Vegan proteins can be found in many foods. But it’s not just the protein content that matters, but also the biological value. Basically, as a vegetarian, you don’t have to worry about a protein deficiency, as long as you eat a balanced diet. Because there are enough vegetable protein sources that automatically cover your needs with a varied diet. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the daily requirement for an adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For a person weighing 70 kilograms, this corresponds to 56 grams of protein.
THE RIGHT COMBINATION IS CRUCIAL
Bread with hummus is a good vegan protein source because it provides all the essential amino acids.
Vegan proteins are not as easily utilized by the body compared to animal proteins because, unlike the body’s own proteins, they usually do not contain all nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities. With animal protein, on the other hand, the amino acid profile is complete – this is referred to as high biological value. That’s why it’s important to combine different vegan protein sources: Different vegan proteins contain different amino acids. Together they complete the amino acid profile.
OUR LIST FOR YOU
Optimal combinations are cereal products (preferably whole grains) and legumes or nuts and seeds. For example, whole-grain bread with hummus, rice as a side dish to chili sin carne, or nut puree in muesli provides an optimal protein combination. It is sufficient if you consume the different protein sources spread over the day or several days. They do not have to be present together in one meal.
1. Vegan proteins from legumes
Soy protein can be utilized by the body similarly to chicken protein.
Soybeans: 36.7 g (dried)
Tempeh: 20 g
Tofu: 9-18 g
Kidney beans: 23.7 g (dried)
Black beans: 22.9 g (dried)
Chickpeas: 10 g (dried)
Lentils: 25 g (dried)
Peas: 5,6 g (raw)
Lupine seeds: 36.2 g (raw)
Soybeans are particularly valuable as a vegan protein source because they contain all the essential amino acids. Soy protein is comparable to animal protein in terms of biological value.
Beans and chickpeas are rich in the essential amino acids lysine and threonine. Lentil and pea proteins also contain a lot of lysine. This makes them a good supplement to grain proteins, in which this amino acid is almost absent. The fiber and low fat content also make legumes a comparatively low-calorie source of protein.
Protein from lupins contains all essential amino acids and can be utilized by the body similarly well as soy protein. It is particularly rich in lysine and tryptophan, which are hardly found in cereals. Lupine flour is therefore an optimal supplement to conventional flours. When baking, you can simply replace a small part of the flour with lupine flour.
2. vegan source of protein: Nuts
Nuts contain protein as well as many other valuable nutrients and healthy fats.
Peanuts: 26.7 g
Almonds: 20 g
Pistachios: 20 g
Cashews: 17.9 g
Nuts are an extremely healthy source of protein, as they provide many vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids at the same time. The front-runner is the peanut, which, strictly speaking, is not a nut at all, but belongs to the legumes. Due to their high-calorie content, however, you should not eat more than a handful a day. Nuts are not suitable for meeting your basic protein requirements, but they are a valuable supplement.
3. Seeds provide valuable vegan proteins
Hemp seeds are rich in vegan proteins.
Hemp seeds: 33.3 g
Pumpkin seeds: 24.2 g
Sunflower seeds: 20 g
Sesame seeds: 20 g
Flaxseed: 20 g
Seeds not only contain a lot of protein but are also rich in vitamins and nutrients. Hemp seeds score with a complete amino acid profile, which makes them a high-quality protein source. However, lysine is only found in small amounts, which again lowers the protein value. The hemp flour produced from the seeds contains slightly less fat and is easier to digest.
Hemp seeds are also used to make hemp protein – a vegan protein powder, but it contains less fiber and healthy fats compared to the seeds.