The 7 Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

Tofu Soy chunks are like a blank canvas, an invitation to culinary creativity: they will soak up the taste of any spices you add. Soft varieties of tofu are ideal for making smoothies and puddings. Harder ones are well baked or fried in a wok, and then added to a salad, or cooked with them in a sandwich or a vegetarian main course, including spaghetti-based. In addition to protein, tofu made with calcium sulfate is rich in bone-healthy calcium (read package information). Council: Not enough time to cook? Buy ready-made tofu. Protein content: Almost 10g per standard serving (100g) firm tofu.

beans Any dish will become more satisfying if you add beans to it, because. it contains a lot of protein and fiber. “Rich in both types of fiber—water-soluble and insoluble—beans help lower cholesterol levels and aid digestion,” says Warren. She recommends eating a variety of beans, including chickpeas (Cicer arietinum), black beans, and other colored beans. You can cook a large pot of beans – at once for a week, so as not to spend time cooking (for beans – usually a lot). Or buy canned beans in reserve – only the jar should be without sizing, and the product itself – without adding salt (again, read the information on the package). Council: when cooking, add a little seaweed to the beans – then the beans will be better absorbed. Protein content: 7 g per half cup of cooked black beans.

Greek yogurt It is worth replacing regular yogurt with this thicker and grainier variety – which, on top of that, contains twice as much protein. Warren completely ignores low-calorie yogurt, and recommends Greek yogurt with 2% fat or even more fat – because. it is this product that gives a feeling of satiety and satisfaction with a meal for a long time. Buy organic-labeled yogurt whenever possible: Recent scientific studies have shown that organic milk has more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than regular milk. It’s best to buy plain Greek yogurt – unsweetened and without additives – and then add a natural sweetener to it yourself, such as honey. Council: Do you like not sweet, but sour? Add a couple of tablespoons of Greek yogurt to a creamy soup or greens stew. Protein content: about 15 g per 100 g of 2% Greek yogurt.

Eggs* Start the morning with one egg (and then abstain during the day). Just don’t throw out the yolk! “It’s an excellent source of the beneficial choline, which is vital for the proper functioning of body cells,” Warren says. Egg yolk also contains lutein and antioxidants that are good for eye health. Note: The USDA recommends no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day, and one large egg already contains 186 mg. Council: it is best to buy products from farms, and preferably certified as “organic”, because. such eggs are healthier, and the conditions for keeping chickens are usually more ethical (there is even an informal one in the USA). Protein content: 6 g per large egg.

Lentil These small grains contain about as much hunger-quenching fiber as beans. The difference is that lentils can be not soaked, but simply cooked – and it will take only 20-30 minutes. More importantly, lentils are “an excellent source of folic acid, which is important for the nervous system and overall health – even more significant than beans,” Warren emphasizes. She suggests eating iron-rich lentils with foods high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes (or oranges), to help your body absorb iron. Tip: you don’t like lentils that are overcooked? Try harder varieties! Protein content: 9 g per half cup of cooked lentils.

Nuts and nut butter Just a handful of walnuts, almonds, cashews or peanuts provides you with protein. Or do you prefer nut butter? “Both provide the body with monounsaturated fats that help lower bad cholesterol,” Warren recalls. She advises against choosing a low-calorie nut butter, because. it’s low in protein. The best nut butter is the one that contains only two ingredients: nuts and salt. It is good to smear it on bread, and add it to hot dishes, and knead it into morning smoothies. Tip: If you are allergic to nuts, you can replace the nut butter with sunflower seed paste. Protein content: 7 g per 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

Tempe Do not disdain rough, with a nutty flavor, tempeh. Like tofu, it’s made from soy, but there’s one trick: “The beans are fermented, which creates bacteria that’s good for your gut,” says Warren. “The fermentation process also breaks down carbohydrates that are difficult for many to digest, making this product more palatable to people whose stomachs are intolerant of tofu.” For a “vegetarian starter” dish – a flavor alternative to meat – chop up tempeh and sauté it, then toss into spaghetti sauce or taco filling, or add to a hot dish. Tip: Ready-made smoked tempeh “bacon” can spice up salads and veggie sandwiches. This is especially useful for those who have recently become a vegetarian. Protein content: 21g per standard (100g) serving of prepared tempeh.

And the last tip: It is not necessary to mix incomplete protein sources (such food by itself does not contain all 9 essential amino acids) in one meal: for example, rice with beans. This can be done during the day. If you eat a variety of vegetarian foods every day, your body is likely to be in good shape. If there is any doubt, lean on quinoa – one of the few plant-based foods that contain complete protein: 4 g of protein per half cup of boiled quinoa.

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