“Where do you get your protein?” If you have ever told someone that you are vegan, this is probably the first question you get asked. Trust me, you get use to it eventually. I do not blame people for asking this question. Before I knew much about what a plant based diet is, this would have been my first question too.
Most people assume that the only way to get protein is from animal products. This is simply not true. Animal products are a great source of protein, but far from the only option. Virtually every food is a source of protein.
As a plant based eater, you have plenty of options for high protein foods. Legumes, which includes beans, lentils, peas, etc., are a great option. A half a cup of legumes have 8 grams of protein. Nuts are also a source of good protein. One ounce of nuts have 6 ounces of protein. And of course vegetables are a great source of protein.
All of these foods also contain other important nutrients and vitamins, such as fiber, iron, vitamin E, magnesium, and so much more. Just as important, these foods are low in things like cholesterol and saturated fat. If you eat a well balanced plant based diet, protein will not be an issue.
The only reason that it is necessary to supplement protein is when you are trying to build muscle. Since I am a college athlete, I do use a protein powder. I prefer Vega Sport Performance Protein. It has 30 grams of protein per serving. It also has only 1 gram of sugar and 3 grams of fiber. I throw a scoop into my post workout smoothies, you can find the recipe here. Also, you can find the Vega Sport protein here.
If you do not want to make a smoothie or would prefer something simpler, there is another option. I also use Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood. This is jam-packed with great ingredients. It has 24 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, and 26 vitamins and minerals. It also contains antioxidants, greens, and Omega-3. This superfood is a meal in of itself. It is more on the expensive side, but it breaks down to about $5 per meal, which isn’t a bad deal. You can find Ka’Chava Superfood here.
The only other supplement I take is a B12 supplement. I plan on doing a future post solely for B12. But B12 is a vitamin that is typically found in animal products. B12 is important because it facilitates proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. You can find B12 supplements in pretty much any grocery or vitamin store or online.
If you are worried that a plant based diet lacks protein or other essential vitamins, hopefully this post helped. A great book that talks about America’s obsession with protein is Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis. I go more in depth about his book and other great resources in a post that you can find here. A plant based diet will provide you with every nutrient and vitamin you need in order to live a healthy and amazing life!