Vegan diets exclude meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and all processed foods that contain them. If you’re thinking about joining the thousands who are switching over to meatless diets, and wondering where you can find a healthy source of protein, read on.

What’s so special about protein anyway? Proteins are the building blocks of life, and you need them in your diet to help your body repair and make new cells. Protein is extremely important for developmental growth in children, teens and pregnant women. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids, classified into three groups – essential, nonessential and conditional. Essential amino acids can’t be made by the body and must be supplied through a daily food source. Nonessential amino acids are made by the body from essentials or in the normal breakdown process of proteins. Conditional amino acids are needed to combat stress and illness.

Healthy Sources of Protein

Seitan – meat alternative made from the main protein of wheat.

Tofu, tempeh and edamame – soybean products.

Lentils – a great source of protein with 18 grams of protein per cooked cup. Lentils are mini sized legumes (also called pulses) such as red lentils, commonly used in soup.

Beans – kidney, black, pinto, and chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are just a few choices for this seed containing high amounts of protein. Interestingly, some studies show that a diet rich in beans and legumes helps decrease cholesterol levels, manage blood sugar and reduce belly fat.

Green salad with avocado, arugula, tomatoes, chickpeas and nutritional yeast flake on dark plate

Nutritional yeast – sold in yellow powder or flakes. Nutritional yeast has a mild cheesy flavour, making it a popular addition to mashed potatoes.

Spirulina – a bluish, green algae providing a whopping 8 grams of complete protein in every 2 tablespoons. Spirulina is a true power food, delivering high amounts of magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, potassium, and essential fatty acids.

These are just a few of the high protein containing foods that give us so much choice for vegan and vegetarian recipes. Need more information? Contact us. We’d love to talk with you about the products we sell in-store and online.

Further Reading: Types of Vegetarian Diets