A plant-based diet contains enough protein, including all the essential amino acids. I will not go into a scientific explanation of this fact at this point, although unfortunately I still find too many unverified claims that only foods of animal origin are a perfect source of protein.
The purpose of this paper is more practical in nature. Fear of “too little protein” is still common among people who flirt with veganism. Of particular concern are active athletes who like veganism for ethical and ecological reasons, or have heard of the benefits of such a diet in regenerating and maintaining an optimal percentage of body fat.
VEGANITY & PROTEIN IN PRACTICE
If you are moderately active and do not do any sports, do not worry about protein at all. Eat varied and wholesome: lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. Make sure you meet your caloric needs – on average they range around 2000 calories a day (depending on weight, height, age and gender) and only increase with activity.
VEGANITY & ATHLETES
There is no secret formula for vegan athletes, because strength and endurance are gained through activity – the task of the diet is only to support our activity and provide effective regeneration, which can make each workout intense. This is not a problem with a plant-based diet, and in some things it is even an advantage – vegan athletes praise better digestion, more energy for training, a lighter feeling after meals and faster regeneration.
Care should be taken to eat more due to increased calorie consumption – especially in the beginning you need to get used to the feeling that we are really eating to satiety. Plant foods have fewer calories per given volume, so they fill our stomachs sooner – this is great for overweight people who want to lose weight (because they are never hungry, but still lose weight), but for the very active it can sometimes be a problem.
More active in the plant diet should increase the intake of legumes (lentils, soy, chickpeas, beans), green leafy vegetables (green smoothies are great) and vegetable fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter). It plays an important role in the regeneration of fruits, which contain many antioxidants – they neutralize free radicals that are intensively formed during physical activity, reduce inflammation and accelerate the regeneration of muscle fibers.