“How do you get your protein?!” Most People think all vegans and vegetarians need soy, such as tofu, in order to get enough protein. I’m here to bust that myth into a million pieces! If I were to ask you “What is protein?” do you know the answer? You’d probably say something like, “Oh, you know, chicken, beef…” Or just meat in general! That’s not all true and (CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO ENLARGE) technically, that’s not what protein is. The important thing to remember is protein is made up of amino acids and there are plenty of plant based ways to consume protein a.k.a amino acids! You also need to know that humans can produce 14 of the 23 amino acids. The others must be supplied by the food you choose to consume.
There are many facts out there about tofu and soy in general. However, in my eyes, the bad seems to outweigh the good. Soy is known to cause digestive distress, thyroid dysfunction, cancer and heart disease! Above all the vast majority of tofu produced in the USA are genetically modified. Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s are “…plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.” [source]. Sounds a little intimidating, right? The best thing about tofu is how much protein is in it. But not to worry! There are SO MANY other ways to get protein!
Tempeh & [better] Soy Option
Organic Tempeh (pronounced Tem-pay). Though it is often compared to tofu, tempeh is much better for you. A four-ounce serving of tempeh offers around 18 grams of protein and 8 to 10 grams of fiber. The big difference between Tofu and Tempeh? Tempeh is a fermented soy product. Tofu is not! Simply put, tempeh is processed way less tofu and has more protein and fiber! I do not consume much soy but other than tempeh I also use organic tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and miso. Personally, I have tempeh once or twice a month.
One more note about tempeh. It’s virtually tasteless. It can be marinated and seasoned to taste like whatever you want. If you ever had tofu before, the texture of tempeh is nothing like tofu. Tempeh is firm not spongy. If you want to try it, most groceries have it (if you don’t want to visit health food stores) in the refrigerator isles.
Daily Protein Calculation
How much protein we need varies by gender, weight and age. Typically, adults needs 0.36 grams of protein per pound. For example, someone over 18 years old weighing 150 pounds needs 54 grams of protein daily (150 x 0.36 = 54). To learn more and to get a better calculation click here. [source]
List of Plant Based Protein
Eat more veggies for better nutrition not just protein! Next time you make a plate of food take a larger portion of green veggies, be it salad or peas, rather than make it a side beside a heaping helping of pasta! Here is a list of veggies and legumes with tons of protein:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds