One of the most common questions vegetarians hear from non-vegetarians is "Where do you get your protein?" Of course, the people who wonder this may eat chicken wings by the bucket and guzzle soda by the gallon, never stopping to think where they get their fiber or vitamin C. Vegetarian, vegan or not, we all need to consider the health effects of what we eat. While it's true that protein is necessary, equally important for vegetarians are calcium and iron, and, if you’re vegan, vitamin B12.
If you’re eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you are eating one of the healthiest diets on the planet. You do, however, need to make sure you get a few vital nutrients.
The little known truth about protein is that most of us get too much, not too little of it. Women need about 45 grams per day and men need around 55 grams. One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, so women, eat some tofu and you’re almost halfway there! If you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably consuming more than enough protein without even thinking about it. Even though it’s quite easy to get plenty of protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet, its a good idea to make sure you’re eating a variety of protein-rich foods. If you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you’ll likely get sufficient protein from eggs and dairy without even trying, but if you’re vegan, here are some high protein vegan foods to include in your diet: