So They Say Plant-Based People Can’t Get Enough Protein? It Just Ain’t So.

If you are a vegan or strict vegetarian, surely someone in your life has questioned whether your diet can have enough protein. Next time, be ready with some statistics about how the amount of protein you need and how you can nail those numbers with your healthy diet. And well, also, do make sure you actually are getting enough protein every day.

The USDA recommends 56 grams of protein a day for a men between the ages of 19-50, and 46 grams of protein for women between the ages of 31-50. If you engage in strenuous exercise, you may need more.

The truth is that most vegetables and fruits have a small amount of protein. For example, ½ cup of asparagus has 2 grams, ½ cup broccoli has 3 grams. So if you’re eating the amount of veggies you should be (at least 5 servings), you’ll already have 10 grams right there.

For the rest of your protein, work on getting enough beans, nuts, and soy into your daily fare. Here’s an example of what you can put into your diet to get that protein:

Breakfast
Add soymilk to your smoothie (one cup = 7 grams)

Lunch
Add black beans to your soup, your burrito or your rice-and-veggies dish (one cup = 12 grams of protein)

Snack
A little peanut butter on a celery stick or a handful of nuts and dried fruit (2 tblsp = 8 grams)

Dinner
Our family favorite – stir-fried veggies with some very firm tofu (½ cup = 20 grams) and brown rice (one cup = 5 grams).

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