The vegan diet and protein

People worry a great deal about getting enough protein - in fact you probably need much less that you think you do, around 0.8g for every kilogram of your body weight each day.  On the other hand, it is important to get enough protein as lack of protein can lead to poor immunity and loss of muscle mass.  In extreme cases it can even weaken the heart (the heart is a muscle after all).

Protein is made up of amino acids and there are 20 of these.  Some are known as 'essential' amino acids because your body cannot make them and they must be taken in through your diet.  Animal sources of protein have all the amino acids but most vegetable sources do not. The exceptions are soy beans and products such as tofu, quinoa and buckwheat. BUT if you combine beans or lentils with grains then you have a complete protein. So for example falafel in a pitta bread would provide complete protein as would beans on toast, or lentil curry with rice.  Other sources of protein include nuts and seeds.

Below are some vegan recipes that will provide you with complete protein:-

Mexican tostadas

Spiced chilli beans topped with cornbread

Falafel burgers with mango salsa (served with pittas)

Open tortillas with refried beans

Curried rice and beans with mushrooms 

Swedish meatballs

Argentinian style empanadas 

plus many more recipes on the blog!

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