Plant proteins are not bio-available as animal proteins. Some plant protein sources could have lower bioavailability than animal proteins. However, the bioavailability can be improved by cooking, soaking and fermenting.
There are more myths about the vegan diet but you can be rest assured that you can suffice your protein requirement by including a variety of plant protein sources in your diet.
Vegan protein options in your diet
They are probably the most accepted and known protein sources. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas and black beans are rich in protein content. 100-gram lentils have more protein content than one boiled egg. When it comes to nuts and soya the protein content is even more.
2. Soya chunks, Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are both derived from soya milk. They can be used as substitutes for paneer. They can be used in curries, or in grilled and fried form. 100 gm soya chunk contains 52 gm proteins which is equal to 4 boiled eggs.
Quinoa is a complete protein, It contains all essential amino acids. It is easy to cook and can be used as a base for salads, or as a side dish.
4. Nuts and seeds
Seeds and nuts have high protein content. Nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds ets are rich in protein. You can prepare homemade protein powder using these nuts and seeds.
5. Whole grains
Brown rice, bulgur, barley, and oats are examples of whole grains that contribute to protein intake. They can be used as the base for meals or added to soups and stews.
6. Plant-based protein powder
If you are a busy bee running from office to home, you might not have the time and frame of mind to cook protein-rich foods and make protein powder, store bought protein powder is the best option. However, it is imperative to ensure the quality of the protein powder that we are buying. One reliable protein powder that has the goodness of peas, mushrooms, spirulina and probiotics is the Plant Protein Powder by Rooted Actives. This is a chocolate-flavoured 100% vegan plant protein powder. The goodness of protein is obtained from brown rice, mushrooms, spirulina, peas etc. This is enriched with all 9 amino acids and enzymes for digestion. It is the best choice for those who are following vegan, keto or gluten-free diets. It can be the ideal ingredient in your post-workout drink.
In addition, the fact that it is sweetened by natural stevia makes it a safe bet for people who want to go sugar-free. It is also infused with super mushrooms – Reishi, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Shiitake, and Oyster mushrooms. If you consider the calorie and fat content of whey protein, this plant protein powder has a lesser quantity while the fibre content is more. Mix 1 heaping scoop (35 G Approx) of Plant Protein in 200-250ml of water. Shake well until it is completely mixed. Take 1-2 Servings Daily.
Another ingredient by Rooted Active Naturals that stole my heart is their Wellness Mushroom Coffee.
Lion’s mane and chaga are superfoods that do not interfere with the taste of coffee. Lion’s mane is revered for its nootropic (cognition), brain, focus, and memory-boosting properties, while Chaga is a super antioxidant that helps with energy, immunity & cardio functioning. These powerful adaptogens & antioxidants may balance the effects of coffee without impacting its taste. more energy, fewer jitters, and super performance. (85% arabica coffee + 15% Lion’s mane & Chaga).
As you explore the world of vegan protein options, remember that variety is key to a well-rounded vegan diet. By embracing the abundance of options available, you can enjoy delicious meals while nourishing your body with the essential nutrients it needs. Whether you’re a dedicated vegan or simply incorporating more plant-based meals into your routine, this guide is designed to empower you on your journey to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.