What Is Vegan Protein? Everything You NEED To Know
If you’re wondering what vegan protein REALLY is or considering a vegan diet, this article has been written for you. With so many sources of vegan protein which don’t cost an arm and a leg, vegan proteins are the most popular and easiest types of proteins to include in your diet! Get ready to be amazed at the difference vegan protein foods can bring to you.
Vegan protein is defined as protein that comes from plants, and not from animal products. Vegan protein sources include tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, certain grains, peas, beans and many others.
Your fibre intake is often low if you mostly eat non-vegetarian foods. It is possible to increase your fibre intake by eating more plant proteins. Did you know that all our protein products are excellent sources of plant fibre?
Protein is not only a component of our bones and muscles, but also an essential nutrient responsible for growth, repair, fighting infection, and carrying oxygen in our body. All 9 essential amino acids (amino acid profiles) that our body cannot produce can be found in plant foods. You should ensure that your meals include good sources of complete proteins such as beans, lentils and chickpeas.
What is Vegan Protein?
Vegan protein is protein that comes from plants and not from animal sources. Vegan protein contains significantly more fibre than protein that comes from animal sources. All 9 essential amino acids can be easily found in vegan protein foods if you combine a couple of plant food sources. With this in mind, there are plenty of options for you to get your protein from.
Additional benefits associated with plant based protein include a decreased risk of some types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are also benefits for weight management.
What is vegan protein powder made of? Our specially formulated vegan protein powder range has been designed to assist you in living a healthy vegan lifestyle. If weight management or weight loss is one of your goals, our slim range has been created to complement your vegan lifestyle and assist you on your health and fitness journey.
How do vegans get enough protein?
There are a number of plant based protein foods are which are rich in protein including beans, legumes and pulses, as well as nuts, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables. To ensure you get sufficient protein, make sure you are using a high-quality plant protein powder. Make sure you eat a balanced diet of protein-rich foods every 3-4 hours.
The following plant-based protein foods can be easily added to your meals, smoothies, or snacks throughout the day.
Nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Beans and Legumes
Is vegan protein good or bad for you?
Vegan protein is just as effective as whey. A 2019 study comparing the effects of whey protein and pea protein on body composition and exercise performance showed that men who ate either whey or pea protein saw little to no change in their body composition, muscle gains, or strength.
Plant-based diets, which are high in vegan protein, have many health benefits. Research suggests that people who eat vegan proteins have lower body weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. They are also less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, or cancer than non-vegetarians.
Some people may see some side effects from vegan protein consumption if consumed in high doses. Your liver may not be able to process high amounts of protein quickly enough, as result side effects such as high levels of cholesterol can occur. Ammonia in the blood can cause nausea and diarrhea.
Does vegan protein cause hair loss?
Although a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle won't cause hair loss directly, it may increase your risk of hair loss if you eat a low-nutrient diet. A balanced vegan or vegetarian diet can help reduce the risk of hair loss. As long as you combine foods to include all those 9 essential amino acids, the risk of hair loss is vastly decreased.
Can you eat too much protein?
As with other foods, consuming too much protein is also bad. A high protein intake can lead to excess calories and strain on your kidneys. Eating too much protein can cause kidney damage and possibly lead to dehydration.
Research shows that long-term consumption of more than 2g per kilogram of bodyweight daily can lead to health problems. Intestinal discomfort and indigestion are two symptoms of too much protein. It is important to understand the amount of protein each food contains to ensure a balanced diet.
What is vegan protein made of?
Vegan protein is made of plant sources such as grains, legumes, and seeds. They are created by removing the majority of fat and carbs and retaining the protein components.
Normally people are concerned about vegetarian or vegan diets because they think they might not get their sufficient protein, which is outright false. Experts agree that a well-planned vegan or vegetarian diet can easily provide all the nutrients you require.
Remember - some plant based protein foods have significantly higher levels of protein than others. The vegan protein sources chart below highlights the 17 great sources of proteins for Vegans & Vegetarians:
17 Best Protein Sources for Vegans & Vegetarians
A popular vegan substitute for meat, seitain is made from wheat gluten and water. This vegan protein food can be purchased pre-made in the refrigerated or frozen section of most grocery stores, or can be made at home. Seitain has 75 grams of protein per 100 gram serving (approx.).
2. Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame
Tofu is made from condensed soy milk using a process comparable to making cheese. Tofu is low in calories but high in both protein and fat. Tofu has around 8 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Tempeh is also a soy-based food, with 19 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, while cooked edamame offers 11 grams of protein per 100 gram serving (approx.).
