Protein is an essential part of our nutrition, making up about 17% of the body’s weight and it is the main component of our muscles, skin, internal organs, especially the heart and brain, as well as our eyes, hair and nails. Our immune system also requires protein to help make antibodies that are required to help fight infections, and protein also plays a role in blood sugar regulation, fat metabolism and energy function.Basically, the richest sources of Protein are animal products but now that we are going Vegan, does that mean we cannot have protein in our diets? Of course NOT! There are lots of misconception on Veganism and their diet. Many people tend to think once one is not taking animal products, then one cannot get adequate protein the body needs. This is why on today’s food segment, we are bringing you foods that are rich in protein that you can eat as you go on this Veganism journey. Let’s see ten of them below:
Rice: this is mostly thought of as a starchy food and so contains only carbohydrates. But then this is a big misconception. A 100g serving of wild rice provides 4 grams of protein, which is twice as much as regular brown or white rice. Though it’s not a very rich protein source, wild rice is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.
Beans: whether brown beans, soybeans or other types of beans, beans are a great source of protein, vitamins and fibre. They can be made into varieties good enough for a change in food routine. Moi moi, Akara (beans cake) and beans pudding are some varieties that can be served from beans.
Nuts: be it peanut, cashew nut, groundnut coconut or any other, nuts and seeds are again very versatile and can be used with meals or as a snack to ensure adequate protein, and energy, is maintained throughout the day. Peanut can be blended to make butter paste likewise groundnuts. One heaped tablespoon of smooth peanut butter provides just over 3g of protein. But lookout for the nut butters well to make sure they are 100% nuts and have no added oils, salt or sugars.
Spinach and Vegetables: green leaves or vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. They contain about 4–5 grams of protein per cooked cup
Egusi: The protein composition is about 23.4% making it similar to other proteinous plants like soya beans, pumpkin seeds and cowpeas. It has 45.7% of essential fatty acid that the body needs and contains 12% fibre content higher than that of any legume.
Tofu/Wara: also called bean curd, Tofu is derived from soya and it can be prepared in many ways, including baking and stir-frying, as well as blending it into soups to make them creamier and higher in protein.
Fruits: All fruits and vegetables contain protein, but the amounts are usually small. However, some contain more than others. Fresh fruits generally have a lower protein content than vegetables. Those containing the most include guava, cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines and bananas, which have about 2–4 grams of protein per cup.
Oatmeal: Whilst oats are a complex carbohydrate, providing slow energy release, they are also an excellent source of protein packing 10g per 100g. Half a cup (120 ml) of dry oats provides you with approximately 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre which also contains good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate (51). They can also be made into various food, including cooked oatmeal or baked into some good snacks.
Read also: 5 Rich Food Combinations for Vegans
Guinea Corn and Maize