Where do you get your protein?
This is the most common question I receive about my plant-based lifestyle.
First things first, it's okay if you really don't know the answer.
I am not here to shame anyone for asking this question because I had the same question at the beginning of my journey.
I'm not exactly sure where this image of veganism came from but when I was growing up, I assumed all vegans were malnourished.
It wasn't until I met a vegan that still had their hair that I started to question if you really could get all of your nutrients from plants.
Odds are that you're wondering the same thing...
I'm here to tell you today that getting rid of animal-based "health" foods is possible.
Yes, you can survive on plants actually, you can THRIVE on plants!
Read on to learn...
Where do plant-based vegans get their protein?
So, what is plant-based protein?
Unlike vegans (who's only focus is animal rights) plant-based vegans focus on not eating animals but also eating healthily! Meaning, we focus on eating real plants not vegan processed food that while animal-free is just as unhealthy as eating meat. Yes, there are a lot of vegan protein sources out there, soy-based vegan "meats", tempeh, and even non-dairy cheeses but plant-based vegans lean more towards real plants to get our nutrients.
I am not a hater of soy but I also know just how processed those foods can be so I choose to stay away from them.
Some real plant protein sources are
beans, lentils, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens), nuts, and seeds (chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds).
If you've been a part of any of my programs you know that I am all about these foods and throw them into meals like confetti! These foods are so nutrient-dense!
The best part, protein isn't the only thing these foods have to offer!
It's the minerals, omegas, iron, and fiber that really help us thrive!
How does plant-based protein compare to animal protein?
I love this question because the answer, though quite obvious brings so much clarity to why the plant-based diet is healthier for us.
As I have stated already, you do not need to consume animals in order to get protein! To set your mind at ease, Letâs take a compare 100g of beef to 100g of beans.
22g protein 22g protein
0g fiber 15g fiber
1.9mg iron 5mg iron
16mg calcium 123mg calcium
16mg magnesium 171mg magnesium
74mg cholesterol 0mg cholesterol
Are you starting to see why I prefer plant protein? Beef and beans have the same amount of protein but the beans bring so much more to the table! This is a perfect example of how you can really thrive on a plant-based diet! Every plant you consume is so nutrient-dense and helps your body be the best it can be!
Why you should get most of your protein from plants?
I am fully aware that not everyone's desire is to cut animals out of their diets completely but everyone should focus on plant-based protein. Here are 3 reasons you should get your protein from plants!
Live free from disease!
As we saw in the chart above the healthier option is the beans because they give us the protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and magnesium we need! But, there was one thing the beans didn't provide for us, cholesterol. You might be thinking "a little cholesterol never hurt anyone", but high levels of cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. and since 93 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg I think us Americans aren't at any risk of low cholesterol.
You'll save animal lives!
Did you know 3 billion animals are killed every day to satisfy the "need" for animal protein in the United States?
That's an overwhelming amount, right? I don't know about you, but I don't want to contribute to death. Rather, I want to be remembered for giving life not taking it. Join the kind side of history by getting your protein from plants!
Some people think the plant-based diet is expensive but the truth is my family saves at least $1,300 a year just by focusing on plant protein (My husband isn't even 100% plant-based)!
Let's look at the beef and the beans again... Where I'm from, 1lb of beef costs about $5, and 1lb of dried beans costs about $2. This may vary depending on where you're from but overall, I'm going to have to side with plant-based protein when it comes to cost-efficiency.
So, let's sum this all up.
Yes, you can get protein from plants, and yes, it's even better than getting it from animals!
I believe in the plant-based diet. I have used it to change my whole entire life from my health to my finances.
I believe there are women out there like us who are ready to finally align what we believe with what we eat.
Ready to join the kind side of history?
I wrote a book just for you!
My new ebook, "Thriving on Plants" is all about walking you through the questions you have about this amazing lifestyle!
Today I answered your question about protein, but what about carbohydrates, fats, vitamins?
How do you eat out as a plant-based vegan?
How do you know you're getting the nutrients you need?
These questions (and more) are all answered inside my book!
Zoe Worlund Cordeiro
Zoe grew up in the heart of the South, Huntsville, AL. After spending most of her life avoiding animal products, she became a Vegan six years ago and hasn't looked back! Zoe is passionate about loving people, stewarding the planet's resources well, exploring new places, and pursing a relationship with Jesus. After a two-year cross-cultural & international relationship, Zoe said "Yes!" to her Brazilian-designer husband, Gabriel. After their wedding in March of 2020, Zoe settled in his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil and they hope to travel the world together.