It’s commonly known that if you’re a heavy lifter, you have to eat enough protein. When it comes to protein, most people have it easy — just eat plenty of meat and you will hit your protein goals. But if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet, then the choices of how you get enough protein may be more limited. In this article, we will be going over some different ways that vegans and vegetarians can get enough protein while maintaining their dietary needs.
Protein and Whey Powder
A great option for getting protein is in smoothies. There is a wide variety of foods that can be turned into a smoothie protein drink. In addition to any foods that you put in a smoothie, you can also add protein powder for an extra boost. For vegetarians, simple whey protein will do. Whey protein comes from getting all the protein and amino acids in milk and breaking them down into their base components.
Whey protein is a great option for vegetarians, but vegans will need to find an alternative source of protein. One great replacement option is the use of seitan. Seitan is made from the proteins taken from wheat. Of course, this is mainly done using the gluten in wheat to derive the amino acids, so if you are also observing a gluten-free diet you’ll need to be wary of this type of protein.
For anyone who has Celiac Disease or whose body just does not handle gluten very well, there are alternatives to whey and seitan. One of those most natural, healthy, and least processed options is hemp seed. Hemp seed is heavy in protein and has all of the building blocks that your body needs. Hemp seed also has high levels of good fat, and a lot of the vitamins and minerals that modern humans lack in their diet. Magnesium, zinc, and calcium exist in especially high concentrations in hemp seed. Hemp seed also contains little or no THC, and is an all natural protein source.
Soy and Rice Protein
Two more common options available for increasing protein intake are soy protein powders and rice protein, though keep in mind that rice protein is likely to contain gluten. These are great sources of protein and offer an alternative to whey and seitan.
Another great source of protein is nuts and rich foods like avocado. Grains are a great option as well. Rice, wheat bread, cereals, and oatmeal are all very healthy options that contain grain. If your dietary restrictions allow it, dairy can be another option to consider. The most health conscious options include non-processed cheese, Greek yogurt, and fat-free milk.
If you would like more information about vegan and vegetarian options for increasing protein intake, or if you have other nutrition questions, visit STR8 Training, located in San Marcos, TX.