Lentils are a part of the legume family and are one of the most popular vegan protein foods. Relatively quick and easy to prepare, they are both cost effective and a great source of protein. Lentils have 26 grams of protein per 100 gram serving (approx.).
4. Chickpeas and Most Varieties of Beans
Chickpeas and most varieties of beans are very nutrient-dense and are a very handy form of plant based protein foods. Chickpeas are high in fibre, help to regulate blood sugar and aid weight management. Chickpeas have 19 grams of protein per 100 gram serving (approx.).
5. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a very popular choice when it comes to high protein vegan foods. Found in most health food stores, it has a nutty, cheesy, or savoury flavour. Nutritional yeast offers a high protein count of 46 grams per 100 gram serving (approx.).
6. Spelt and Teff
Spelt flour has a comparable nutritional profile to mainstream wheat. Spelt can be used to make bread, pasta, cookies, cakes and many other items. It is often referred to as a ‘healthier alternative’ to wheat as it is purer in nature. Cooked spelt offers 6 grams of protein per 100 gram serving (approx.). Teff is a gluten free whole grain that is also incredibly mineral rich and high in protein.
7. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are both rich in nutrients and versatile. Another of the plant based protein foods, hemp seeds are technically a nut that can be enjoyed raw or used to make oil, cheese, milk substitutes, or vegan protein powder. Hemp seeds have around 33 grams of high-quality protein per 100 gram serving.
8. Green Peas
Easy to integrate and a popular food for all ages, Green Peas have a great amount of protein as well as being a decent source of phytonutrients such as saponins, phenolic acids and flavanols. Additionally, organic pea protein is a fantastic source of iron with multiple health benefits. Green peas contain approximately 5 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
Spirulina boasts both a high protein and vitamin content, which makes it an outstanding dietary supplement for vegan diets. Often referred to as a superfood, it has many associated health benefits including a reduction in allergy symptoms. Spirulina has around 57 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
10. Amaranth and Quinoa
Amaranth is one of the great vegan protein foods, with nearly double the amount of protein that is found in corn or rice. Amaranth contains around 14 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Quinoa is another one of the great plant based protein foods, with over 4 grams of protein found per 100 gram cooked serving.
11. Ezekiel Bread (+ Other Breads Made From Sprouted Grains)
Ezekiel bread is a flourless bread and a whole-grain product. It contains barley, lentils, spelt, millet and soybeans, and is free from preservatives and cultured wheat starch. Ezekiel bread contains around 11 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
12. Soy Milk
Soy milk is another popular type of plant based vegan protein foods. The protein in soy milk can help support healthy muscles and organs, and is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Soy milk has around 3.3 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
13. Oats and Oatmeal
Oats are a great source of fibre as well as being high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Oats contain approximately 16 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, while oatmeal contains approximately 2.4 grams.
14. Wild Rice
Wild rice is an impressive source of minerals and one of the best plant-based protein foods. Wild rice is a species of grass that produces edible seeds resembling rice, which is also very high in antioxidants Cooked Wild Rice has around 4 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
15. Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds are one of the most well-known plant based vegan protein foods and are often used in smoothies, baked foods and salad dressings. They are high in quality protein and have a great balance of essential amino acids. Chia seeds have 17 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
16. Nuts, Nut Butters and Other Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews and pine nuts are all high protein nuts to add to your diet. Nut butters such a peanut butter and almond butter are also incredibly nutritious. Walnuts contain approximately 15 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
17. Protein-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
There are several vegetables which are great plant based vegan protein foods. They include watercress, spinach, boy choy, cabbage and alfalfa sprouts. Guava is one of the most protein-rich fruits around, with approximately 4.2 grams of protein in every serve.
In summary, a wide range of vegan proteins can be incorporated into a vegan diet thanks to plant-based protein foods. A balanced diet is always the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Vegan protein foods are readily accessible at many supermarkets as well as health food stores.
At Healthyroo, we offer a number of vegan-friendly health foods and sports nutrition products to complement and enhance your vegan lifestyle. We are passionate about ensuring our products offer you some of the best vegan protein powders available. What is vegan protein powder made of? View our extensive range of plant based vegan protein blends across our website (what is vegan protein shake). From lifestyle products such as our Lifestyle Package to Performance Proteins, our range of vegan protein powders are ready to make a difference in your life today!