Let's talk protein! A very controversial yet interesting topic to talk about in the world of the Plant Based Diet. Many people, especially those who are into the fitness world, worry that if they were to switch to a plant based diet, they would not get enough protein to build and repair muscle tissue from physical exercise.
I myself am a regular gym goer. I would actually say that I am more than a regular gym goer. In 2019, I competed in my first natural men's bodybuilding competition, and as I am writing this blog, I train at the gym, 6x a week, and my goal is to compete in a powerlifting competition sometime in the near future. When transitioning into a vegan diet in early 2020, I thought I would too loose a lot of the muscle I have built since training for almost 5 years now. I was wrong. And what opened my eyes more was a short documentary which I would recommend anyone who is thinking about going vegan to watch. It is called "The Game Changers"
Now, this blog post is not by any means trying to push anyone to become a Vegan. I choose to go on this path as this diet has improved my Psoriasis Condition and I continue to follow this diet because of the health benefits I have seen following it, however if you choose to go Vegan do consult with a dietitian or your doctor to ensure that you do get all your vitamins and nutrients properly on a plant based diet which is totally doable.
I will show you my personal 5 favourite categories of foods where I get majority of my daily protein intake to ensure that I progress in the gym, build lean muscle, and most importantly stay healthy and fit:
1. Beans and Lentils
Staple food in my plant based diet. Not only are they a great source of complex carbohydrates, but they also contain a handful amount of protein, about 18-23 grams per serving. There are many types of beans and lentils including kidney beans, pinto and black beans, yellow
lentils, chick peas, and so much more. If you want to see how I prep these foods to make some delicious meals, at least in my opinion, you can check them out on my YouTube channel and Instagram pages.
2. Soy Products
Another great source of protein filled with many other vitamins and nutrients. There are many types of soy products including soy milk, edamame, soy beans, tofu, tempeh. You can get a good 7-14 grams of protein from soy products. When switching to a vegan diet, soy milk came in handy as it goes well with my tea and coffee as a substitute for cream or milk.
In my opinion, I think that many people neglect adding nuts into their diet for reasons I don't know of. These small pieces of foods are packed with so many vitamins and minerals that a lot of people lack including iron, folate, vitamin E, fibre, and more. They are also a great source of healthy fats and protein, about 7-9 grams of protein per serving. There is a wide range of nuts out there including almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews and you can also purchase a milk form of these foods to use in cooking.
I never really knew too much about seeds until I did a little digging over the internet and then one day while I was shopping at the grocery store, I came across a bag of pumpkin seeds and was surprised to see that per 50 grams of pumpkin seeds, there is 18 grams of protein! This now has become a daily staple in my plant based diet and a replacement for eggs which was my main source of protein for breakfast. I always eat oatmeal for breakfast now and toss in a handful of pumpkin seeds along with some other seeds including chai and flaxseeds into my oatmeal. I also want to point out that on a plant based diet it is important to ensure that you get enough omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which normally we get from eating fish. However, on a plant based diet you can still get these essential fatty acids through seeds, particularly chai and flaxseeds.
5. Ancient Grains
Saved the best for last! The American diet is so accustomed to eating simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, bagels, etc. and we forget about the healthy ancient grains that happen to pack a small yet decent amount of protein in them. These foods including quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, oats, and a few more. These grains are also gluten free which is what I recommend to people who have psoriasis or other immune problems as the gluten free diet will help improve these conditions. More on that in a separate blog or be a lookout on my YouTube Channel on a video for this topic. Like I said not too much protein in these foods, but because they are grains and we normally eat grains in large amounts, these foods will add up to a good amount of protein per serving, roughly 6-12 grams per serving size.
That is it for today's blog. Hope you found in informative. Please do share it with others, and on your social media as well. Tag me in your shared posts and I will be sure to give you a shoutout, whether it be on Instagram or Twitter.
Agains thanks for reading today's blog and I can't wait to catch you on next week's post.
-The Psoriasis Bodybuilder