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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Plant-Based Protein Sources for Vegetarians and Vegans

Whether you are obsessed with bodybuilding or simply want to lead a healthy life, you need an adequate amount of protein in your diet. However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you would often worry about not getting enough protein due to the biggest misconception that high protein foods are animal-based only. It is a sheer myth as there is a wide range of protein sources for vegetarians and vegans available in the market.

How Much Protein Do We Need Daily?

According to the Harvard Health Blog, the recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of a person’s body weight. Furthermore, the RDA nutrient value must meet your basic requirements, which can vary from person to person. Generally, one healthy man should consume 55 grams of protein per day and woman around 45 grams, which can be easily obtained from the high protein vegetarian diet.

Good Sources of Protein for Vegetarians and Vegans

If you don’t want to compromise with your veggie eating habit to maintain a proper protein level, you have to eat the best vegan diet studded with high protein foods. Now, if you are struggling to cook delicious vegetarian protein meals, you can buy the following vegan protein alternatives:

Soybeans

Soybeans are the ideal protein sources for vegans that can be eaten in multiple forms – from milk to tofu. The nutritional content of soybeans is quite high, as they deliver 35-38% of protein calories as compared to other legumes. You can bring variations in your soybean high-protein vegetarian diet with –

  • Tofu – It is a thick and velvety cheese made from soybean curd after the compression process. Tofu is pretty bland; you can easily season it well to make delicious vegetarian protein meals.
  • Edamame – You can cook mouthwatering high protein salads and soups with sweet and slightly grassy edamame.
  • Tempeh – It is a slightly nutty flavored soybeans byproduct that can be used in a variety of dishes – from burgers to salads to soups.

Lentils

With the nutrition value of 9 grams per 100 grams, lentils are one of the best sources of protein for vegans. Nutritional value of lentils might differ as per variety, but they are very important protein sources for vegetarians and vegans in Asia and North Africa.

Lentils belong to legumes family and are often recognised by their colour. You can include the following lentils in your vegetarian protein meals –

  • Brown – They are most preferred with earthy flavours and texture
  • Green – It is a cheaper lentil option available in vivid shapes
  • Yellow and Red – These lentils are packed with nutty and sweet flavours and can be cooked pretty quickly

Nutritional Yeast

From the deactivated strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, the best vegan protein diet ingredient – nutritional yeast – is produced. It has a yellowish powered or flakey texture and tastes like cheese. It is the perfect protein source for vegans who miss cheese-based dishes like mashed potatoes, savoury popcorns, and various pasta dishes. Nutritional yeast contains 14 grams of protein per 28 grams. Apart from being a high protein food, nutritional yeast contains zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, and entire Vitamin B clan, except B12.

Ancient Grains

To cook a high protein vegetarian diet, you can trust ancient grains, including spelt, teff, einkorn, sorghum, barley, farro, etc.

  • Spelt – It is a type of wheat that contains gluten and the 10-11 grams of protein per cup.
  • Teff – It has a grassy texture that means no gluten. The 10-11 grams of protein per 240 grams include numerous other nutritional contents such as magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • Barley – It is wheat style grain with around 8-18% of protein content as per the dry grain weight.

Seeds and Nuts

When we are talking about the high protein sources for vegetarians and vegans, we can’t ignore seeds and nuts. You can gain approximately 29.8 grams of protein per 100 grams of roasted squash and pumpkin seeds.

Additionally, you can consume multiple other seeds and nuts to improve your vegan protein levels, such as cashews (9%), chia seeds (9%), peanuts (14%), sunflower seeds (11%), and many more.

Quinoa

The modern healthy food option that has been grabbing the attention of numerous fitness enthusiasts is Quinoa. It is a high protein, antioxidants, fibre, and minerals food item that you can instantly cook. You can get 8.14 grams of protein per cup of Quinoa and make various delicious dishes.

Protein Is Everywhere

After reading about all the different protein sources for vegetarians and vegans, it is clear that protein can be found everywhere. So, if you don’t want to eat meat or dairy products, it’s completely OK! There are a hundred other things available to maintain your adequate protein level; just eat a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet and your protein levels will never drop.

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