Getting the most out of vegan and plant-based diets

IS a plant-based diet the same thing as a vegan diet? While they are similar, there are some key differences: Vegan diets eliminate all animal products, while plant-based diets do not necessarily eliminate animal products, but focus on eating mostly plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Is a vegan or plant-based diet healthy?

If you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains, you should still get a good chunk of your daily vitamins and minerals because plant-based foods are high in many nutrients.

Protein deficiencies among vegetarians and vegans are far from being the norm. Nonetheless, some people may be interested in increasing their plant protein intake for a variety of reasons. Here is a very helpful list we found.

Seventeen plant foods that contain a high amount of protein per serving, in alphabetical order.

Plant Food Proteins

By Alina Petre, MS, RD, NL

1Amaranth and Quinoa
2Chia Seeds
3Chickpeas and Most Varieties of Beans
4Ezekiel Bread and Other Breads made from Sprouted Grains
5Green Peas
6Hempseed
7Lentils
8Nutritional Yeast
9Nuts, Nut Butters and Other Seeds
10Oats and Oatmeal
11Protein-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
12Seitan
13Soy Milk
14Spelt and Teff
15Spirulina
16Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame
17Wild Rice
Source: Healthline.com.

Protein-rich fruits and vegetables

To help you with #11 above here are some helpful suggestions. First up, vegetables, then fruits.

Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. They contain about 4–5 grams of protein per cooked cup. Although technically a grain, sweet corn is a common food that contains about as much protein as these high-protein vegetables.

To determine your daily protein intake, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36, or use this online protein calculator. For a 50-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds woman and sedentary (doesn’t exercise), that translates into 53 grams of protein a day.

What about protein rich fruits? Avocado in particular is incredibly nutritious.

Considering avocado amongst high-protein fruits may surprise you. Avocados are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats which helps in keeping joints supple and blood pressures stable. They are also packed with fibres that are essential for weight loss. One avocado contains 4 grams of protein and 322 calories.

Fresh fruits generally have a lower protein content than vegetables. Those containing the most include include guava, cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines and bananas, which have about 2–4 grams of protein per cup.

Crystal

We hope this answers any lingering questions about how to get good quality nutrients in vegan, vegetarian and plant-based diets. Even though we have posted numerous times on this topic, this should make it crystal clear. Some of the food items may sound a bit foreign to the ear right now, but most of them will not — and may already be in your cupboard.

Peace, love and horses.

TUESDAY’S HORSE © FUND FOR HORSES

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