Protein is made up of 22 amino acids, nine of which are essential. That means they must be obtained from the diet because the body cannot create them. These nine essential amino acids can be obtained from a number of vegan protein sources including legumes, grains, sea vegetables, leafy greens and fruits.
Amino acids are the “building blocks” for protein. Once inside the body, the body utilizes them to build its own complete protein. So technically, plants do not contain protein, but they do contain the substances that the body needs to build its own.
Some plant foods, such as the avocado, are a complete protein food, which means they contain all nine essential amino acids. Unlike the avocado, most plant-based foods do not contain all nine, thus making it necessary to eat a variety of foods in order to ensure that all amino acids are consumed. At the same time, it is not necessary to consume all nine in one meal, or even in one day. The body is able to store them in a pool and draw from there as needed.
The following is a list of some of the best vegan protein sources. Please note that they are not listed in any particular order, nor is this a complete list.
Soy and Soy products
Nuts and Seeds
Fruits and Vegetables
There are many protein powders on the market, including rice and hemp protein powders. Always read the labels as some may contain unwanted sugars and/or flavorings.
Adding the above foods to a daily diet along with other plant-based foods will ensure the body receives enough protein. The daily recommendations are 46g a day for women and 56g for men.
Vegan protein sources are now said to be much healthier than animal sources as they are much easier for the body to assimilate. They are much easier to digest and instead of contributing to digestive problems, they can help to clear up many problems. As a result, vegan protein sources can help to promote a long and healthy life by helping the body retain vital energies.