- PROTEIN - Everything you need to know about vegan - friendly protein sources.

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or just wanting to incorporate more plants, protein deficiency should NOT be a risk factor, as long as you are eating a variety of different protein sources. This is key, because complete protein sources (i.e proteins that contain all 9 essential amino acids) can be slightly more difficult through consumption of plants alone.

Complete protein sources are mainly animal foods (meat, fish and dairy) but also include plant-based foods such as soya, quinoa, hemp, chia seeds. Most other plant proteins provide SOME, but not all essential amino acids, with each plant providing a different combination. The key is eating a mixture of different plant proteins to ensure you are getting all the essential amino acids that your body needs.
Protein is needed for building and maintaining muscle but is also a crucial component of every cell in the body. It is used to build and repair muscles, cartilage, ligaments, skin, hair and used to make important enzymes, hormones and defence cells for our immune system.

The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is 0.75g/kg bodyweight/day for adults. The amount of protein we need changes during a lifetime. Also the amount, type, duration and intensity of exercise you do will alter your needs.


So here are my favourite vegan friendly foods packed full of protein:
Almonds                    Goji Berries                Tofu
Black Beans              Green peas                Tempeh               
Buckwheat                Hazelnuts                   Walnuts
Butter beans             Hemp Seeds
Buckwheat                Lentils
Cashews                   Peanut Butter
Chia seeds                Pumpkin seeds
Chickpeas                 Quinoa
Edamame beans      Sesame seeds
Flaxseeds                  Sunflower seeds

1) Beans & Lentils (1 cup = 18g protein)
2) Chickpeas (1 cup = 15g protein)
3) Nuts & Seeds (3oz = 18g protein)
4) Soya products (Tofu/tempeh) (1/2 cup = 15g protein)
5) Nut Butter (20-30g protein per 100g)

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Soak the bloat out of beans:

Soaking beans and pulses overnight (8 hours) in a bowl with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda or apple cider vinegar helps to remove the indigestible starches that can cause bloating and wind, but it also helps to remove lectins that damage the gut lining and inhibit digestion.