One of the first questions any vegan or vegetarian is asked once their dietary habits are revealed is – Where do you get your protein? And rightfully so: protein is critical to almost every function in the body, and all too often we become deficient without even realizing it.
Whenever the body is growing, repairing, or replacing tissue, proteins are involved. Sometimes their job is to facilitate or regulate, other times it’s to become part of a larger structure. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, blood, bone, teeth, skin, hair and nails, and are used to make hormones, which promote growth, regulate blood sugar and metabolism, and even balance minerals within the body. They also serve as a source of energy, as well as a defense against harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses, making them an integral part of maintaining a healthy body. It’s no wonder that protein deficiencies lead to anemia, osteoporosis, hair loss, brittle nails, illness and more. Yikes!
Protein is vital to the body’s well-being, and when we eliminate traditional animal sources of protein, we must amp up our plant-based ones. Sometimes we forget about incorporating our old friend, protein, into our day – which is why we did the legwork and found sources at every price point. Take a pick from a few of our favorite vegan protein sources that might just become your new go-to for delicious smoothies, desserts and raw snacks. Now where’s our blender?
Created by vegan athletic icon Brendan Brazier, this protein powder not only provides 25 grams of protein per scoop, but it also supplies key BCAAs (branched chained amino acids), glutamine and enzymes. The addition of these nutrients help support lean muscle mass and metabolism as well as recovery – so if you are into fitness, this is the blend for you.
While this protein powder may be on the pricier side, Brendan’s athletic performance is the proof in the (vegan) pudding. If he can manage to complete an Ironman triathlon on a vegan diet with this protein powder, then we have full faith it will support your protein requirements in the absence of animal products! Derived from peas, brown rice, alfalfa and SaviSeed, this mix was designed for optimal human performance without the toxic additives. Best part? You don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap its benefits.
Midpoint: Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Powder, Vanilla
A long-time personal fave around the TCM office, Warrior Blend protein powder is a standard among the vegan and vegetarian community. With 20 grams of protein per scoop, Warrior Blend is a unique blend of peas, cranberry and hemp proteins, which is what makes its flavor profile so rich and fluffy. Like all of the Sunwarrior products, Warrior Blend is free of all allergens, artificial flavors and colors, and contains all the essential amino acids. This product could not get any more pure, making it worth every penny.
As if hemp seeds did not already have enough health benefits to boast about, they are now recognized as an excellent source of protein as well! With 5 grams of protein per tablespoon, you’ll reach your daily allowance in no time. We happily add them to our parfaits, yogurt, smoothies, trail mix blends, and use them as a base for decadent hemp milk recipes like the one below. In any way, shape or form, you will be hard pressed not to incorporate these little seeds into your diet!
try this! Put your new-found knowledge to good use! Make this protein-packed hemp milk at home and get to drinking!