Vegan Protein Diets & Nut Allergies

by Danny Fernsby
vegan food

High protein diets and fitness generally go hand in hand. If you follow a vegan diet and suffer from nut allergies it can make finding effective sources a challenge. There is a wide range of foods which are nut-free, veg-friendly, and protein packed.

Allergen Attack

Nut allergies are more common every day and are a pain in the ass. Many food products contain some sort of nut-based ingredient. Those that don’t are often processed with those that do. This causes cross contamination and will trigger your nut allergies.

When your body detects any type of allergen, it responds as if it were a bacterial or viral infection. Your immune system sends it histamine troops to kick foreign body butt. If you suffer from milder allergies, they are generally annoying at their worst. Severe allergies can and should be considered life-threatening.

nut allergyYou may be a bit off balance if you accidentally eat nuts or experience temporary hearing problems. This is due to excess mucus in the tissue around your eyes, ears, and throat. Those who have severe reactions go into anaphylaxis.

Serious signs can include edema, difficulty breathing, and, in some cases, vomiting. It is vital to reverse these symptoms as soon as possible. Your throat can swell shut in a matter of seconds and leave you gasping for air.

Note: If you experience any serious allergic symptoms, you must seek immediate medical attention. Individuals with severe allergies commonly carry epinephrine injection pens. This is to allow enough time to reach an emergency room. It is not an antidote or cure.

Mild Histamine Response

  • There area around your mouth, particularly your lips, may begin to tingle.
  • Your eyes may swell.
  • You might feel nauseous.
  • You may develop a skin rash or hives.
  • You may experience tightening in your throat.
  • Your stomach may begin to cramp.

Emergency Histamine Reaction

  • You can experience any combination of the symptoms above as well as…
  • You can feel as if you are having a major panic or anxiety attack.
  • You may feel like you are having an asthma attack including wheezing, coughing, and extreme difficulty in breathing.
  • You face can become flushed.
  • You may feel light-headed or even lose consciousness and faint.
  • Your blood vessels may dilate, your blood pressure can drop, and your heart rate may increase rapidly.
  • A worst-case scenario can result in death.

Smart Protein Sources

While it is more difficult, it is not impossible to source veg friendly protein that is absolutely nut free. There is a multitude of websites dedicated to muscle building, vegetarian recipes. There are also a few which don’t include nuts.

You can find just about any recipe using your favorite search engine. Keep tabs on the ones you try and like. Pretty soon you’ll have your own protein boosting, nut free, vegan cookbook.

  • Hemp products have seen a boon lately for good reason. Each 3 ½ ounce serving offers about 32 grams of protein.
  • Pea isolates are an excellent addition to any high protein diet.
  • Soybeans have become the go-to protein source in the vegetarian world. It is an ever-expanding market with a huge selection of protein-boosting
  • One ounce of chia seeds not only provide around 4.8 grams of protein but also promotes satiety naturally.
  • One tablespoon of seaweed and spirulina offers 4 grams each.
  • Quinoa is considered a whole grain by most experts. It is actually a pseudo-grain related to spinach, chards, and beets. You get 20 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of complete protein in every 4-ounce serving.

Pairing for Protein

vegan food as protein sources, soy and nutsCarefully choosing legume and grain combos can significantly raise your complete protein intake. Each category alone does not provide all the aminos you’re after. Beans are generally highest in lysine while grains are sorely lacking. Grains offer both cysteine and methionine which is where legumes usually come up short.

Together they create a power-packed, complete protein meal. It is best to stay away from rice and pasta which are overly processed. Manufacturing reduces most all the nutrients they provide, most importantly in this case, amino acids.  Try some of the complete protein combos below to get your protein grind on.

  • Black beans, diced tomatoes, and Spanish rice make a tasty combo.
  • Toss peas, pasta, and pesto for a satisfying dish.
  • Replace chicken broth with a veggie version for Caribbean quinoa and red beans.
  • Stone wheat crackers and 14 bean soups pair very well.
  • Spicy three-bean chili and plain rice make a hearty meal.
  • Bean and grain burger recipes offer a variety of flavor possibilities.

Tip: Get online and find some interesting protein packed ideas. You’ll run across many that call for some type of nuts. In many cases, you can simply delete the nuts and replace it with seeds or veggies.

Vegan Protein Products

The supplement market offers tons of protein powders which are protein packed and vegan-friendly. These are vegetable based and extremely effective sources. Ensure that your supplier follows safe practices using only quality ingredients. Check out some customer reviews and the company website. Become a label reader and investigate exactly what the package contains.

You might also consider protein bars and snacks. They can provide the boost you need. You should be careful when choosing your flavors. Many of them are made with nuts and/or not so health additives. Check out protein snacks and bars produced by your favorite supplement company. You could also ask the staff members at your fitness center. Most are knowledgeable and will be happy to answer your questions.

Your best bet is probably to try as many protein-boosting methods and products as you can find. Keep a record of both the ones you like as well as dislike. Implement a combination of them until you find the right fit.

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