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GETTING YOUR VEGAN PROTEIN
Getting Your Vegan Protein
By Jade Ellis
As a vegan or vegetarian there is always that question that people want to know – where do you get your protein? There are a number of vegan sources of protein that will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and also fuel your exercise regimes!
We cannot deny that protein is important to our health, our workouts and recovery, and our brain function. Without it, we wouldn’t function at our best and our bodies wouldn’t be able to support us. The majority of people view protein as something we can only obtain through animals. Regardless of different opinions about meat being a part of our diets, we cannot ignore the fact that meat consumption is causing major environmental, health and humanitarian problems. To live a healthier and more sustainable life, it seems that consuming plants may be the way forward!
HIGH VEGAN PROTEIN MEALS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
A great way to get more vegan and vegetarian protein is through beans and legumes. Lentils are a great plant based protein. They are high in fibre and relatively quick and easy to prepare, when compared to other dried beans. Their low cost makes them an accessible form of high quality protein for many people around the world. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein! Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like lentils decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall morality while promoting healthy hair and complexion, and also an increased energy.
A staple in Indian food is lentil dahl. Dahl is a thick lentil stew cooked with spices traditionally eaten in southern India. A nutrient rich dish, extremely high in protein but without having to worry about the saturated fat found in most animal based protein. A simple, but extremely nourishing comfort food, perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Moroccan culture has brought us hummus – made from chickpeas and tahini. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans are an excellent source of protein, containing 7.3 grams in just half a cup. Chickpeas are also low in calories and very high in fibre. Homemade hummus is so simple to get right – just toss a can of chickpeas in to a blender with some garlic, salt and tahini and you’re good to go. Chickpeas are extremely versatile in the kitchen. You can eat them hot or cold, canned or dried. You can roast chickpeas and add them to salads, or turn them into a simple snack. Chickpeas can also act as a replacement for a tuna or egg sandwich. By mashing the chickpeas, you can create a varied consistency. Also adding other ingredients such as vegan mayo (or tahini), red onion, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper, you can create a new version of a classic lunch time meal. This sandwich is protein packed and filled with nutrients that will keep you satisfied and keep you going until dinner.
ASIA – CHINA AND JAPAN
Tempeh, Tofu and Edamame are made from soybeans, a complete source of protein. This means that they provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs. Edamame are immature soybeans with a sweet and slightly grassy taste. They need to be steamed or boiled prior to consumption and can be eaten on their own or added to soups and salads. Tofu is made from bean curds pressed together in a process similar to cheese making. Tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soy beans prior to pressing them into a patty. These products are one of the highest sources of protein, containing around 15 to 20 grams per half cup.
Tofu and Tempeh are a popular component in ramen and rice dishes. The great thing about tofu and tempeh is that they can take on the taste and texture of what type of food you are looking for. You can change the taste by adding your own spices, and change the texture through your way of cooking, such as frying, or baking. A popular take on a vegan version of scrambled eggs is ‘tofu scramble.’ Just mash a block of soft tofu and sauté in a pan with some coconut oil, and flavour with garlic, cumin or turmeric to add the yellow tone so the tofu resembles eggs. Serve with some whole wheat toast and avocado. This dish can replace an old breakfast tradition and become a new favourite.
Algae Superfoods are fast growing in popularity at the moment. Until recently vegetarians and vegans who wanted to supplement with omega-3 fats had few options more than flaxseed. These didn’t provide omega 3 fats known as EPA and DHA found only in oily fish and not made by the body, hence their name: essential fatty acids. Algae on the other hand, is rich in these substances making it a great option for those who avoid animal products. A way of getting it into your diet is through Algal oil which is derived directly from algae. Also in the Algae family – the infamous ‘Spirulina.’ In a powder form, Spirulina can be added to your morning smoothie or juice and provides more protein than any other food. ‘Spirulina Nice Cream’ is a version of vegan ice cream using frozen bananas blended with a tablespoon of spirulina. You can add vanilla essence or coconut sugar and top with cocoa nibs to sweeten.
