How to Get Enough Protein on a Vegetarian Diet

If you’re worried about getting enough protein by switching to a vegetarian diet, the following may come as a surprise to you. The truth is both that most meat eaters get too much protein, and that vegetarians can also easily get more than enough protein from a plant-based diet.

Many still believe that protein is only available in the form of meat and other animal products, and we would all be dropping dead without animal protein! Unless you’re a pregnant woman or a bodybuilder, you’ll probably get more than enough protein without even putting in much effort.

Here are the best sources of protein for vegetarians:

one . Quinoa and other whole grains

Whole grains are a great source of protein, but the king of whole grains in this regard is quinoa. Unlike many vegetarian protein sources, quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids, making it the all-time “complete protein” record. Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 18 grams of protein as well as nine grams of fiber. Other whole grains, including whole grain bread, brown rice, barley, are also healthy foods that provide protein to vegetarian and vegan diets.

2. Beans, lentils and other legumes

All legumes – beans, lentils, peas, etc. – are great sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans alike, so there’s plenty to choose from and you can stick with just one bean that you like best! Black beans, kidney beans, Indian dhal, pea soup, soy…

Soy is also a legume, but since soy and its derivatives have become such a popular source of protein for vegetarians, it deserves a separate discussion in the next paragraph.

The protein content in one cup of canned beans is about 13,4 grams. Why should you eat it? Beans are one of the most common protein-rich foods for vegetarians. You can find beans at the grocery store or on the menu of almost every restaurant.

3 . Tofu and other soy products

Soy can be compared to a chameleon, you will never get bored with it! You may have tried including tofu and soy milk in your diet before, but what about soy ice cream, soy yogurt, soy nuts, and soy cheese? Tempeh is also a protein-rich soy product. As an added bonus, many brands of tofu and soy milk are fortified with other nutrients that vegetarians and vegans need, such as calcium, iron, and vitamin B12. Eating soy ice cream alone is enough to get the protein you need.

Protein content: Half a cup of tofu contains 10 grams, and a cup of soy milk contains 7 grams of protein.

Why you should eat soy: You can add some tofu to any dish you cook, including stews, sauces, soups, and salads.

four . Nuts, seeds and nut butter

All nuts, including peanuts, cashews, almonds, and walnuts, contain protein, as do seeds such as sesame and sunflower seeds. Because most nuts and seeds are known for being high in fat, you don’t want to make them your main source of protein. But they are great as a snack, for example, after a workout or an unplanned meal. Peanut butter is delicious too, and kids love peanut butter, of course. Try soybean oil or cashew butter for a change if you’re sick of peanut butter.

Protein content: Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains about 8 grams of protein.

Why you should eat it: It’s convenient! Anywhere, anytime, you can snack on a handful of nuts to get protein.

5 . Seitan, veggie burgers and meat substitutes

Read the label on your store-bought meat substitutes and veggie burgers and you’ll find they’re quite high in protein! Most meat substitutes on the market are made from either soy protein, wheat protein, or a combination of both. You can heat up a few grilled veggie burgers and get your daily protein requirement. Homemade seitan is famous for its fairly high protein content as well.

Protein Content: One veggie patty contains about 10 grams of protein, and 100 grams of ..

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