When I was vegan, one of the most common questions I got was about protein. Seriously, people are never more concerned about your protein intake until you tell them you don’t eat meat. It’s a thing. And one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that we don’t really need as much protein as we think we do. In fact, there are probably some of you reading this who feel a bit clogged up because maybe your body isn’t digesting all the protein you’re giving it currently.
Now I’m not here to shame you. Personally, I don’t eat a lot of meat because I don’t enjoy the taste. These days I tend to stick with fish and occasionally eggs. But there’s room in my diet should I suddenly find myself craving a chicken wing or a steak. I kind of doubt the later but you never know? And as far as protein goes, being vegan taught me a lot about my body and how I digest things. So if you’re feeling like you need a good poop or that your digestion could use a little boost, I’m here to help. Let’s chat about my go to protein picks for better digestion.
Collagen powder alone has been a recent addition to my diet. I’ve opted for adding it to my coffee, matcha and other foods daily for the added protein boost. Because it’s already pretty heavily broken down, I don’t feel like I’ve got a weight in my stomach. And I’m able to digest it pretty easily. It’s also great for gut health, skin and nails. There are a couple on the market you can choose from. I’m currently using Vital Protein’s collagen powder*. They also have a marine collagen* available that I’ll be trying next. It’s tasteless so you don’t have to worry about any funny taste in your drinks. But the added protein helps keep you fuller for longer.
Along with collagen, bone broth* is another way to add protein and heal your gut. I’m not much on the taste of it alone but that’s mostly because I don’t love the taste of chicken. It comes in waves. However, I’ll use it as the base of soup or stews to add protein and for the gut heal benefits. There are lots of studies that talk about drinking it first thing in the morning as a protein boost for the day. You can also have it heated as an afternoon snack. To each their own. Nevertheless, I find when I do use it that I don’t struggle with digestion issues or feel sluggish. Win win!
SPROUTED SEEDS & NUTS
Since I’ve been eating more plant based again, sprouted seeds & nuts have become a staple protein. They are perfect for adding an extra crunch to my meals. And I know that I won’t be extra gassy or bloated from eating them. If you struggle with eating nuts, I’d definitely suggest trying them out. My current faves are from Go Raw*. But there aren’t too many companies that I’ve found in stores making sprouted options. Living Intentions* does make sprouted almonds though. You’ll find they are a bit cruncher than your traditional nuts because they’ve been soaked and then dehydrated.
A little disclaimer here: You can make your own but it takes a few days. And if you’re not careful, you could add some bacteria into your gut that doesn’t sit right. So I’d suggest buying them and giving them a go that way first.
SOAKED LENTILS & LEGUMES
Every time I make a lentil dish and don’t take the time to soak them ahead, my family can tell. It seems small but in our house it makes a huge difference. I’ve found that keeping a diet that’s more plant based works best with my digestion along with a regular probiotic. But even plant based foods can make you gassy & bloated. Taking the time to soak them ahead of cooking can help make the protein easier to digest. I keep a handy list on the fridge for soaking & sprouting times so I always have a quick reference point. However, I’m also notorious for cooking based on my craving so I’ve recently opted to buy sprouted lentils*. I store them separately because they cook a lot quicker. They are great for digestion but also because they don’t take as long to make. Which is perfect since I’m often an impatient cook.
PLANT BASED PROTEIN POWDERS
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish and clogged up, the first place I would probably suggest is looking at your dairy consumption. I know cheese is something most people don’t want to give up. However, dairy can be a sneaky culprit in the digestion game. One easy way to give your stomach a break and something easier to digest is by switching to plant based protein*. You could also opt for collagen protein powders*. I actually prefer them for my protein balls. But giving your stomach a break and opting for a diet heavier in plant based foods could be the key. And before you know it, you’ll be clog free and pooping on the regular again. Glam times friends.
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