Protein is very important to our health, they break down into amino acids in the body that support cell growth and recovery. Therefore, it is important to consume a sufficient amount of protein especially for workout and recovery. The body does not need as much protein as you may think, however if you want to build muscle you need to make sure to get in a sufficient amount. For muscle building you should go for 0.6 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. It is not necessary to track your protein consumption, just make sure to include some protein in every meal. Regardless of the health benefits of plant based protein sources, such as low rates in saturated fats and cholesterol they have environmental, humanitarian and many other health benefits.
Eating vegan for 3 months has taught my a lot about the importance of protein and how to get enough from plant-based sources. Once I discovered these protein sources I have implemented them into my diet and still eat them on a regular basis. I do not eat completely vegan anymore, I reintroduced seafood and eggs because I love these foods and they give me some more variety and options when eating out. It is however possible to build muscle and get sufficient amounts of protein from vegan sources, you just need to eat A LOT more food and educate yourself.
The protein sources listed below are by far my 10 favourites. Most of them I eat every single day!
1. GREEN VEGETABLES
Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus, Artichokes
Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds
3. PEANUT BUTTER (ORGANIC)
Chickpeas, Green Peas
7. BEANS AND BROWN RICE
(together they are a complete protein = containing all amino acids)
8. TEMPEH AND TOFU
(Tempeh: fermented form of Soy Beans)
10. VEGAN PROTEIN POWDERS
(Best from Brown Rice, Pea Protein or Hemp protein)
I hope this inspires you to include more healthy and vegan protein sources into your diet. Not only your health but also the environment would benefit enormously if everyone would adopt some changes to their diet. All together we could make such a huge impact in the world.
Remember: It’s all about balance! I am not saying you should get all of your protein from these sources (I don’t either). Start by making small changes to your diet by limiting your meat intake to 1-2 times a week, this would already make a huge difference.