A lot of people wonder where vegans get their protein from. There are so many great sources of protein out there that are much healthier than animal protein. Let’s start with vegetables. They have more protein than people realize. Some good sources of vegetable protein include, avocado, broccoli, spinach, and peas. Legumes are probably one of the best sources of protein for vegans. The most common types of legumes are beans and lentils, both of which are very delicious and very filling! Some of my favorites include lentils (18 grams of protein per cup), chickpeas (14.5 grams of protein per cup), tofu (which is made from soy beans and has 22 grams of protein per cup), and tempeh (which is also made from soy beans and has 30 grams of protein per cup). Nuts and seeds also pack in a lot of protein (as well as healthy fats). Some good sources of nut/seed protein include peanut butter/almond butter (8 grams of protein for every 2 Tbsp), cashews (4.4 grams of protein per ounce), and sesame seeds (6.5 grams of protein per ounce). Non-dairy milks, such as almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk, typically contain around 8 grams of protein per cup. Even grains contain protein! Oats are often eaten for breakfast by vegetarians and meat eaters alike because it’s packed with protein (6 grams of protein per cup) and therefore very filling. In addition, quinoa has 9 grams of protein per cup and sprouted grain breads contain around 8 grams of protein just in the bread for your sandwich! I think those numbers speak for themselves. Vegans with a well-balanced diet should have NO problem consuming adequate amounts of protein.
There are many famous vegans out there, but I think three of them are especially important to mention in this post. Let’s start with Mike Tyson. He is well known as a former heavy-weight boxing champ; he’s also vegan. As a disclaimer, Tyson was not vegan when he was a boxer; however, after retiring from the ring, he gained a considerable amount of weight. More than four years ago, he decided to embrace veganism, originally because his wife was doing it, but after he made the change, he saw how it transformed his health and decided to remain vegan. In fact, he has shed all the weight and is back to a healthy, fit size.
You can read a recent interview with Tyson about his vegan lifestyle on abcnews here.
It may surprise you to learn that Venus Williams is also vegan. She has an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes joint pain and fatigue. Since a vegan diet reduces inflammation in the body, Williams gave it a try and noticed an immediate improvement in her condition. She hasn’t looked back since.
Last but not least, I want to mention a famous NBA player who is now vegan: Amare Stoudemire. It started off as a short term vegan fast back in 2010, but he officially became vegan after a knee surgery in 2012. He hasn’t been vegan for long, but he says he feels great, and it looks as though he will stick with it.
I bring up these three athletes because they are proof that vegans get plenty of protein. Look at their muscles, their athletic abilities, etc. Clearly they are eating a well balanced diet–and they are vegan.