“Do vegetarians and vegans get enough proteins?” To answer this infamous question I decided to list the sources of vegetarian & vegan proteins below. There are so many healthy vegetarian sources of proteins out there other than meat or fish. If you include these foods into diet it is very possible to get enough proteins- you just need to know where to find them 🙂
Vegetarian Sources of Proteins
Dairy products are foods that are produced using milk derived from animals such as cows, goats or sheep. The most used milk for dairy is cow’s milk. Foods like cheese, cream, yoghurt, butter, sour cream or ice cream.
They are high in proteins, iodine, calcium, potassium, B2 and B12
Disadvantage of Dairy
- Contain a high amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar
- Dairy products found in supermarkets stem from animals that have been mass produced and are therefore usually sick, pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics. These toxins gets transferred via the food to you.
More info’s here: Is Dairy Poisonous? 5 reasons why you should minimize or stop dairy!
Healthy alternatives to Dairy
- In general try to purchase dairy from local farmers who supply organic, free range and grass fed products
- Switch to goats and sheep milk/cheese! They are usually kept in their natural habitat and therefore exercise their muscles and eat natural foods. They have less casein (protein in milk) and people with intolerances seem to digest them better.
- Drink milk alternatives such as organic soy, oat, almond or coconut milk [vegan].
They are a good source of proteins as well as biotin, vitamin B12, B2, B5 and Vitamin D.
Disadvantage of Eggs
- High in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Most supermarket eggs come from animals kept in very tight spaces so they get sick and are therefore pumped with antibiotics as well as growth hormones which you end up eating
- Eggs should come from naturally kept and fed chickens. Best from local farms.
- Flaxseed Eggs: Mix flaxseed with water [vegan]
- Chia Eggs: Mix chia with water [vegan]
- For Baking: Mashed Banana or orange juice [vegan]
Vegan [Vegetarian] Sources of Protein
Nuts & Seeds
They are a fantastic source of proteins as wells as vitamins and minerals.
- Almonds – Vitamin B2, Biotin, Calcium, Magnesium and Iron
- Cashew – Vitamin E, K and B6 as wells as phosphorous, Zinc, Magnesium and Iron
- Macadamia- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, Iron, Calcium and Selenium
- Walnuts – Omega 3, Manganese, Calcium and Biotin
- Brazil Nuts – Selenium, Copper, Calcium and Potassium
- Pumpkin Seeds – Zinc, Iron, Copper and Magnesium
- Sunflower Seeds – Vitamin B1, B6 and E, Manganese, Selenium and Phosphorus
- Flaxseeds – Omega 3, Dietary Fiber, Phosphorus and B1
- Chia Seeds – ALL ESSENTIAL PROTEINS, Omega 3, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B, D & E
Disadvantage of Nuts and Seed
They contain a high amount of fat so if you are on a diet, don’t eat too many of them!
Avoid salted and roasted nuts & seeds as they are full of salt and trans-fats and purchase natural and organic ones instead!
Legumes include beans, peas and lentils. They are a fabulous way to add proteins into your diet! They are very high in fiber, low in fat and full of vitamins and minerals!
- Kidney Beans – Folate, Fiber, Copper, Iron and B1
- Cannellini Beans – B12, Iron, Potassium and Zinc
- Borlotti Beans – Potassium, Zinc, Iron and Folate
- Lentils – Folate, B1, B6 as well as Phosphorus, Manganese, Iron, Zinc and Potassium
- Chickpeas – Manganese, Folate, Copper, Phosphorous, Iron and Zinc
- Black Eyed Peas- Vitamin A, Folate and Magnesium
Disadvantage of Legumes
- Some people get bloating from eating too many of them due to the high fiber.
- Canned legumes contain BPA which is a toxic derived form of plastic and should be minimized or avoided. BPA is generally found in cans, plastic containers or plastic bottles.
Purchase raw, organic legumes and prepare them yourself.
Tofu & Soy Products
A famous source of proteins and popular substitute of meat for vegetarians and vegan are Tofu and soy products.
- Contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids (proteins)
- High in Iron and Calcium
- Contains Magnesium, Selenium, Phosphorus and Zinc
Disadvantage of Tofu/Soy Products
- Tofu has a high amount of estrogens (hormones) and a high consumption of soy products can cause an imbalance of hormones.
- Soy-based “Fake Meat” products such as vegan “burger patty, sausages or steaks” should be consumed as a “treat”as they are full of hidden sugar, salt and trans-fats.
Fermented soy such as Miso as well as organic and GMO free plain tofu.
I want to point following “superfood grains” as they are high in proteins as well as vitamins and minerals!
- Quinoa – Gluten Free, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Folate and Phosphorous
- Barley – Manganese, Fiber, Selenium, B1, Chromium, Phosphorous and Magnesium
- Brown Rice – Gluten Free, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Selenium, Thiamin, Niacin and Manganese
There are plenty protein alternatives for vegetarian and vegans out there and therefore it is absolutely possible to get enough proteins when you are or go veggo! However, it is very important to mix them right! Why and how I will explain in my next blog 🙂
More about proteins here: Protein in a Nutshell [What they are and we need them for]
I hope this overview will help anyone who wants to become vegetarian or vegan or who already is one but does not know where to get the proteins from!