Discover vegan protein sources to meet your daily requirements. Put your concerns to rest by eating the best vegan sources of protein and reach your best levels of health. After water, protein is the second largest contributor to body weight. Protein is in our skin, tendons, glands, muscles, hair, and fingernails.
PROTEIN IN PLANTS
A variety of vegan protein sources is essential for vegans since they do not consume any animal products. It is possible to get all of one’s sources of protein from the natural world without violence or losing nutrients through cooking. The FDA recommends that 10% of daily calorie intake should come from protein and that a variety of protein sources should be consumed to get all 20 amino acids. The body produces 10 out of the 20 which build protein in our bodies.
A variety of protein sources are important because different combinations produce different protein structures. The amino acids produced by our bodies, the non-essential ones are: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, praline, serine, and taurine. While the amino acids we need from outside sources, the essential ones, include: phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, methionine, histidine, arginine, leucine, lysine.
Many vegetables are made up of 10% or more protein. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetable, which are 10% or more protein. It will be easy to meet the 10% or more of daily recommended calories from protein.
Grains and beans are good vegan protein sources. Microbiology dictates that the easiest way to get a complete source of protein is to eat grains and beans at the same meal. Together, these two can provide the same combination of amino acids as a piece of chicken, the full spectrum of amino-acids needed to thrive.
Soy protein is unique because it is one of the only vegetables which contain all essential amino acids. Soy is one of the most popular vegan protein sources. Studies have found that soy reduces the risk of getting cancer. Soy is a source of isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are structures similar to estrogen but produced outside of our body. Isoflavones are believed to decrease rates of breast cancer.
However, high levels of soy given to mice have caused higher rates of cancer as well as abnormal growth of breast tissue in males. This evidence concludes that it is essential to consume soy in moderation. If already consuming a variety of fresh vegetables, one needs only to include a little bit of soy in the diet. Other vegan protein sources include lentils, yellow peas, nuts, beans, seeds and other vegetables.