Vegan Diet do not consume any animal products, which in addition to meat and fish, includes eggs, honey and all dairy products such as milk, cheese or yogurt. More and more people are deciding to follow a vegan diet for ethical, environmental or nutritional reasons. This trend is reflected in the market where there are more and more products suitable for vegans, such as, for example, the wide variety of vegetable drinks, tofu or soy-based foods in search of different sources of vegetable protein.
Precisely, soy is one of the most consumed foods due to its high protein content, as explained by María José Cejas, pharmacist at the Farmacia Europa, in Puente Genil (Córdoba). “It is the legume that provides more protein and fewer carbohydrates, specifically 35 grams of protein for every 100 grams of soy,” he explains.
In this regard, Miquel Gironés, nutritionist and director of the Club Vida 10 channel, comments that soy is a versatile and easy to find food. “Many of the myths that run online about soy: that if it is carcinogenic, if it will make my breasts grow, etc … they have no scientific basis.” In his opinion, protein should come first when shopping, cooking and starting to eat. “They are essential to maintain a strong and energized body for the whole day,” says Gironés.
Eight foods to get vegetable protein
Legumes, nuts and some foods such as mushrooms are other sources of vegetable protein that, together with soy, are the basis of a balanced vegan menu. Below, Eyebrows details the nutritional benefits of eight high protein foods:
What Everybody Else Does When It Comes To Vegan Diet: What Are The Best Sources Of Protein? And What You Should Do Different
1. Chickpeas:It is a legume with vitamins B3, C, K and B9. In addition, this food can be consumed in both stews and salads and are the basis of healthy recipes such as hummus.
2. Lentils:They stand out for their content in iron, zinc, magnesium, sodium, potassium, selenium, calcium and vitamins. Lentils have B vitamins such as B2, B3, B6, B9 (folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin E. In addition, Eyebrows stresses that “this food is a good source of phosphorus, manganese, and folic acid.” Like chickpeas, lentils can be used in both spoon dishes and salads.
3. Seitan:It is a wheat protein paste, therefore it is a food rich in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. Marinated seitan is used in vegan recipes to simulate the texture of meat steaks.
4. Tofu:It is derived from soy and is high in iron and calcium. It also contains vitamin B1 and minerals such as manganese, selenium, phosphorous, copper, and zinc.
5. Quinoa:They have a high level of protein, up to 23%, although it depends on the different types on the market. Quinoa is an ideal ingredient to complete salads and provides minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous, as well as vitamins (C, E, B1, B2 and niacin). In addition, this food is rich in amino acids, which influence brain development, and Omega 6 fats.
6. Mushrooms:This food provides plant-based protein, fiber, minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, calcium, zinc and potassium) and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, D and E.
7. Nuts:Walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts … are a good option to complement breakfast, snacks and salads because they provide fiber, antioxidants and vitamins B and E.
8. Vegan protein powder:Gironés adds this ingredient to the list and explains that it is “a food (pea, rice, soybeans, beans, etc.) that has had its water removed, has been made into a powder and in some cases the protein has been isolated from the rest of nutrients ”. When making the purchase, Gironés remembers that frozen vegetables are a good option: “Contrary to what many people think, frozen vegetables are our allies when we want something healthy and fast.” On how to cook these foods, both specialists advise doing so in the way that is most comfortable for the consumer and, if possible, reduce the cooking process to maintain essential nutrients.
These experts indicate that people who follow a vegan diet should take vitamin B12 supplements because they will not get the necessary amounts from food, even if they are artificially fortified. Sometimes it may also be necessary to take iron and calcium supplements, but always prescribed by a specialist. “A vegan diet must include all the mentioned foods and must be completed with a nutritional supplement, so as not to notice a decline,” adds Cejas.
For Gironés, the rest of the nutrients can be obtained from food in sufficient quantities with good nutritional planning. This nutritionist advises, in addition to the foods described, the following guidelines to maintain a balanced diet: