Many vegetarians are seriously concerned about the problem of consuming enough protein. And the truth is, you don’t want to eat nuts in buckets, and not every stomach can handle it! But in fact, this problem is easily solved if you have information.
Jolinda Hackett, a columnist for major news portal About.com with 20 years of vegetarianism and 11 years of veganism, author of 6 books on vegetarianism and veganism, recently summarized her protein knowledge and told her readers how to easily get enough protein on a vegetarian diet. diet. She made a kind of hit parade of seven products, the use of which will completely satisfy the protein hunger of your body.
1. Quinoa and other whole grains.
Whole grains are the best source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. But if we talk about protein intake, then quinoa should be recognized as the undisputed “queen” of cereals. It is quinoa that gives the body a complete protein with a high biological value. (Incomplete proteins – those that contain an insufficient set of amino acids, they are more difficult to digest – which is why you should not lean heavily, for example, on peas and beans rich in protein). Quinoa is easy to digest and has a higher bioavailability than most cereals (nearest competitors are soy and lentils). Just one cup of quinoa contains 18 grams of protein (plus 9 grams of fiber). Not bad for plant foods, agree? Other good sources of plant-based protein are whole grain bread, brown rice, and barley.
2. Beans, lentils and other legumes.
All legumes, including peas, are rich sources of plant-based protein. Black beans, kidney beans, Indian dal (a type of lentil), and split peas are all great sources of healthy plant-based calories. One can of canned beans contains over 13g of protein!
But be careful – the stachyose enzyme found in legumes can cause bloating and gas. This can be avoided by eating peas and other legumes in reasonable amounts, and in combination with other protein foods – for example, yellow or red lentils go well with white basmati rice (such a dietary dish is called khichari and is very popular in India).
3. Tofu and other soy products.
Soy is known for its remarkable ability to change flavor depending on the cooking method and seasonings added. Therefore, so many different products are made from soybeans. Indeed, soy milk is just the tip of the soy iceberg! Soy yogurt, soy ice cream, soy nuts and soy cheese, textured soy protein and tempeh are all real delicacies.
In addition, important micronutrients are sometimes specially added to soy products – for example, calcium, iron or vitamin B12. A teacup-sized piece of tofu contains 20 grams of protein, while a cup of soy milk has 7 grams of protein. Tofu can be added to stir-fry vegetables, spaghetti, soups, and salads. It is worth considering that regular consumption of soy milk, due to the specific composition of trace elements, is more beneficial for women than for men.
4. Nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Nuts, especially peanuts, cashews, almonds and walnuts, as well as seeds such as sesame and sunflower, are an important source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. All of them contain a significant amount of fat, so you should not lean on them, unless you play sports, thus burning an increased amount of calories. Nuts are great for a quick, on-the-go snack!
Most children (and many adults) enjoy nut butter, which contains nuts in their most easily digestible form, nut butter. Also, if nuts are not digested perfectly in your stomach, you can soak them overnight. If you’re fed up with peanut butter, look for cashew nut butter or soybean butter. Two tablespoons of nut butter contains about 8 grams of protein.
5. Seitan, vegan burgers and meat substitutes.
Meat substitutes such as vegan sausages and soy “meat” are very high in protein. These products typically use either soy protein or wheat protein (wheat gluten), or a combination of the two. The main advantage of these products is that they can be heated or even fried (including on the grill!) To diversify your diet with something tasty. Pretty easy to make and quite high in protein, homemade soy seitan; at the same time, 100 grams of seitan contain as much as 21 grams of protein!
Tempeh is made from processed, lightly fermented soybeans that are flattened into flatbreads. If that doesn’t sound appetizing enough to you, never mind – tempeh is actually the same seitan, just a little more dense. 100 grams of tempeh – which is used to make a million different delicious dishes – contains 18 grams of protein, which is more than 100 grams of tofu! Usually, tempeh is chosen as the basis for cooking various dishes by those who do not like the taste and texture of tofu.
7. Protein shakes.
If you are active in sports, you can include special protein-fortified drinks in your diet, which usually taste good. You don’t have to go mainstream and opt for whey or soy protein drinks, as you can find alternatives like plant-based proteins, including hemp. In any case, protein powder is not the product to skimp on. producers of drinks, which at first glance compare favorably with a low price, sometimes add cheap fillers to them.
It’s worth adding that while the protein in sports drinks has great biological value, it’s not a real food, and it doesn’t replace healthy vegan and vegetarian meals. These shakes should be used only when necessary – if your diet, despite the use of the products listed above, still lacks protein.