Many people are going into raw veganism mainly because of its surprising benefits to health and well-being. Since most protein-rich foods are animal-derived, how can vegans get enough protein from a plant-based diet?
In this article, we’ll discuss how to get protein on a raw vegan diet and some good sources of protein for raw vegans. Before we get started, let’s fully understand what protein is and why it is essential to the body.
What Is Protein?
Protein is a macronutrient composed of small units known as amino acids.
20 different amino acids can be combined in a variety of ways to form proteins. Some amino acids can be made by the body, while others must be obtained from food. These essential amino acids must be obtained from the diet and are found in various types of food, including animal products and plant-based sources.
It is a building block of tissues, enzymes, hormones, and other substances that help keep us healthy and functioning properly. However, getting enough protein can be a challenge for people following a raw vegan diet, as most protein-rich foods are animal-derived.
Based on traditional belief, proteins found in animal products are referred to as “complete” (complex) proteins since the animal has already combined the amino acids from the variety of different plants it has consumed.
How Much Protein Is Too Much or Too Little?
The recommended daily intake of protein varies depending on age, gender, and level of physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average adult should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This translates to about 56 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary man and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman. However, athletes and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may have higher protein needs.
It is possible to consume too much protein, although this is generally not a concern for people following a well-balanced diet. Consuming excessive amounts of protein can put a strain on the kidneys and lead to other health problems. On the other hand, not getting enough protein can cause muscle loss and other health issues.
Good Sources of Protein on a Raw Vegan Diet
Many plant-based sources of protein are suitable for a raw vegan diet. Some good options include:
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are high in protein and other nutrients. Examples include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
- Legumes: Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are a good source of protein and other nutrients.
- Grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, and wild rice, are good sources of protein and other nutrients.
- Greens: Some leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are also high in protein.
- Sprouts: Sprouts, such as bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts, are a good source of protein.
- Raw vegan protein powders: there are a variety of protein powders made from plant-based sources such as brown rice, peas, and hemp that can be added to smoothies or other dishes to boost protein intake.
You can get protein on a raw vegan diet by eating legumes (lentils), grains (quinoa), greens and veggies, nuts (almonds), and seeds (chia seeds). These plant-based protein sources provide your body with essential proteins that would have come from animal products.
You can easily meet your protein needs on a raw vegan diet by including a variety of these protein-rich foods in your diet. To ensure that you get enough protein, incorporate protein-rich supplements into your diets, such as protein powders made from hemp, peas, or brown rice.