Being a Vegan the most common question I am asked daily is “Where do you get your protein?”. I answer how much protein do you need to eat daily? We seem to think that we need a lot of protein to survive. In actual fact we only need “10% Protein” in our diet (Dr. Douglas Graham ). Athletes need adequate protein in their diet however 10% is still plenty. Proteins are the building blocks of living cells. Once we have finished growing however we don’t need the amount we once needed for growth. Once we are built we only need it for repair.
Have you ever heard of anyone having a protein deficiency? Almost every omnivore consumes excessive amounts of animal Protein that can be harmful for the body. Read (The China Study) For some shocking information on what excessive amounts of protein can do to your body.
The truth is once your body has received the amount of protein it requires, any additional protein consumed will simply be excreted. It will not be used to build muscle or enhance physical performance. It can cause your body to work overtime to break down the excess protein causing body system disfunction, especially in the kidneys and liver.
People often wonder the protein content in meat vs vegetables. Looking at it from a calorie view, 100 calories of ground beef has 10 grams of protein while 100 calories of fresh baby spinach has 12 grams of protein. Per calorie, spinach does have more protein than ground beef. Percentage-wise, spinach is 30% protein while ground beef is 40% protein (and 60% fat). Sure that is a lot of spinach but then again there are so many other sources of plant protein. The highest Plant sources of plant protein are: Hemp seeds, Quinoa, Soy, Spirulina, Beans/legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and vegetables to name only a few are Kale, Spinach and Broccoli.
Green Smoothies are a fantastic way to get a good amount of protein in the morning, followed by a raw green salad with added hemp seeds, beans or quinoa, and maybe a cooked dinner.
The 80/10/10 Diet Dr. Douglas N. Graham FoodnSport Press 2008