Just one tablespoon contains 150 percent of your daily B12 requirements – which is very important for vegetarians and vegans. Spirulina contains more chlorophyll than wheatgrass and is an amazing food for the brain, digestive system, heart, lungs, and liver. Fushi’s Organic Spirulina Capsules are a great addition to a vegan or vegetarian diet, and will give you a great whole food alternative to vitamins and minerals. Fushi’s Chlorella capsules are also a great nutrient dense superfood packed with chlorophyll. Alternatively, Fushi’s the Best Superfood Green blend encompasses a number of the algae’s and vitamins. Also, its protein profile is boosted by the added superfood grain Quinoa. This makes it the prefect choice for vegetarians and vegans.
VEGAN PROTEIN FOR WORKOUTS
There are numerous plant based protein powders out there. For vegetarians and vegans, hemp powder is an excellent source of protein. Hemp contains all of the 21 known amino acids, including the 9 sources that the body can’t produce on its own and must take from dietary sources. Just two tablespoons of hemp protein powder can provide around 13-15 grams of protein.
Hemp protein can easily be added into any pre workout smoothie or juice. Hemp oil can also be used is dishes to boost your protein intake. The oil can be used on salad dressings and marinades. Hemp sprouted seeds can also be used for salads, and sprinkled on soup. Fushi’s Hemp Seed Organic Oil Virgin 100ml cold pressed contains the most balanced and richest natural single source of Essential Fatty Acids. It is an ideal balance of Omega 3 and 6. Essential Fatty Acids are essential for maintaining good health, for hormonal balance, cardiovascular health and may even help with arthritis.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you Emiliano for your comment. In this blog we are referring more to oils, more so than butters and while we agree with you Shea is an excellent emollient for hair, it's consistency is more buttery and it is used more as a leave-in remedy to smooth hair texture. We have suggested Coconut oil as it helps slow down hair loss by penetrating deep into your hair shaft to prevent protein loss, which in turn prevents breakage. When applied to your scalp, it simultaneously moisturises and removes build-up around your hair follicles to encourage hair growth and is one of base oils always used in Ayurveda for hair treatments. As this post is more focused for hair and not for skin, the comedogenic scale applies to skin/pores and not hair follicles. Thank you again for your feedback.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Hello Zu, yes hair loss can be very stressful and this in turn amplifies the cause almost.. Perhaps with Covid, your system may have been depleted of nutrients and fighting the virus can take its toll on your immune system, so sometimes our hair and skin suffer when we have been ill. We really believe in oils for scalp massage as the best way to revive the growth and help regenerate the follicles. It may be also worth at looking at internal supplements and making sure you are getting enough of omega oils, perhaps plant based such as nuts and seeds in your diet. For external oil treatment, would recommend the Really Good Hair oil which we create with Brahmi, this herb is known to help bring the scalp back to health and improve growth. Biotin is also a good vitamin to take as a supplement to help with hair growth so do look into that. So hope these tips will be helpful for you.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?I, am very surprised that your article did not include Organic Shea Butter and that coconut oil, is your number one choice for hair growth and thickness. According to the comedogenic scale, coconut oil, has a rating of (4), on a scale from (0), to (5), on clogging your pores. Why would anyone put coconut oil, on their hair or skin knowing the pores will get clogged up. Shea Butter, on the other hand has a (0), rating on the comedogenic scale, which is great for dry hair and skin and won't clog up your pores.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you for your very informative article. I suffered COVID in December, 2020, and in February I started experience extreme hair loss and all my hair jus falls like a person who is under going Chemo therapy. It's very depressing. Had to cut off all my hair and even the little that is left is falling off daily not sure what to do. Please suggest something.
- Carrot Oil for Face Hello :) You can use carrot oil only in small drops on your skin in the morning/during the day since it is highly potent. Carrot oil is rich in vitamins and is a very effective moisturiser. You can also mix a few drops of Carrot Oil with your favorite face cream. You can do that at least twice a week or include it in your daily skincare routine. Hope this helps.
- Carrot Oil for Face Can I use the carrot oil in the day time? Because I am using Vitamin c serum in the night. Please advise. Thanks