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10 Vegan Foods Rich in Protein and Minerals

Updated on September 18, 2016
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Each day, it is getting easier to become a vegan and eat healthy, however, most people will still find somewhat difficult to ingest the necessary amount of protein and some essential minerals for our body. We will show in this article, ten excellent foods that will help you get everything you need without animal-derived foods.

Spinach and Broccoli

Most dark green vegetables are known to be rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin, folate, iron, and calcium. Spinach and broccoli are probably the most consumed dark green vegetables and they really should be. Spinach is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, folate, and calcium. 100 grams of spinach contain 3 grams of protein, which may not seem too much, but considering it consists mainly of water (94%), it is actually a great amount. Broccoli has the same nutrients as spinach. They are both easy to find and can be consumed in many ways: raw, cooked, braised.

Peanuts

Peanuts are very rich in protein. 100 grams of peanuts provide more than 25 grams of protein. Peanuts also contain significant amounts of vitamin B3, folate, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin E. It also contains high amounts of fat, so it is important to not overconsume it.

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Rice and Beans

If you come from a country where this combination is common, you probably know how good, simple and nutritive this dish is. Rice and beans, together, provide all essential amino acids you need every day. Meat usually does that, but if you are in a diet without animal-based foods, this combination will make everything easier for you. If you still have not tried out, it is worth looking into it. Besides that, beans provide a significant amount of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, and many others. A diet based on rice and beans is a good and safe choice for a vegan.

Soybeans

Soybeans would probably be the best source of plant-based protein if it was not for the fact that it contains isoflavones, an estrogen-like hormone. There is proof that it has negative effects in men’s organism or that it, in fact, decreases testosterone’s levels, but it is something to be careful about. Soybeans contain complete proteins (proteins with all the essential amino acids) in high levels. Soybeans also contain significant amounts of many minerals that people commonly think that only meat can provide, like zinc, iron, copper and calcium. As for vitamins, they contain vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin (B2 vitamin) and thiamin (vitamin B1).

As long as not consumed in excess, soybeans will probably have no negative effect. If you are still concerned about it, it is possible to measure your testosterone level regularly and, if it decreases, stop the consumption.

Peas

Peas are another great source of protein. Raw, 100 grams of peas contain about 25 grams of protein. When cooked, the percentage will shorten because it will absorb water, but it is still a valuable source. Peas are also a good source of vitamin K and vitamin E.

Peas can also be used to make veggie burgers.

Tofu

Tofu is the vegan substitute for cheese. 100 grams of tofu contain 350 mg of calcium (200 ml of milk contain about 200 mg). it also contains significant amounts of protein and is very low in fat and carbohydrates, which makes it a great food for anyone trying to lose weight.

Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and is often used in Chinese and Japanese cuisines.

Chia

Chia seeds are extremely nutritive. 100 grams of chia seeds contain more calcium than 600 ml of milk, which is very helpful because it is not that easy to take the amount of calcium you need every day. Besides that, chia is rich in proteins. 100 grams provide almost 20 grams of protein.

Chia can also be used as a substitute for eggs in many recipes.

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Spirulina

To finish, we will talk about a food that many people do not know about. Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, also known as blue algae. Dried spirulina is mainly protein (60%), which means that 100 grams of spirulina provide about 60 grams of protein. As soybeans, it is also a complete protein, meaning that it has all the essential amino acids needed by humans. Spirulina is also incredibly rich in B vitamins, iron, and manganese. There is some controversy around B12 vitamin in spirulina, but scientists usually agree that it is not a reliable source of B12.

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Having a Healthy Diet

Going vegan can be a radical change for some people. If your diet was mostly based on meat, eggs, and milk, it is important to observe what you are going to eat from now on. This list contains foods rich in nutrients and protein, but there are many others. If you know another good vegan food, please share your knowledge with us.

Thank you for reading this Hub.

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    • Marcelo Faria profile image
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      Marcelo Faria 12 months ago from Brazil

      Chlorella seems like an interesting item. I will look into it. Thank you.

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      Celina211 12 months ago

      Maybe should add chlorella to the list...sounds very similar to spirulina.