Where Do I Get Protein on a Raw Vegan Diet?

Where do you get your protein on a raw vegan diet?

If I got a dollar every time someone asked me this question, I could have bought a house by now. It has become a bit of a joke.

My answer is always the same though: Well. Look at me, I haven’t eaten meat for 12+ years and I am strong and healthy. Proteins must come from some somewhere in my raw vegan diet, don’t you think?

Raw vegan transformation, before and after.

Gorillas are incredible robust animals and they don’t eat meat, where do they get their protein? Mainly from plants.

In fact, all anthropoid primates such as gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos – which are anatomically and physiologically like us, thrive on a low-fat diet, predominated made of fruits and vegetables.


The idea of consuming enough protein has become an obsession for a lot of people, and they think they will die if they don’t eat enough of it. This is the by-product of sheer ignorance and commercialism.

The meat industry has inflicted terror on people with the dangers of not eating enough proteins; whereas in reality, nothing could be further from the truth; excessive amounts of proteins in our diet makes us ill.

Most people suffer from an overdose of protein, as eating meat and other animal products causes the very conditions we’re taught to fear.

Too much protein in our diets is associated with all manner of health impairments, such as autoimmune diseases, liver malfunction, premature aging, arthritis, renal failure, neurological disorder, osteoporosis, cancer, and many other degenerative and pathologic conditions.

It is essential to overthrow the concept of more is better when talking about proteins and other nutrients because it is simply not the case.

For example… imagine you are going to a shop to get yourself a pair of trainers. Your size is 7 but they only have size 10 available. I could tell you: well, size 10 is more; so it’s even better. I can hear you say: my shoe size is 7, size 10 is not better for me.

The same analogy applies to food; we need the right amount of proteins and other nutrients, not more.

Protein-based foods are highly acid forming in the human body (even the high-protein plants, such as legumes).

By contrast, fruits and vegetables contain just the right amounts of protein to build and maintain a healthy body.

Unless you live in developing countries where insufficient food are available and people are literally starving to death, protein/calorie malnutrition conditions known as marasmus and kwashiorkor do not exist.

The question we should be asking is not where do we get our protein but where do we get our water. Yes, WATER!

In my experience: it is far wiser to make sure we obtain plenty of natural water in our diet, since we live in a world plagued with heavily processed foods that robs us of precious health and tempts us to go off the rails constantly.

Take a look at the amount of water in these common raw foods:

  • Tomatoes, 97%
  • Lettuce, 96%
  • Zucchini, 95%
  • Peppers, 94%
  • Watermelons, 92%

By contrast, this is the percentage of water in some everyday cooked foods:

  • Crackers, 4.3%
  • White bread, 37%
  • Sweet cheese, 37%
  • Cooked beef, 53%
  • White meat chicken with skin, 61%

As you can see by looking to the sums above, the water content in foodstuffs varies significantly between raw and cooked food.

In the 80/10/10 book Dr. Douglas Graham writes: “In terms of volume, water is our greatest nutrient need—second only to oxygen.

Cooking drives water out of food and alters it drastically. Dehydration oxidizes the nutrients in food, and their nutrient value is duly degraded.

We cannot eat cooked or dehydrated foods and then make up for the water and nutrients lost by drinking water, juices, or other supplements. Doing so simply does not compare to eating a daily diet predominated by whole, water-rich foods.

Fruits and vegetables are nature’s perfect water filters, and the water within them is the purest available on Earth.

All efforts to purify or structure our drinking water are merely attempts to replicate the water we were designed to ingest in our raw fruits and vegetables.”

The human body is about 70 percent water, and consistently eating foods significantly below this level leaves it with a need for additional input to handle digestion and other bodily functions.


“Ariel, your skin looks great!” Long-time friends and even complete strangers compliment my complexion often. And yes, my skin does look great, partly because is well hydrated by the amount of fresh raw food I eat on a daily basis.

There were lapses in the past when I cheated on my diet and I ate lots of cooked foods and my skin wasn’t the same. It started to look pale and I felt tired and constipated, and these were only short-term symptoms.

I know it can be intimidating to contemplate the idea of eating 100% raw – I get it, but I think you should be more concerned with whether high-water foods predominate in your diet; it’s a far more urgent matter than worrying whether you are getting enough protein and other nutrients.

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6 Responses

  1. Another great article by Ariel. Thank you!

    By the way, human body is 0% water and 70% structured water, as found in fruits and veggies. Thus the difference between drinking water and getting water from fruit and veggie cells. 😉

  2. Elizabeta Radeska says:

    What make you believe we need to eat proteins? They are hard to digest, body i.e. stomach need HCl to digest proteins. Do we really need to digest proteins because we are built of proteins? What is the most similar protein then we need to digest, is it humans? that means we should become cannibals?
    I think we need mostly carbs in our diet to give energy to our cells,
    O talk this way as I had lots of nuts and it doesn’t work, I am getting bloated and fat after year on raw vegan, with lots of nutty meals.

  3. Marsha Chevalier says:

    Such a good point about water. Folks who don’t get enough structured water from fruits and veggies get dehydrated and think they are hungry. The key, I think, is variety. Some new vegans don’t understand that you need a broad variety of foods available to you to be sure to cover all your body’s needs. We get too narrow, micromanaging what we eat and limiting foods based on this guru or that. I have a question though. I have basal cell carcinoma which I am treating with cannabis. My practitioner applauds my veganism, but has told me I need to reduce my fruit intake as cancer thrives on sugars. Have you run into this before?

  4. Katherine says:

    Hi Ariel,
    Thank you very interesting and I wonder where you get your iron from then as protein/meat/iron seems to be an interesting debate amongst the medical profession and having just found out I am deficient in iron (needing 2 supplements a day) I was contemplating going back to eating meat again! So it’s also great to read about protein on a raw diet.

  5. Pete Rogers says:

    @Elizabeta – it’s not actually proteins that we need but amino acids (proteins have to broken down into their amino acid parts so we can absorb and utilise them.

    @Ariel – the water content of cooked beef and cooked chicken really surprised me. I thought it would be a lot less than that…..

  6. Marsha Chevalier says:

    I do a lot of camping. I eat a mostly raw vegan diet. I take a significant amount of veggies and fruits but car space and trail hiking require some concentrated dried food and since fruits and veggies go bad, I can’t take enough sometimes if I am in camp for more than 3 days or so. I rely on presoaked nuts, seeds, and trail mix. Are there better and worse dried foods for these vacations? .