Meats contain “complete” proteins, that is, they have all nine essential amino acids. Plant-based foods do so as well when consumed in combination. Vegetarians and vegans just need to plan more to obtain their required daily intake of complete protein. One good source of plant-based protein is tofu, which contains about 8g of protein per 100g. Edamame beans, chickpeas and lentils each contain more than twice as much while seitan (found in many fake meats) has many times more. Grains (such as brown wheat flour or oatmeal) are a good source of essential amino acids as well. Even some vegetables – broccoli and green peas – have significant protein levels. Other high-protein non-meats include nuts, hemp seeds, quinoa, mushrooms, tempeh and tahini.
- p People who eat a plant-based diet should eat a variety of protein sources in order to get all of the necessary amino acids.
- The British Nutrition Foundation claims that the average adult needs a daily intake of 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
- Tofu is a vegetarian source of protein that may also help to alleviate menopausal hot flashes.
“Although animal proteins are ‘complete’, experts advise that protein quality on a plant-based diet can be as good as an omnivore diet.”