FREE SHIPPING FOR ALL UK ORDERS OVER £50

Whether it be for environmental, animal welfare or health-related reasons, more people are switching to a vegan/plant-based diet than ever before. If you’re thinking about making, or have already made a transition to veganism, you’ve probably faced a variety of doubts and questions from those around you. Arguably, the most common of those is ‘but where am I going to get my protein from!?’ and that’s where we come in! In this article, we’re sharing some of the best sources of vegan protein, so you can answer the above question with a sophisticated and knowledgeable answer to silence the doubters. When it comes to a vegan diet, the proverb ‘variety is the spice of life’ has never been more accurate. If you’re varying what you eat on a daily basis and incorporating lots of different food groups into your diet, then chances are you’re ticking all the right boxes.

 

First, let’s get the scientific part out of the way. Protein is essential to overall health, helping to build and repair muscles, skin, bones, hormones, hair, and the list goes on: We could not live without it. A protein consists of 20 amino acids, nine of which can’t be produced by the body on its own, so which need to be consumed in the food we eat. Whilst meat, fish, dairy and eggs are complete sources, meaning they contain all nine of the ‘essential’ amino acids, this is less common in vegan protein sources, which means you might need to combine certain foods to ‘complete the chain!’ of amino acids.

 

COMPLETE SOURCES

Whilst not many vegan protein sources are considered ‘complete’, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any at all! Here are a few:

Quinoa: ‘Never eat ingredients you can’t pronounce, unless its quinoa!’ Quinoa has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years, and for good reason. Not only is quinoa high in fibre, calcium, iron, B vitamins and more, it is also a complete source of protein. It can be used in a variety of dishes, for example, use it to replace rice in curries or add to a salad for a protein hit, so there’s no excuse not to make this one a staple good.

Tofu: Delicious when done right, tofu is another complete source of vegan protein. Put tofu in the fridge covered in your favourite marinade for about half an hour before you want to cook it to get the best out of this plant-based delight. If you’re still not a fan, don’t worry, as other soy-based foods are similarly rich in protein, such as edamame beans!

Chia seeds: With 3 grams of protein for every tablespoon, complete vegan protein sources don’t get much better than chia seeds! Chia seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, antioxidants and calcium, and are incredibly versatile. Mix them in with your porridge in the morning, sprinkle in a salad, or mix with water and leave to absorb for around 15 minutes to form an excellent replacement to eggs in baking! Be right back, off to bake a cake…

 

COMBINE 

Complete sources of protein aren’t the only way of making sure you’re getting your protein fix. You can also combine different foods to complete the chain.

Hummus and pitta: Enjoy for lunch, dinner, as a snack or anything in between. This cheap, delicious and zero fuss combination is packed with protein. Have you ever needed a better excuse to get snacking?

Rice and beans: Name a more classic combination? This one takes it right back to basics. The myth that vegans need to spend lots of money to get in their nutrients in is well and truly busted with this simple and dirt-cheap combination.

Nut butter on toast: Practically a more grown-up version of peanut butter jelly, another way to get your protein hit is to enjoy a slice of toast or two for breakfast smothered in your favourite nut butter. What better way to start the day?

Vegetables: Perhaps surprisingly, many vegetables also contain a lot of protein, such as spinach, corn, avocados and potatoes. So, the good news is, if you’re getting in your ‘5 a day’, you’ll probably find that you’re already getting a lot of the protein you need.

 

SUPPLEMENTS
Shakes and supplements are an effective and convenient way to boost protein intake in your everyday routine. Vegan protein powders come in a variety of different forms, ranging from pea protein to brown rice protein and even pumpkin protein! It’s important to remember, though, that supplements should be treated as an addition to a healthy diet and not a replacement of food! Here are a few to try:

The Beauty Chef Body ‘Inner Beauty Powder’ 
This chocolate flavoured powder is a real winner. It triples up as a protein powder, prebiotic and probiotic, helping you maintain a healthy gut and support the immune system, whilst containing 13.4 grams of protein per serving! Unlike many protein powders which contain more sugar than a pack of Haribo’s, the Body Inner Beauty powder is sweetened with Stevia. Stevia is a sugar substitute derived from a plant with absolutely no calories, and which studies have shown to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects.

Missfits Nutrition
Rather than catering for people looking to bulk up, Missifts Nutrition specialises in low-calorie protein powders without added sugar or artificial ingredients. Their goal is to reinvent the protein powder industry and help people on their journey to become stronger, fitter and healthier.

Supernova Advanced Vegan Protein
Supernova living has launched three vegan protein powders (00 NAKED, 01 WOMAN AND 02 MAN). By adding adaptogens, non-toxic plants to combat stress, their vegan protein is packed full of health essentials to fuel inner health, outer beauty and support performance. The 01 WOMAN combines organic brown rice and fermented pea proteins to provide 17g of protein per serving containing all essential amino acids and is flavoured with raw organic Peruvian cacao to add a smooth chocolate flavour.

words by Harriet Prior

RECIPE IDEAS…

SHARE THIS STORY