If you’re looking to lose fat and build muscle, you need to consume a lot of protein. The reason why meat is so popular among fitness enthusiasts is that it is a complete source of protein. This means that it contains the perfect amino acid profile required for building lean muscle. But if you’re a vegan, eating meat isn’t an option for you. So, do you resign yourself to a life of poor body composition? Luckily, this isn’t the case.
There are plenty of complete, non-meat protein sources that vegans can add to their diet to help them build muscle. Some of these sources are even better in certain ways than meat is. Meat, for all its benefits, contains a lot of fat and no fiber. The protein sources mentioned below are usually high in fiber and contain little to no fat. Let’s take a look at the protein sources vegans should add to their diet.
Hemp has been maligned because cannabis is derived from it. However, in its native form, hemp is safe to consume. It also contains a great protein profile. 30 grams of hemp powder will give you around 11 grams of protein. There are several manufacturers such as Onnit who manufacture hemp protein powder.
2. Chia seeds
One ounce of chia seeds will give you 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. You can grind them up and add them to your smoothies.
Quinoa is extremely popular among vegans, and for good reason. It tastes great, can be utilized in a lot of different recipes, and contains high amounts of protein.
Kale is a staple of juice cleanse diets and smoothies. 100 grams of kale will give you about 5 grams of protein. It is also rich in Vitamin A and C, making it a no-brainer for adding to a vegan diet.
Popeye loved it, and so should you. An average-sized cup of spinach will give you around 7 grams of protein. By itself it might not be the most potent protein source, but the fact that it is loaded with nutrients like Vitamin A, iron and magnesium makes it easy to recommend.
Broccoli should be a part of all diets. In addition to providing lots of protein, broccoli is rich in fiber, minerals and antioxidants. If you don’t like the taste of raw broccoli, you can add it to a salad with your choice of dressing.
Mushrooms are tasty, filling and boost your immune system – what’s not to like? The cordyceps mushroom, for example, has been shown to increase ATP levels and testosterone. Grill your mushrooms with virgin olive oil and add a little parsley to top it off.
Beans are a great source of protein for vegans. An average-sized cup of black or kidney beans will give you around 15 grams of protein. In addition, beans lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your chances of contracting heart diseases.
In summation, even if you’re a vegan, you can still have the body of your dreams. Use the protein sources listed above to get yourself in the best shape of your life. Remember to complement your diet with a healthy exercise routine and lots of rest.