I’m a vegan – to begin with. Two weeks ago, I was invited to a get-together barbecue bash (The kind of gathering I hardly ever go to). But since it was a close family gathering thing, and since I missed several such gatherings in just the past month alone, I had no other option but to go. None of my close family members are vegan. Almost all of them assume there are no high protein foods for vegans.
I tried persuading several of my cousins to stop eating meat. But persuading a meat lover to stop eating meat is like twisting an arm. You’d even find it a lot easier to convince a gambler to stop gambling than a meat eater to become vegan. That’s how addictive they are to eating meat.
At any rate, when the food was done, everyone started to eat. The only thing that I ate was a cucumber tomato salad. No one offered me meat, because they knew I’d refuse to eat it. Later on, however, one of my cousins (Trying to be smart) started preaching about the food chain.
His whole point was that humans are allowed to eat meat by every practice of the law of nature. I merely smiled to that and replied, “Nature didn’t give us claws. Nor did it give us saber teeth to fight, kill, and eat animals. Nature didn’t invent the guns. We did.
Nature gave us hands to grow fruits and vegetables. We are designed to milk cows and grow their calves – not eat them. There is a reason why cows cannot survive a long period of time without being milked by humans.”
Hearing that, my cousin stared at me just like a colorblind calf would stare at a colorful door, but he couldn’t rest and foolishly said, “Vegans are unhealthy people. They never consume enough proteins in their bodies.” At that moment, a beam of you-don’t-what-you-are-talking-about unfurled across my face. You can’t even imagine how sorry he was for saying this - because my words of familiarity with the subject passed through him like a speeding train.
Nevertheless, if you’re a vegan, or even a person on a diet, wondering about high protein foods for vegans, this is the perfect list for you.
Seitan is one of the most renowned food across the world, especially among vegans and dieting people. And it is the fountainhead of protein for them. Also it is a low-fat food.
Seitan is made of wheat, whose main protein is gluten. You can self-cook the seitan or find it in the refrigerated display case in many health food stores. You can also find many seitan-alternatives in these stores as well.
There are about 25 grams of protein in 100 grams of seitan, which also contains calcium, phosphorus, and iron. But since it lacks amino acids, you should mix it with beans and nuts to get a perfectly healthy meal. You can keep your seitan in your refrigerator for a few days to a week or two, depending on its expiration date.
But when it comes to prepared seitan, however, you shouldn’t worry, for it can stay frozen in your refrigerator without spoiling for two to three months. It can also be prepared in various ways, including pan-frying and grilling. And you’d even be surprised by its flavor. Blindfold a meat lover and let him taste a bland chicken and seitan. He would hardly discern any difference between the two.
Important – seitan is not recommended for people with gluten sensitivity.
Unlike seitan, tofu is perfectly safe for people with gluten sensitivity, for it’s not made of wheat. It is made by condensing soy milk, which resulting curds are pressed into soft or firm white blocks — a similar process to cheese making.
Tofu dates back to the beginning of the New Era. It has been consumed by people for centuries.
Today, the biggest dilemma about whether to eat tofu or not comes from the fact that the soybeans - from which it is made - are GMO (Genetically Modified). Researches assure that the GMO soybeans are not harmful to our health. But if you still don’t want to have anything to do with GMO food, buy only organic tofu products, which are not hard to find.
Tofu doesn’t have a good taste like that of the seitan. But you can always mix it with other ingredients to add flavor to its bland characteristic.
There are about 8 grams of protein in 100 grams of tofu, which also contains calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and manganese.
TEMPEH AND EDAMAME
Tempeh and edamame also belong to the soybeans’ family.
To prepare edamame, you have to boil it first, and then eat it. You can add it in a soup, eat it on its own, or mix it with other ingredients. And you can always use salt to improve the slightly grassy taste of edamame.
The first documented consumption of edamame dates back to 1275 – when a Japanese monk thanked a parishioner for the edamame he had left as a gift at the temple.
Many people think that tofu and tempeh are quite the same. But they are not nearly alike. To prepare tempeh, you need to use whole soybeans, not condensed soy milk. You also have to ferment the soybeans before pressing them into a patty slightly. And unlike the lacking flavor and the soft texture of the tofu, the tempeh has a firm texture, and its taste is quite savory.
There are 19 grams of protein in 100 grams of tempeh, and 11 grams in edamame.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEANS AND THE BENEFITS OF THEM
Beans belong to the Fabaceae family. Beans are seeds from flowering plants, mainly used as human or animal food. There are many varieties of beans, such as red beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soybeans, black-eyed peas, lima beans, black beans, lentil, and last but not least garbanzo beans.
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are also a high protein food.
More than 19 grams of protein are in 100 grams of Garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans also provide us with iron, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. Beans not online provide us with protein and other beneficial compounds, but they also lower our blood pressure and help us in controlling our blood sugar level.
Honestly, there are so many benefits of consuming beans that you’d be surprised.
1 – They Contain Nutrients Important For Our Health
One of the most important nutrients the beans provide to us (Apart from the protein, iron, magnesium, and fiber) is folate. Without enough folate in our bodies – the chances of becoming tired, weary, and weak – are very high. Without the folate, we are also prone to fatigue, heart palpitations, and loss of appetite.
It is recommended to cook them in their natural solid form rather than buying them in sealed cans, for sealed cans destroy half of the amount of folate that the beans have. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid buying canned beans – because even the canned beans surpass the amount of folate that so many other kinds of foods have, or don’t have at all.
2 – Better Health And Reduced Cancer Risk
Many medical examinations have proven that the consecutive consumption of beans reduce the risks of many cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, by lowering the blood cholesterol levels.
It is also medically proven that beans reduce the risk of cancer since they act as antioxidants.
3 – They Control Our Appetite And Prevent Intestinal Diseases
Many people can’t even imagine eating lunch by skipping one of the three courses. When I say three courses - I mean appetizers as the first course, the main meal as the second course, and, of course, a dessert as the third.
I’m not saying that this is the wrong way of starting and finishing your lunch. Not at all. All I want to say is that some people, who need to go on a diet and lose weight, have to block their food cravings. And the best food-cravings-blockers are beans. More often than not, beans reduce your appetite to a minimum without leaving you hungry or unfed.
Nevertheless, the consumption of black beans helps healthy bacteria in our intestinal system like probiotics. That helps in the prevention of many kinds of intestinal diseases. Beans are among the best high protein foods for vegans.
Aside from all the benefits that beans offer to us, there are also certain kinds of risks.
- If you’re allergic to peanuts, you might be allergic to some kinds of these beans as well.
- Sometimes, beans can be the cause of migraines.
- Soybeans contain substances that could absorb your vitamins B12 and D. In such cases you have to eat food that contains those vitamins to replenish them back.
- Some beans can trigger a gout attack. Therefore, if you have a gout problem, always talk with a doctor first. Without his advice and permission don’t start to consume beans daily.