I did find it somewhat amusing when I first went vegan at how many people genuinely were concerned about my lack of protein. In reality I take in much more protein now than I ever have. It’s almost comical that one can smoke, drink and eat junk food with no judgement, but the minute you decide to eat a healthy plant based diet people are suddenly concerned about your health? I figured I would write this little post sharing some easy to include food sources that contain good amounts of protein on a vegan/raw vegan diet.
One thing to realise about Protein is that it mostly comes from plant sources initially. That protein rich steak your eating, is only protein rich due the greens that animal ate and converted into amino acids to produce protein. Yep you heard me, you are eating regurgitated protein! Yummy.
But how much protein does are body actually need?
According to the RDA the best way to work out an individuals need for protein is using the method below.
Step 1: Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight
For men, use this formula: 106 pounds for 60 inches of height (5 feet) and add 6 pounds for every inch over 60.
For women, use this formula: 100 pounds for 60 inches of height and add 5 pounds for every inch over 60. For example, I am 5′9″ or 69 inches tall, so my ideal body weight is 145 pounds (65 kilograms approx).
The RDA recommends 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight, meaning my body needs 52g of Protein per day approx.
Once you know your daily intake you need, simply make small adjustments if you are not taking in enough protein. I have found that on my plant based fruit high diet I get more than enough protein (as long as I am consuming enough calories each day). There is essentially protein in most foods, Fruit contains between 4-8% protein and is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids, not to mention all the other nutrients and minerals they possess.
Other good examples are obviously greens along with nuts and seeds.
Heres a little started list of some easy to add-in protein rich raw vegan foods;
Spinach- 2.9g Protein per 100g
Kale- 3.3g Protein per 100g
Mushrooms- 3.1g Protein per 100g
(Other great sources include; Greens, Broccoli, Asparagus, Cabbage, Watercress ,Peas and Cauliflower)
Guava- 2.6g of Protein per 100g
Avocado- 2g of Protein per 100g
Apricots- 1.4g of Protein per 100g
Blackberries- 1.4g Protein per 100g
Raspberries- 1.2g Protein per 100g
Bananas- 1.1g Protein per 100g
Kiwi- 1.1g of Protein per 100g
(Other great sources include; Jackfruit, Prunes, Raisins and Cherries)
Peanuts- 25g Protein per 100g
Cashews-18g Protein per 100g
Walnuts- 14.7g Protein per 100g
Hazlenuts- 14.1g Protein per 100g
Almonds- 21g Protein per 100g
Pistachios- 20g Protein per 100g
Brazil nuts- 14g Protein per 100g
Pumpkin Seeds- 25g Protein per 100g
Sunflower Seeds- 22g Protein per 100g
Flax Seeds- 18.3g Protein per 100g
Chia Seeds- 17g Protein per 100g
Another easy way is to add a pre-made protein powder of course, or a superfood such as spirilina (a whopping 57g of protein per 100g).
One of the simplest ways of getting in those proteins is by adding any of the above to your diet in small quantities, chuck a handful of greens into your morning smoothie? Chuck some seeds on your afternoon salad, have a handful of nuts or piece of fruit as snack.
So to answer the question set out by many, yes… I get enough protein… more than enough, and it is all possible on a low fat raw vegan diet 🙂