If you’ve decided to become vegan, one of the biggest struggles you might face in getting enough protein in your diet. Since you no longer eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy- all of which contain high amounts of protein, getting a sufficient amount might be difficult at first.
It’s the number one thing people will probably say to you when they find out you’re vegan- how do you get enough protein? The answer is quite simple. There are so many ways to get a sufficient amount of protein in your diet without eating meat!
One of the main ways you can get protein as a vegan is through legumes. Legumes are incredibly high in protein. Lentils have 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, and black beans and chickpeas have 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. Plus, there are so many ways you can cook with legumes! You can put black beans in a burrito, chickpeas in a pasta, and lentils in a salad.
Soybeans are another great source of protein for vegans. Soybeans typically come in the form of tofu, tempeh, and edamame. Tofu is made by pressing bean curds together, while tempeh is made by cooking and fermenting mature soybeans. Both tofu and tempeh do not have powerful flavors, and so they are the perfect additive for stir-fries, scrambles, and veggie burgers! Plus, there are 10-19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces.
You can also opt for some superfood powders for extra protein. Spirulina is a blue-green alga that is packed full of nutrients. 2 tablespoons provide you with 8 grams of protein, in addition to iron and thiamin. Spirulina typically has a slightly fishy taste, but when blended in a smoothie, the flavor gets completely masked, but you’re still left with that pretty blue-green color.
Nutritional yeast is just deactivated yeast, but it’s also super high in protein! It has a naturally cheesy flavor, making it perfect for vegans who still crave that taste, and has 14 grams of protein per ounce!
Quinoa, oats, and wild rice are other great options for protein as a vegan. Quinoa has 8-9 grams of protein per cooked cup, oats have 6 grams of protein in half a cup, and wild rice has 7 grams of protein per cup. Nuts and seeds are also high in protein, with 5-7 grams of protein per ounce.
Don’t let the fear of not being able to get enough protein discourage you from being vegan. There are so many healthy and protein-packed options! You need to find what works for you.