Getting enough protein on a vegan diet is definitely possible and can be really easy. However., it can be easy to forget about certain nutrients and how important they are. Vegetables are naturally low in protein, so your diet has to branch out into grains and legumes as well as nuts and seeds. With a little awareness and a balanced diet, you shouldn’t need to ever worry about getting the right amount of nutrients in your diet!
Any kind of deficiency can be hard to trace since so many symptoms can be caused by so many different things. But it is a good idea to be familiar with some common warning signs. If you’re worried that you aren’t getting enough protein, have a look at these warning signs that could indicate that your diet is lacking something.
Warning Signs That You Aren’t Getting Enough Protein
Unusual swelling is a very common cause of a lack of protein in your diet. This is called edema, and it usually occurs in the legs, feet, hands, and abdomen. If swelling is unusual for you, you probably need to get some blood tests done and a checkup to make sure that everything is okay. Swelling is a common symptom of many things, and you want to make sure that nothing more serious is hiding under the surface.
2. Hair, Skin, and Nail Issues
Our hair, skin, and nails are made up of proteins which is why these areas suffer if you aren’t getting enough of it. There can be many causes of dry and brittle nails, thinning hair, and dry skin. But it can’t hurt to look into your diet to see if the solution lies here. Without the right amount of protein, your body can’t create the necessary proteins for healthy hair, skin, and nails. If this is a problem that you frequently have, try adding more nutrients into your diet and see what happens over a few months.
A lack of protein can even affect the way that your brain works. Causing moodiness and frequent mood swings that aren’t normal for you. This is because your brain’s neurotransmitters and amino acids are built off of this important nutrient. So without enough protein, your brain isn’t getting what it needs. This can cause much more depression and anger, as well as feelings of sadness and melancholy. You can easily rule this cause of moodiness out by having blood tests done to test your nutrition levels.
4. Weakness and Fatigue
Protein has a huge effect on the body’s muscles. This is especially true for people who are middle-aged or older. A continual lack of protein can cause muscle loss over time, which causes weakness. This can also cause you to feel unstable on your feet, lightheaded, or slower than usual. A lack of this nutrient also causes feelings of fatigue, which can often be attested to anemia. Without enough protein, you can become anemic which cuts back your oxygen, making you feel more tired than usual.
5. Slow Healing
When you are low in protein, you might find that it takes you significantly longer to heal. This can mean cuts and bruises that last for weeks. This is because almost every part of the body requires this important nutrient to make other elements that are needed. Without enough of it, your body can’t clot blood as well or create new tissue. This can lead to slow healing in small things like cuts and bruises to big things like a broken bone or a sprained ankle.
6. Continual Hunger
If you are eating enough but still feel hungry all of the time, you may be low in protein. This nutrient is an element of our food that helps us to feel full. If you are not eating the right amount of protein, you will probably feel hungry more often and unsatisfied with your food. Try incorporating more protein-rich foods into your diet to see if it curbs those hunger pains.
7. Weak Immune System
Protein is needed in order for your body to properly break down and absorb nutrients from your food. Without it, you might find that you get sick more frequently throughout the year. It might even be responsible for creating disease-fighting bacteria that help you to stay healthy. So, without that it, your immune system has to work much harder.
How to Make Sure You are Getting Enough Protein
There are all kinds of great ways to make sure that you are eating plenty of nutrients in your diet. There are so many tips that can help you to make protein-rich meals every day.
Here are just a few simple tips to help you get more nutrients into your daily diet.
1. Eat Different Meals
One way to get protein into your diet is to eat different foods at every meal. This will guarantee that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need. If you eat too many of the same things every day, you might be missing out on the protein and nutrients that you need.
2. Eat a Variety
Try to fill your diet with a variety of foods from all kinds of vegetables to legumes to grains. Add in as many different types of foods as you can to create a balanced and nutritious diet. Eating a variety of different foods will make it much easier to get plenty of protein with every meal.
3. Add More Protein-Rich Foods to Your Diet
Still worried about eating the right amount of nutrition? Try adding more protein-rich foods to your diet. This is the easiest way to guarantee that you are getting the right amount of nutrients into your food. Try to eat plenty of beans, grains, nuts, and seeds so that every meal that you eat is rich in protein! Check out some of these recipes:
- 15 High-Protein Oatmeal Recipes Loaded with Toppings!
- 15 Dairy-Free High-Protein Smoothies and Shakes
- 15 High-Protein Vegan Burritos and Burrito Bowls!
- 15 Dairy-Free High-Protein Smoothies and Shakes
- Getting All 9 Essential Protein-Amino Acids on a Plant-Based Diet
- 10 Tips to Up Your Protein Intake in Every Plant-Based Meal
- 10 Vegan Organic Pea Protein Products
- From Hemp and Pea to Soy and Rice: Your Ultimate Guide to Vegan Protein Powders From All Sources
- How to Tell If You’re Getting Enough Protein
- How to Get Enough Protein Eating Meat, Dairy, Soy and Gluten-Free
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.