Protein is essential for building and retaining muscle; it also helps you stay fuller for longer and helps manage hunger. Many people get protein from animal sources such as meat and dairy; however, those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet have to find alternative protein sources.
While the availability of vegan protein choices may be limited, there are still many different foods you can include to help you hit your daily protein goal. Having a go-to list of protein options can be incredibly useful to help you avoid playing macro-Tetris at the end of a long day, or finishing the day short.
Daily Protein Recommendation
How much protein do you actually need? Knowing that is a great place to start. The daily recommended protein intake varies from .8 to 1.1 grams per pound of weight. The .8 is the minimum amount considered to be healthy for a sedentary person. For a 120 lb. woman, for example, this would equate to approximately 96g per day.
The Vegan Protein Myth
The myth that vegans don't get enough protein in their diets is exactly that -- a myth. Unless you live in an under-developed country where there is a lack of food resources, you can easily get enough high-quality protein from consuming soy products, quinoa and buckwheat, which are all complete protein sources. A complete protein is one that includes all 9 essential amino acids.
So no, you don’t have to rely solely on beans to get the right amount of protein. Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables will ensure you are getting all the protein you need to build muscle and keep your body healthy and strong.
The infographic below contains a list of vegan protein options to help you make smart choices or even switch up your protein variety. Click here to download the full PDF.
Quick Tips For Increasing Your Protein Consumption
Beans and legumes are usually considered some of the best ways the ensure your body has ample amounts of protein. However, some people have problems eating beans and legumes or simply don’t like the taste. If you are one of these people, try some of these other great ways to bump up your protein:
- Soy or almond milk
- High-protein veggies
- Meat alternatives
- Protein bars and shakes
And as our downloadable infographic shows, some of the foods that are high in protein might surprise you -- such as mushrooms, spinach and asparagus!
Still trying to figure out the right amount of protein for you? A WAG Nutrition Coach can help.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo or “no preference” when it comes to your diet, a nutrition coach who gets to know you makes all the difference. When you sign up for Working Against Gravity, we’ll pair you with your own personal nutrition coach. You’ll have formal weekly check-ins with your coach, plus the ability to message them 24/7 anytime you need to chat.
Together, you’ll decide the steps to take to reach your goals and master healthy habits. You’ll also join our exclusive online community, where you’ll find additional accountability and support.