If you are a vegetarian or thinking of becoming one you may worry about sources of protein as the most obvious source of protein is meat, red meat in particular. However there are plenty of sources of protein that can be consumed by vegetarians to maintain healthy levels of protein and this article will illustrate some of the best and easiest sources.
Whole grains are without doubt one of the best vegetarian options for protein, however one does rise above as being the best of the best. Quinoa, this contains all the essential amino acids making it a “complete protein”. Just one cup of cooked Quinoa will provide you with 18 milligrams of protein! However whole grains such as whole grain bread, brown rice and barley are all adequate alternatives.
Another fantastic source of proteins for vegetarians is beans, lentils and peas. Black beans, kidney beans, Indian dhal, vegetarian chilli, split pea soup and chickpea hummus – with a wide variety of potential flavour/meal combinations they are all really easy and efficient ways of upping your protein intake! Whilst soy is a bean to, it’s such a popular source it merits its very own paragraph down below.
Soy has such variety that it can keep you interested indefinitely exploring it’s potential. You might have tried tofu and soy milk before but what about soy ice cream, soy yoghurt, soy nuts, soy cheese? Tempeh and TVP are also very soy rich vegetarian options. Most soy options come with an added bonus as recently it has started to be fortified with many other nutrients that are useful for vegetarians, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.
Nuts all contain protein as do seeds. However most of them are high in fat so they don’t make a good primary source of protein as the benefits of the protein are outweighed by the negative impacts of fat. They are a snack with a lot of protein though so are perfect for when you don’t have time to prepare something.
Check the labels of the meat substitutes you buy, if you do buy them, as you will find they are usually fairly good sources of protein, most will contain soy or wheat protein. Alongside meat substitutes you may consider supplements aswell. These are obviously amazing for protein but it is worth shelling out for quality as some of the cheaper brands will use fillers in their products.