Vegans are exposed to a lot of jokes and discussions. It doesn't matter who it is; family members, friends, acquaintances or society in general, everybody seems to have an opinion on veganism and seems to be afraid that we, vegans, do not get enough nutrients.
Sometimes I feel like people suddenly worry about my nutrition, although they have never worried about me before.
That is why I decided to address the one, probably most-debated question: Where do vegans get protein?
Contrary to the misinformation spread by the industries, mostly meat and dairy, there is no shortage of protein in a vegan diet. All amino acids can be found in beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, brown rice, cacao, grains, hemp, lentils and even fruit has around 5 percent protein. The amount of protein differs from type to type but it is definitely possible to get the same amount of protein as meat-eaters. For example 350g of lentils, 150g of peanut butter, 200g of pumpkin seeds, 200g of almonds or 400g of beans have the equivalent amount of protein as egg whites. Furthermore, vegan options are much healthier and ethical!
But why is protein actually so important for the body?
Protein consists of amino acids which play a crucial role in almost every biological process in the human body. A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue is made up of amino acids. They have an influence on the function of organs, glands, arteries and they are essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue, especially in the muscles, bones, skin and hair. Animal based protein is more similar to our human protein, thus it is used more readily and rapidly than plant-based protein.
However, animal protein has a lower pH than our protein and the human body has to correct the acidity of animal protein by releasing calcium of the bones, one major cause of osteoporosis. Additionally, an internationally renowned study (the China Study by T. Colin Campbell) clearly showed that animal protein (casein) is the most relevant carcinogen and thus the main cause of cancer, alongside the excessive amounts of fat and trans-fatty acids found in meat and dairy products. But, as you might guess, a variety of studies suggest that a plant-based vegan diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Personally, I am not vegan because of health benefits, but because I don't want any living being to be harmed for my meals. However, I think anybody trying to improve their well-being should consider the health argument of veganism. Since I am not a doctor nor a scientist, I can only speak about my personal experience on a vegan diet. I feel great in my body, full of energy and satisfied with the way I am living on this planet.