Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

More and more people are becoming conscious of their diet and how it affects their health. In addition, there is increasing concern over the environmental effects of producing meat. I think we accept that vegetables and fruits are good for us, but many of us don't eat as if we believe that. Many people think it's difficult or impossible to get enough protein from a vegetarian diet or, at the very least, the protein is 'incomplete'. I'm not suggesting that everyone should be vegetarian, but I would like to show you how vegetables can provide generous amounts of complete protein. Read on below...


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Volume 7, Issue 12

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®


Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)


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How Much Protein Do We Need?

The first question is, how much protein do we need? The US Recommended Daily Allowance is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh, or about 0.36 grams per pound. When allowances are made for the fact that some plant proteins are digested somewhat differently from animal proteins and for the amino acid mix in some plant proteins, we arrive at a total of 0.9 gram of protein per kilogram body weight, or 0.41 grams per pound. For example, a vegetarian who weighs 150 pounds should consume 150 x 0.41 = 61.5 grams of protein per day.

It's very easy for a vegan/vegetarian diet to meet the recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequate. Although protein is certainly an essential nutrient which plays many key roles in our bodies, we do not need huge quantities of it. Only about one calorie out of every 10 we consume from a vegetarian diet needs to come from protein.

How is vegetarianism defined?

  • A vegan eats no animal products whatsoever, including dairy and honey.
  • A lacto-vegetarian eats no animal products (including eggs and fish), but consumes dairy products.
  • An ovo-lacto-vegetarian eats dairy products including eggs.
  • A pescatarian includes fish in their diet.

Why do people think it's hard to obtain enough protein from a vegetarian diet?

A vegetarian diet that's high in refined carbohydrates, such as refined flour and sugar, as well as fats will likely be low in protein. Even fruit doesn't contain much protein. North Americans tend to eat high carbohydrate diets which may account for the misperception that it's hard to get enough protein without meat or fish. But people overlook the generous amounts of protein in many vegetables and other plant-based foods.


Protein in Vegetables and Plant-Based Foods

Nearly all vegetables, beans/legumes, grains, nuts and seeds contain some or a lot of protein. Strict protein combining is not necessary; eating a varied diet is much more important. What does that mean? Protein is made up of amino acids, and we have a biological requirement for amino acids, not for protein. Humans cannot make 9 of the 20 common amino acids, so these amino acids are considered essential, i.e. they must come from our diet.

Examples of non-animal high quality protein include soybeans, quinoa and spinach. Most vegetables have high quality, complete protein. In some cases, the amounts of one or two amino acids may be low. For example, grains are generally lower in the essential amino acid, lysine, and legumes are lower in methionine, another essential amino acid. In fact, this is why it is common practice to combine grains and legumes, for example, rice and lentils.


See the protein content of several vegan foods in the following table.


Protein Content of Selected Vegan Foods
    (gm) (gm/100 cal)
Tempeh 1 cup 31 9.6
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6
Seitan 3 ounces 21 17.5
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.7
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 15 5.4
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.3
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8
Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 13 6.7
Veggie burger 1 patty 13 18.6
Veggie baked beans 1 cup 12 5
Tofu, firm 4 ounces 11 10.6
Tofu, regular 4 ounces 10 10.7
Bagel 1 med. (3.5 oz) 10 3.9
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8 6.6
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), cooked 1/2 cup 8 15
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8 4.1
Veggie dog 1 link 8 13.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Almonds 1/4 cup 8 3.7
Soy milk, commercial, plain 1 cup 7 7
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 7 5.2
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 7 3.4
Soy yogurt, plain 8 ounces 6 4
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6 3.7
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3
Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5 13
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4 6.7


Sources: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24, 2011 and manufacturers' information. The Vegetarian Resource Group,

The recommendation for protein for adult male vegans is around 63 grams per day; for adult female vegans it is around 52 grams per day.

Another excellent source of vegetable protein comes from the Portobello mushroom - one mushroom contains 5 gm of fibre.


The following are examples of high protein vegetarian meals and snacks:

Breakfast (Protein - 19.3 gm total without nut butter or yogurt)
1 cup cooked oatmeal - 6.0 gm
2 tbsp hemp seeds - 5.0 gm
1 tbsp chia seeds - 3.0 gm
1/2 cup almond milk - 1.0 gm
1 oz walnuts - 4.3 gm
or add 2 tbsp peanut butter - 8.0 gm (27.3 gm total)

    2 tbsp almond butter - 7.0 gm (26.3 gm total)
    1/2 cup Greek yogurt* - 5.0 gm (24.3 gm total)


broccoli with riceLunch salad (Protein - 27.7 gm total)
1/2 cup black beans - 7.5 gm
1 cup quinoa - 9.0 gm
1/2 cup kale - 1.2 gm
1/4 cup almonds - 8.0 gm
1/2 avocado - 2.0 gm


Dinner (Protein - 34.4 gm total with lentils or tofu; or 27.0 gm with tofu burger and white rice)
1 cup broccoli - 4.0 gm

    or 1/2 cup cooked peas - 4.0 gm
1 cup brown rice - 8.4 gm

    or white rice - 4.0 gm
1 cup lentils - 18.0 gm
Salad bonus:

Or add tofu as the main protein instead of lentils:
Tofu (114 gm) - 18.0 gm

    or tofu burger - 15.0 gm


1/2 cup hummus - 6.0 gm
1 cup cottage cheese* - 11.0 gm
1 cup Greek yogurt* - 10.0 gm
Allegro cheese (1 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm) - 11.0 gm

* If lacto-vegetarian

I hope you find this helpful, and that you are encouraged to obtain more protein from plant sources.



GreenZoneNature's Sunshine supplements can help you with obtaining protein from vegetable protein. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • GreenZone
  • Nature's Gold 1
  • Nature's Gold 2
  • Nature's Harvest
  • Nutri-Burn Vanilla
  • SmartMeal (Vanilla)

For additional information, please email or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.


  1. Mangels R. Protein in the vegan diet.  Accessed March 3, 2016.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.


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When I met with Ramila, I was impressed with the personal touch she added to our first consultation. I felt as though she truly understood, and knew what I was talking about. Thank you SO much, Ramila. I can’t imagine not having met you.


- MF


When health begins, dis-ease ends.

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