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Vegan Protein: What you should know about plant-based proteins

Anyone who eats vegan or wants to change their diet has certainly been asked the question at least once: “And where do you get your proteins from?” That's why today we want to clear up all the myths about vegan protein, answer all the questions and help you to eat a balanced diet with enough protein.

How much protein do you need as a vegan: in anyway?

The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends an average amount of protein of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for an adult between the ages of 18 and 65.

With a body weight of 60 kilograms that would be

0.8 x 60 = 48 grams of protein daily.

Whether the recommended amount of protein is consumed through a vegan or omnivore diet makes no difference here.

Please note: The 0.8 grams are only a guideline - for certain groups of people, such as athletes, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, the requirement may be significantly higher.

Vegan Protein: These protein sources will help you meet your protein needs

A protein-rich diet does not always have to be animal-based. In the following table we list vegetable protein bombs with which you can cover your needs well.

As a reference value: The turkey breast, which is so popular with omnivorous athletes, has 21 grams of protein per 100 grams, an egg only has around 7 grams of protein. Plant-based alternatives can easily keep up here: Hemp seeds, our favorite superfood, contain a whopping 37 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Vegan foods high in protein: nuts and seeds

Food protein
Hemp seeds with shell 31.56g
pumpkin seeds 30.23g
almonds 21.15g
sunflower seeds 20.78g
pistachios 20.16g
cocoa powder 19.6g
linseed 18.29g
cashew nuts 18.22g
poppy seeds 17.99g
Sesame seeds 17.73g
cashew butter 17.56g
Chia seeds 16.54g
walnuts 15.23g
hazelnuts 14.95g
brazil nuts 14.32g
pine nuts 13.69g

Vegan foods high in protein: legumes

Food protein
Soy kernels, roasted 43.32g
soybeans 36.49g
lupine seeds 36.17g
lenses 24.63g
Red lenses 23.91g
mung beans 23.86g
kidney beans 23.58g
Chickpeas 20.47g

Do I need to consume vegan protein powder?

Yes and no: If you make sure that you eat a high-protein diet, you can do without protein powder. If you do a lot of sport or don't want to constantly count protein and calories, protein shakes can be a great help to cover your protein needs.

In order to really do something good for your health, we recommend not only paying attention to the protein content, but also to the list of ingredients and to relying on natural, organic ingredients.

Consume vegan protein in powder form

Vegan protein - what to look for when buying?

Whether a (vegan) protein powder can be classified as high quality is determined by various factors, for example:

  • amount of protein
  • amino acid profile
  • biological value
  • chemical score

Amount of protein in grams: basic, but a bit too basic

The fact that protein shakes should be about the amount of protein in grams sounds logical and simple at first. Unfortunately, this consideration is a bit too simple, because proteins only make sense if they can be absorbed and utilized by the body.

For this reason, it makes little sense to only look at the amount of protein.

amino acid profile

As you may know, proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 20 basic amino acids in total, nine of which are essential. The body cannot form these nine amino acids itself, so they have to be supplied to the body through food.

Depending on the protein source, the 20 amino acids are present in different amounts. However, our body needs a sufficient amount of all amino acids. That's why it makes sense to consume proteins that have a balanced amino acid profile.

biological value

The biological value indicates how well the protein from a food can be converted into endogenous protein. Animal protein usually has a higher biological value than vegetable protein - at least if only a single protein source is used.

For this reason, we recommend combining different protein sources with different amino acid profiles in order to increase the biological value. Cleverly combined, a vegan protein is in no way inferior to classic whey protein.

In purely chemical terms, the biological value is calculated by dividing the amount of nitrogen that remains in the body after eating the food by the amount of nitrogen that you have absorbed through the consumption of protein. The result is multiplied by 100.

chemical score

“Chemical Score” sounds very scientific and fancy at first, but it simply compares the amount of the individual amino acids in a certain food with the amount of the same amino acids found in a reference food, such as a chicken egg.

The hen's egg serves as a reference here because it was previously assumed that the proteins from the egg can be absorbed and utilized particularly well.

In principle, the chemical score is very similar to the biological value, which is why the two methods of protein evaluation are often confused. One major difference: the chemical score also takes food combinations into account.

PDCAAS: Protein Digestibility

So the chemical score gives a good understanding of how the protein contained in a food is composed, but says little about how easily digestible the proteins are. This is where the PDCAAS comes into play. PDCAAS stands for Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score and includes the tolerability and digestibility of the foods that are to be ingested as protein sources.

For example, wheat protein is more difficult to digest than pea protein and therefore has a lower PDCAAS value.

Is everything too complicated?

We admit: It all sounds quite complicated at first. With all due respect to healthy nutrition – we don’t want to calculate the PDCAAS or the biological value before every meal. That's why our vegan numove Fitness Shake provides all essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and combined with high biological value. So you don't have to worry about it and you can just enjoy - according to our motto "make change easy".

Single-component protein vs. multi-component protein

Another way of distinguishing is between single- and multi-component proteins. Classic one-component proteins are, for example, rice, pea or soy protein, but also classic whey, i.e. whey protein.

One-component proteins have the disadvantage - especially if they are purely plant-based - that they do not offer all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities.

That's why we rely - and also recommend it - on a multi-component protein. This simply means that several different proteins are put together in order to end up with a complete amino acid profile and the highest possible biological value.

In numove , for example, we combine sunflower protein and pea protein. Vegan protein is so easy to cover.

Vegan protein shake

Vegan Protein or Whey? Where's the difference?

Whey is another name for whey protein. So the main difference to vegan protein is that it comes from milk, while vegan protein is purely plant-based.

Vegan protein powder usually contains additional nutrients, trace elements and fiber and is naturally lactose-free. If you also pay attention to a complete amino acid profile, vegan protein is in no way inferior to “classic” whey.

Cooking and baking with vegan protein: Can protein powder be heated?

Whether protein powder is suitable for cooking and baking depends heavily on the ingredients. For example, some artificial sweeteners should not be heated. The more natural the ingredients in your protein powder, the more likely it is that you can cook and bake with it without any problems.

numove does not contain any artificial additives and is therefore ideal for delicious cakes. Of course, we also share our favorite protein recipes with you:

Have fun imitating! :)

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