Plant-based eating is a big deal right now. In fact, 2021 was Veganuary’s biggest year yet, with almost 600,000 sign-ups this year, according to The Grocer. It seems an increasing number of us are making more room for plants as we wise up to the benefits of packing our plates with fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and wholegrains.
Here, Kate Arthur, registered dietician at Vega, shares her expert advice on the power and protein in plants.
When eating a plant-based diet, many people worry that they’re unable to fulfil their protein needs, especially if they take part in a lot of physical activity. But the good news is that there are many delicious sources of plant-based protein – and often, we’re consuming a lot more than we realise!
It’s easy to underestimate just how much protein is contained in different vegetables – for instance, one cup of peas contains nine grams, a cup of spinach has five grams, and a cup of broccoli has four grams.
The recommended protein intake is 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. However, if you are doing lots of exercise, it is worth increasing to 1-1.2g to ensure you have enough to help build and maintain muscles.
If you’re still worried about hitting your protein macros, a great way to ensure you’re getting the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) you need is to include a plant-based protein powder into your training plan. Vega Clean Protein* is a complete multi-source, plant-based protein blend that’s made from pea, hemp, alfalfa and pumpkin. Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and non-GMO, it contains 25g of plant-based protein per scoop, with 4g of your BCAAs.
Legumes such as beans and pulses contain considerable amounts of protein, as well as many other important nutrients such as iron, zinc and B-vitamins, plus they’re so versatile when it comes to cooking up a plant-based feast. The possibilities are endless, from veggie burgers to chickpea curries, and if you’re looking to top up your protein intake, you can serve them with a side of rice or quinoa.
When you need an afternoon snack, nuts and seeds are great for grazing. Almonds, for example, are packed full of protein, with a handful providing 3-6 grams.
Better yet, these plant-based sources of protein are generally lower in saturated fats and have a higher fibre content too – so it’s a win-win!”
Follow a healthy, well-balanced diet and you’ll easily consume plenty of plant-based protein!
*At Vega®, clean means: non-GMO, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, gluten-free and non-dairy ingredients.
Vega was co-founded by Brendan Brazier, a best-selling author on plant-based nutrition and vegan former professional Ironman triathlete. The Vega range includes Vega Essentials and Vega Clean Protein, available in Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic stores, as well as Boots.co.uk and Amazon.co.uk. To find out more visit myvega.co.uk