Proteins are an essential part of every diet and healthy lifestyle, but unlike carbs and fats, the sources are mainly animal-based, so vegan dieters have to seek other options for how to fulfill the protein needs. Yes, there is a large number of plant sources available, but these do not contain the complete protein – one that contains all the essential amino acids.

These acids are needed to maintain optimal health condition, but because our bodies can’t produce and store it for a longer period of time, we have to obtain the needed amount from other sources. Thankfully, if the animal-based sources are not an option, the complete protein can be build by mixing several plant-based foods.

Non-vegan dieters have it much easier when it comes to protein intake because the meat is just loaded with this essential compound. But just because you are following other, meat-free lifestyle doesn’t mean you won’t be able to meet your body’s protein requirements. Actually, there is a countless number of amazing plant protein sources, so you don’t have to worry.

Following are the best vegan-friendly protein sources:

  1. Nuts

Nuts are many times omitted from the eating plans because they are high in fats and calories, so there is a fear of gaining weight. However, they are loaded with important nutrients, fiber and proteins, so are an ideal snack to kill the hunger and to increase the needed protein intake. Even though the nuts contain a big amount of fats, these are the good fats that are not linked to weight issues. Actually, eating nuts regularly can help to shed some pounds from time to time.

  1. Tofu

Tofu is a product of solidified soy milk and it is a pure protein. Just a half of the full block contains amazing 14 grams of proteins and has only around 100 calories, so can help to fulfill the intake needs without affecting the weight loss. There are basically two types of tofu, a firm and a silken one. Both of these can be used in a countless number of meals such as sauces, dressing, soups, etc.

  1. Lentils

Lentils come in different colors and sizes and provide several important health benefits. They are rich in fiber, vitamin B1, iron and most important, protein. Just one cup of lentils contains around 18 grams of protein with the negligible amount of calories. They provide incomplete protein so you have to seek other sources as well in order to make a complete protein, but you can easily mix it with grain to form a complete one.

  1. Beans

Beans are rich in protein as just one cup is able to offer around 14 grams of this belly-filling compound. They are also high in fiber and micronutrients, so can calm down the hunger. Therefore, they are an ideal addition to every diet. There are different types of beans out there as we have pinto, kidney and black or white available. Basically, there is a bean for everything and they can be used in pasta, smoothies, burritos or salads.

  1. Quinoa

Quinoa might be unknown for you, but unlike most other plant protein sources, this remarkable plant contains complete protein, so contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for proper functioning. It is super versatile as it can be cooked, added to salads, kinds of pasta or simply eaten as a cereal.

  1. Non-dairy milk

Non-dairy milk such as soy milk is a great source of proteins as it provides up to 10 grams of it, while the common cow’s milk just around 7 grams. Moreover, soy milk contains almost the same amounts of other essential compounds like calcium or vitamin D as the cow’s milk. On the other hand, other types of non-diary milk such as rice or almond do not contain any significant amount of proteins, so if you can’t get used to the soy milk, hemp milk would be a great alternative.

  1. Leafy greens

Even though the vegetables can’t be compared to the foods mentioned above when it comes to the amount of protein, there still are some that contain a significant amount of it. Moreover, they are loaded with antioxidants and help to prevent cardiovascular diseases. One cup of fresh broccoli contains around 8 grams of protein.

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Published by Joseph Nicholls