Sunday, 3 March 2013

More on Protein

Just in case you didn't feel satisfied by the information in my last post, I thought I would provide a more detailed account on vegetarian/vegan friendly protein sources.

The soybean is an important protein in any meat-free diet.  Soybeans contain all essential amino acids – there are 10 – and provide a respective amount of protein to the human body. 

Soybeans can be consumed in their original form, and actually make a great addition to your favourite trail-mix, but they can also be found in a wide variety of soy-based products.  Soy milk, tofu, veggie burgers and dogs are only a few of the products available to vegetarians and vegans.  The soybeans are miraculous in that the many different forms take on a variety of flavours guaranteed to satisfy a range of tastes. 

Aside from soybeans, vegetarian/vegan protein comes from sources such as:

Legumes: garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans

Grain: barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, wild rice

Vegetables: artichokes, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green peas, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, spinach, watercress, zucchini … to name a few

Fruit: apples, bananas, melons, grapefruit, peaches, pears, pineapple

Nuts and Seeds: almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

And the list goes on.  So, as you can see, there are a wide range of proteins available to those who chose not to eat meat.  These options offer a variety of textures and tastes of which you’ll surely never be bored. 

Oh, and one last thing, to further support my previous claim that people tend to think we need more protein than is necessary, The Happy Cow says that “we need only 2.5 – 10% of our calories from protein, and ALL vegetables offer us more than that.”   


  1. I have always found that beans, lentils and fruit fill me up the most. I always seem to be hungry right after consuming grains.

  2. @Alexis - they are far more important than grains which aren't as essential by far. There are other ways to get Vit B than from grain which is mostly empty calories - don't get me wrong, I love my bread, but eating it all the time would just make me fat. The large amount of grains is one of my problems with a vegetarian diet. But supplement for something healthier and more filling and now we're talking!

  3. It might not be that hard after all! I eat majority of these things on a regular

  4. Wow, I didn't know protein came from so many sources. Looks like you have lots of options for your protein consumption.

  5. Protein is the hardest part when being a vegetarian and the first question I always get asked. People think if you don't eat meat you aren't getting protein and often don't understand incomplete vs. complete proteins. Thank you for breaking it down and making it easy for people to get.

  6. I have been looking into cutting back on the meat intake - it makes me feel pretty groggy sometimes. So this is very informative, thanks Erin!

  7. You're welcome, Kate! There really are a lot of meatless options out there, you just have to be a little more creative with making meals.