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Sources of vegan protein

Healthy Eating
 For any diet to be considered healthy, it must include foods from the five groups (Photo: Shutterstock)

Eating healthy is highly recommended for a long healthy life that's free from bodily complications. However, controlling what we eat can be tough. There are diets that cater for specific needs such as vegetarianism, veganism, keto, etc. 

Veganism entails keeping away from using animal products. A dietary vegan does not eat meat, eggs and dairy products. 

For any diet to be considered healthy, it must include foods from the five groups; vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. Foods derived from animals form the bulk of proteins and since a vegan cannot eat this, they must look for alternatives. 

What are the sources of vegan protein?

A high protein diet is important for muscle growth and strength, satiety and can aid in weight loss. It is a common concern that vegan diet might lack in enough proteins. However, a well-thought-out vegan diet will provide you with all the nutrients you need. There are certain foods that contain more proteins than others and there are plant foods that contain significantly more protein than animal protein. 

Here are plant foods rich in proteins.

1. Soybeans

Tofu, tempeh and edamame are all members of the soybean family which are considered a whole source of protein. This is because they give the body all the essential amino acids it needs. Edamame are young soybeans with a rich, sweet, yet grassy taste and are easily prepared by boiling or steaming. They can be eaten singly or accompanied with soup or salad. Tofu is pressed bean curds. Tempeh is slightly matured soybeans that have been cooked and fermented. Both can be used as an ingredient in various recipes. 

2. Soy Milk

Soy milk is made from soybeans, fortified vitamins and minerals. It is a great alternative for cow milk in your vegan diet. Each cup of 240ml contains 7 grams of protein. It is also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. 

Soy milk is readily available in most supermarkets. It can be drank on its own or used as an ingredient in cooking and baking recipes. There are two varieties, sweetened and unsweetened. 

3. Lentils

Lentils are a rich source of proteins with 18 grams of protein per a 240ml cooked cup. They are easy to prepare and go with a variety of dishes from fresh salads to soups. They are also a great source of fiber which is great for a healthy digestive tract. 

 A high protein diet is important for muscle growth and strength (Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Beans

Most beans from kidney, black to pinto contain significant amounts of protein per serving. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans are legumes rich in protein. For a cooked cup, they both contain 15 grams of proteins. Beans are easy to cook and are quite versatile as a dish. 

5. Green peas

Green peas are nutritious with a little side dish serving up to 9 grams of proteins per 240ml. They also offer a good percentage of daily fiber, vitamins A, C, K, thiamine, folate and manganese. Green peas also contain a great deal of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and other B vitamins. 

6. Fruits and vegetables

All fruits and vegetables have proteins. However, some contain more proteins than others. Vegetables rich in proteins include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Per cooked cup, they each contain 4 to 5 grams of proteins. 

Fresh fruits do not have as much protein as vegetables. Fruits that contain the most include guavas, cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines and bananas which have 2 to 4 grams of proteins per cup.

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