Natural Sources of Protein for Vegetarians and Vegans

Protein is essential to your healthy body. In fact, every single cell in the body requires protein to function properly. Proteins get broken down into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of cells. So where can you get this protein our body requires?

Meat eaters can easily find vast quantities of protein in animal meat (including fish and chicken). Vegetarians can get their protein from animal products other than meat, such as milk and eggs. But vegans don’t eat animals nor products derived from animals either.

But what about vegans? How can vegans get their protein? There is protein in seeds, nuts, peas and dried beans. Many grains and vegetables also provide enough protein for a healthy body. But how do these proteins compare to the proteins found in animals? The answer is that they simply don’t give you as much protein as a steak would. However, most meat eaters are getting too much protein. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that too much protein in the diet is linked to kidney disease, calcium stones in the bladder and urinary tract, osteoporosis and even cancer.

Here’s a list of some natural sources of proteins for vegans and vegetarians.

  • Beans. They are low in fat and high in fiber. Beans are rich sources of plant protein.
  • Vegetables. Specifically, broccoli, corn, carrots, tomatoes and spinach. These veggies are abundant in plant protein.
  • Nuts & seeds. Flax, walnuts and pecans have protein, as well as almonds and hazelnuts.

So with a variety of beans, vegetables and grains, vegans can get enough protein to maintain a healthy body. It’s recommended to eat 5 or more servings of grains every day, 3 servings of vegetables including at least one serving of raw vegetables, and 3 servings of bean protein daily.