Fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, whole grains, and foods like tofu, tempeh, and seitan are sources of vegan protein.
Compared to all of other frequently asked vegan health questions, this one may the most popular. There are several things to know when discussing vegan protein.
First, it’s good to know the role of protein in the body. Its job is to assist with cell growth and repair. Also, it helps in immunity and hormone production. Next, it’s entirely possible to get enough protein eating vegan. In fact, you don’t need as much as you might think. Finally, you should know how to calculate the amount of protein you need to ensure you’re getting enough.
According to Anya Todd, MS, RD, LD, it involves a little know-how and a bit of math.
“The daily requirement of protein is approximately 0.8 – 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. To determine your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.”
Using this formula, a 130-pound person would need 60 grams of protein daily. Todd mentions keeping in mind that requirements can vary through life stages like childhood, pregnancy, and lactation.
You won’t miss out on protein by choosing plants either she says, but you will have vegan gains.
“Excessive amounts of animal protein have shown links to osteoporosis and kidney disease. There are a variety of plant foods that can provide substantial amounts of protein without the cholesterol and saturated fat in animal protein.”
Protein is a big subject. Visit the Vegan Protein Primer for everything you need to know about getting quality protein from plants.