Most vegans are tired of hearing comments about their food choices and the nutrients they’re missing out on. Contrary to popular belief, plant-based diets can provide more than enough protein. For example, beans deliver 6 to 9 grams of protein per half cup, while edamame boasts up to 18 grams of protein per cup, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Tempeh, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and nutritional yeast contain ample protein, too.
The recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, reports Harvard Medical School. That’s about 54 grams of protein for a 160-pound person or 72 grams for a 200-pound individual. Vegans who eat grains, nuts, and legumes at most meals can get sufficient protein to build muscle, recover from training, and function optimally.
Tennis player Venus Williams, for instance, starts her days with a high-protein vegan smoothie followed by several meals consisting of nuts, quinoa, veggies, and other protein-rich foods, she told The Beet. Professional boxer Mike Tyson, basketball player Chris Paul, American sprinter Elijah Hall, and other top athletes say that veganism helped them overcome injuries and perform at their best.
“Being vegan has helped me immensely,” notes Olympic sprinter Morgan Mitchell (via The Beet). “I don’t feel sluggish like I did when I was eating meat, and my recovery from training really took off. It felt like an overall cleanse for my body, and I started seeing greater results on the track.”