If you’ve been following the vegan community for any amount of time, you have probably come across statements like these – soy protein causes gynecomastia, it increases estrogen levels.
Are these statements true? Well, it’s a little more complicated.
To sum it up for you, this meta-analysis indicates that soy protein does not have any negative effects on testosterone for healthy adults however it may cause an imbalance for people with already low testosterone.
With all that said, for people who want to follow a vegan diet without soy (I appreciate your cautiousness), Here are the Top 5 Non-soy Vegan Protein Source-
1. Lentils 4. Chia Seeds
2. Quinoa 5. Hemp
3. Nuts Alternatives to Soy Protein Powder
1. Beans and Lentils
Beans and Lentils are perhaps the most crucial parts of your vegan diet. They’re jam-packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins.
Some beans that we recommend are –
That’s right, peanuts are technically a legume and we all know that peanut butter is your best friend for protein on the vegan diet (just make sure it’s free of animal products).
Legumes can be prepared in MANY different ways like a curry, salad, stir fry, or even as a snack.
Here’s a fact for you, most plant-based foods aren’t considered complete proteins meaning they lack some of the essential amino acids however quinoa is a complete non-soy vegan protein.
Not only does it contain more protein and fiber than brown rice, but it also has three to four times more nutrients than most grains.
One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of high-quality protein. Pair that with some leafy vegetables and lentils and you have yourself a complete nutritious meal.
You can also have quinoa as a snack for those late afternoon cravings.
Keep in mind that quinoa is also high in carbs but all of them are complex which means no spike in blood sugar.
Every healthy vegan knows that nuts are a compulsory part of the vegan diet.
Not only are they an excellent source of protein, most of them are superfoods which means they are absolute powerhouses when it comes to vitamins and minerals.
The nuts we recommend are –
If you’ve ever complained about how hard it is to find unsaturated fat sources while on the vegan diet, go nuts (pun definitely intended).
If you dislike eating nuts as is, you can turn them into nut butter or nut milk.
Most nuts contain around 3 grams of protein per tablespoon.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They deliver a massive amount of nutrients with few calories. They’re no doubt the most nutrient-dense food on this list.
Just one serving (28 grams or 2 tablespoons) of these contains 4 grams of high-quality protein, 11 grams of fiber, 5 grams of omega 3 fats, and 30% of your manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus daily intake.
I’ll give you a moment to read that again. It’s insane.
They are without a doubt, a superfood and can be added to smoothies, cereal, or you can have them just as a snack.
Just remember to soak them in water for at least 5 minutes before consumption so that they get soaked and slimy.
Anyone who has researched veganism knows the importance of hemp. It comes in many forms like hemp oil, hemp milk, hemp protein powder, and, where all of this comes from – hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds pack quite a punch when it comes to nutrients. They contain high amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and are one of the few complete plant-based protein sources.
A 30 gram serving (Three tablespoons) of hemp seeds contains 9 grams of high-quality protein, 14 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbs.
Hemp seeds come from the same family as marijuana (wink wink) but they contain only trace amounts of THC (the psychoactive compound) which is why they don’t induce the same effects as weed.
Non-soy Vegan Protein Powder –
If you clicked on this article hoping to find some plant-based protein powders, here you go –
Guar protein powders often contain a strong amino acid profile and are high in nutrients that can aid muscle recovery. Guar protein powders are also much more affordable for people living in Asian countries like India.
Pea protein powders are another great protein source however they’re low in methionine which is one of the essential amino acids and an antioxidant.
Hemp protein powders are another excellent source however more research is needed on their amino acid profile placing them lower in this list.
There are a lot of protein options for vegans however quite a few people struggle to meet their protein goals on a plant-based diet.
Many people choose to supplement their plant-based diet with a protein drink as it’s quite difficult to get all the essential amino acids from food alone.
People who work out have much higher protein requirements and need more BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) for muscle growth. If you work out, we suggest you look into purchasing one of these protein supplements.
Remember that protein drinks are not magic supplements that kick-start muscle growth without working out. They are meant to supplement your diet, not replace it.
Follow a high protein vegan diet, a workout plan, and take adequate rest for optimal muscle growth.