Vegan Protein Sources

Majority of plant-based eating involves ensuring you acquire enough protein amongst your other nutritional requirements.

However, getting enough protein does not have to be as difficult as some people think!

We need to ensure 'complete' protein is being consumed containing all the essential amino acids required for energy production, growth, and development.

A Background on Protein:

A complete protein is made of adequate proportions of the 9 essential amino acids that are necessary in the human diet.

The 9 amino acids are: phenylalanine, threonine, valine, tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, histidine, lysine and methionine.

These essential amino acids are not able to be produced or synthesised within the body so they have to be derived from the diet.

Plant-Based Protein Sources:

Some vegan sources of complete proteins include:

- Soya beans & products e.g. soya milk, tofu, tempeh - Hemp

- Quinoa - Amaranth

- Buckwheat - Micro algae such as chlorella & spirulina

However you are not limited to only getting protein from these sources.

There are a range of foods, that when combined together, can create a 'complete' protein source.

All you need to do is combine a food product from 2 of the 3 columns:

Although combining your plant proteins within an 8 hour window is sufficient for your body to put them together, if combined within the same meal, you can increase protein usability by 30%.

An example of ways to put meals together include:

- a legume and vegetable curry served on brown rice

- porridge with nuts and seeds

- a vegetable and grain based salad topped with seeds, and bean sprouts

How much protein is needed?

On average, you need the same amount of protein in grams that you weigh in kilograms. For example if you weigh 72kg, you need on average 72 grams of protein a day.

So how much Protein is in Plant Based Foods?

Some of the highest protein rich sources include:

- Cannellini beans - 17g of protein in 1 cup

- Lentils - 18g of protein in 1 cup

- Tempeh - 12 to 20g of protein in 115g (brand dependent)

- Tofu (medium to extra firm) - 7-12g of protein in 85g (brand dependent)

- Oat groats - 6g of protein in 1 cup

- Almonds - 7g of protein in 1 cup

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