Keywords: Complete Proteins, Vegetarians and Vegans, Amino acids, proteins and antioxidants, proteins and vitamins
Amid Covid-19 half the world, people would like to convert or make a move and adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Most of us who wish to convert and become vegetarian or vegan have one question on top of our heads “will we be able to get sufficient proteins in a vegan diet?”. “Will we get it in sufficient doses, as we get from lamb, fish, dairy, and eggs?” These are pretty valid questions.
Proteins are basically built on Amino acids ( see Structure of Amino acids in the picture) and your body can make some but not all. Below is a list of amino acids that you have to get from your diet to make complete proteins. They are:
Plant food and lentils may give you quite a lot of protein or even complete amino acids required in a protein. Lentils and legumes are high in lysine, so they can be sufficient for your daily protein requirement.
Following is a list of 20 sources of complete proteins for you to depend on if you are thinking of becoming a vegetarian or a vegan.
1.MILK: Soya milk and Almond milk are non-dairy milk for you, full of taste and flavor. Soya milk besides being abundantly full of proteins is also a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Almonds are a great source of protein, vitamin E, and calcium. Other kinds of milk like coconut, cashew, oats, rice, are full of proteins, calcium, vitamin D, and B12.
2.VEGAN Cheese: has recently become popular and is derived for you from- cashews, pine nuts, soy, almonds, yeast, coconut oil, peanuts or rice. It is cholesterol-free and high in proteins.
3.TOFU/Tempeh: Tofu is made mainly from soya bean curd. It is low in calories, high in protein and fat, plus it contains calcium, iron, magnesium, and dietary fiber. There are 8.5g of protein per ½ cup of soya Tofu. Tempeh on the other hand contains 15g protein per half-cup.
4.BUCKWHEAT: is a superfood for your heart’s health. Buckwheat groats nutrition is loaded with protein, carbs, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and fiber. Buckwheat contains more minerals, and antioxidants than most grains.
5.QUINOA: A cup of Quinoa will provide you with nearly twice the proteins than that of rice. In addition, it will provide 5gms more fiber than white rice. It will fill you quicker and besides providing you with higher quantities of protein and fiber; Quinoa is gluten-free, and contains magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and other useful anti-oxidants. Having said that a cup of Quinoa contains 21.3% of your daily required intake* of standard diet*.
6.EZEKIEL bread: this is bread made from sprouted whole grains, lentils, and legumes. Ezekiel bread is healthy, full of proteins, and contains some wheat flour and a fair amount of fiber. The bread is a low carb diet - one slice contains about 15g of carbs. Other loaves of bread close to the Ezekiel bread are Sourdough, oat, and flax and sprouted Rye.
7.CHIA seeds: Chia seeds are good at breakfast time especially. You may soak them in milk or juice at night or use them with oats and muesli. One hundred grams of Chia seeds contain 17g of proteins, which is nearly 34% of the daily value* and 11g of fiber. Minerals and fat form 47% all up. Sodium, potassium, calcium 63%; Iron 42%, magnesium 83% and vitamin A 1% and vitamin C 2% of daily value*. Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and these acids help to raise good cholesterol. It is recommended that you start with 28g and watch your tolerance before increasing the quantity.
8.HEMP seeds: are sourced mainly from the Cannabis Sativa plant (with no mind-altering factor). Hemp seeds are rich in protein and antioxidants. They will also provide you with Omega-3 and Omega-6 healthy fatty acids. Two tablespoons or 20g of Hemp seeds contain 6.3g of protein; 0.14g of magnesium;0.33g of phosphorus and 0.14g of calcium.
9.RED or BROWN rice: are a better choice than white rice. Red rice is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber. Red rice is also good for controlling your diabetes, has pulmonary and digestive benefits. Red rice has a nutty taste and a chewy texture. One cup of cooked rice contains 45g of carbohydrates. Red & brown rice may have some side-effects, like headaches or heartburn.
10.HUMMUS: The best hummus is made from chickpeas. One hundred grams of Hummus contains 8g of protein; 0.38g of sodium and 0.23g of potassium. Hummus is rich in iron at 13% and magnesium at 17%; vitamin B6 at 10% and calcium 3% of daily intake required*.
11. PEANUT BUTTER: is very high in protein content- 25g in a serving of 100g butter. It forms nearly 50% of the daily requirement* depending on body size. Having said that peanut butter is quite high in calories and contains 588 calories per 100g of butter.
Other nutrients and minerals form 38% magnesium; vitamin B6 25%; Potassium 18%; Iron 10%; fiber24% and 6% carbs of daily requirement*. Despite the high amount of calories, peanut butter is considered to be effective for your weight loss.
12.QURON: is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is essential for vegetarians and vegans as it contains 90% of mycoprotein and huge health benefits. Quron contains a high quantity of proteins and a low amount of saturated fat. One hundred grams of Quron contains 11g of protein, as also it is high in fiber and low in carbs. The name is derived from Fusarium venenatum fungus that is dried and mixed with egg albumen and then pressed into various forms.
13.BEANS: are full of proteins and minerals and very low in fat and carbs. Beans like pinto, navy, and kidney contain 23 % proteins. Other minerals in beans form 10% magnesium;6% calcium; and 11% iron.
14.YEAST-nutritional: Vegans, you can add extra protein and protect yourselves from any oxidative damage. Nutritional Yeast also helps in lowering cholesterol and boosts immunity.
15.SPIRULINA: is blue or green Algae. It comes in powder or supplements form. You can add the powder in smoothies, or a juice, and sprinkle it on a salad. Two tablespoons of Spirulina will give you 8g of protein. Spirulina is also rich in iron and manganese.
16. PROTEIN-rich vegetables: Dark-colored leafy vegetables and single medium stalk of broccoli will give you 4g per cup; one cup of kale will give you 2g of protein and 5 medium-sized mushrooms offer 3g of proteins.
17.SEITAN: A complete protein made by mixing wheat gluten with some spices (you need to take care if you are with Celiac or have an intolerance of gluten. Seitan can be a healthy meat substitute if it is cooked in a soya source. This complete protein can offer up to 21g protein per 1/3 of a cup of Seitan, because of the amino Acid-Lysine.
18.ALMONDS: are nuts that provide 16.5gms of protein per ½ cup plus vitamin E. Besides, almonds great for skin and eyes.
19. SHILAJIT: The centuries-old Himalayan Shilajit is a humic substance full of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. It is known as “the fountain of youth” or “Indian Viagra” as well as, by many other hefty names. The amino acids along with Fulvic acid 65-75%are a complete diet in themselves. Himalayan Shilajit as a rule of thumb contains 13-17% proteins (with marked Tam-lyase activity- which does not let harmful proteins settle in the brain). Himalayan Shilajit also contains an atomic Carbon 60 (C 60) molecule. C 60 is a super antioxidant with a huge number of benefits to everyone including animals and pets ( What is C 60 is covered in another blog)
20.SPELT flour: Spelt is a healthy whole grain. Spelled grains or flour contains more protein than regular wheat flour. There is a little difference in the proportion of other minerals also.
*Standard/Regular diet per person per day is assumed to be worth 2000 calories. It can be more or less depending upon the size and type of body.