One of the biggest myths about a plant-based diet is that you don’t get enough protein- but that’s all it is a myth! In fact, there are endless sources of vegan protein, you just need to know what to eat!
Regardless of whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or a meat lover, everyone can benefit from this, so stick with us!
But first, what are proteins?
Proteins are key to our health since they make our immune system stronger and build antibodies. It is also the main element required for our body to build muscle, skin, hair, nails, eyes, and internal organs. We can all agree that proteins are vital for us, but we are not obliged to eat meat to get them!
There is one main little difference between animal and plant-based proteins: they differ in the number of amino acids that they contain. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins; our body needs up to 20 different amino acids to function and develop properly, but only nine of them are classified as essential. Why? Because our body can’t create them on its own.
Animal proteins are referred to as “complete” since they contain all nine essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins only contain a few. So all you have to do is combine different veggies and plant-sourced products (hopefully you’re already doing that by now!).
Here are some plant-based foods that we love and that are also extremely rich in proteins:
Lentils (18g of protein per cup): all beans have a ton of proteins, but lentils top the list with about 18 grams of protein per cup! They’re also rich in fiber and minerals. Incorporate lentils in a soup mixed with veggies and some rice. Even better, try our French Lentil and Butternut Squash dish! Healthy, yummy, and rich in proteins
Chickpeas (14.7g protein per cup): chickpeas are so easy to cook and a great source of protein. They’re also rich in fiber, iron, phosphorus, and healthy fatty acids. Incorporate chickpeas in a soup with veggies, or gently "smash" them to make a vegan hamburger, and even hummus. The perfect snack!
Hemp Seeds (10g of protein per 3 Tbsp): the good news, hemp seeds contain all 9 amino acids! Even better, they pack in a lot of protein in small portions. Toss them into bowls, yogurts, salads, and smoothies.
Tofu (21.8g of protein per 1/2 cup): have you already tasted our Moroccan Tofu with Couscous or our Tofu and Cauliflower Curry? If you haven’t, you better try! Tofu is not only delicious when combined with yummy ingredients, but it is also an amazing source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. Give it a try and let us know how you liked it!
Quinoa (8g protein per cup): quinoa is one of our all-time favorite sources of protein since it also contains all nine amino acids! It’s also one of the most versatile foods out there: enjoy quinoa in your morning breakfast cereal, for lunch as the protein in your salad, and at dinner in place of rice or pasta.
There are endless plant-based protein sources out there! Here are just five to get you started. Next time you hear someone say that proteins come exclusively from animals, you know what to say! What vegan proteins are your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!
My Kosher Chef