Vegetarian Protein Sources
Vegetarian protein sources make it easy to get your protein fill if you're trying to eat less meat and more plants. Protein is a key nutrient for growing and maintaining muscles, keeping your skin and hair strong and healthy. It also helps keep you full.
People wonder where vegetarians get their protein, a good majority of the world population is vegetarian and they don’t go on without consuming protein in their diets. Broadly speaking women need 46 grams of protein and men need 56 grams of protein (but this does vary depending on your activity level, age and more)
Some vegetarian sources of protein are
At 18 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), lentils are a great source of protein. They can be used in a host of dishes, ranging from fresh salads to soups and spice-infused dals.
Lentils also contain great amounts of slowly digested carbs, and a single cup (240 ml) provides approximately 50% of your recommended daily fiber intake.
Chickpeas and Most Varieties of Beans
Kidney, black, and most other varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein per serving.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another legume with high protein content. Studies have shown that a diet rich in beans and other legumes can decrease cholesterol, help control blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure.
The little green peas contain 9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), which is slightly more than a cup of milk. A serving of green peas will give you 1/4th of your daily fiber, vitamin A, C, K, thiamine, folate, and manganese requirements.
They are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and several other B vitamins.
This blue-green alga is a recent discovery as a nutritional powerhouse.
Two tablespoons have 8 grams of complete protein and cover 22% of your daily requirements of iron and thiamin and 42% of your daily copper needs. Studies have linked consuming spirulina to health benefits like stronger immune systems and reduced blood pressure to improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Amaranth and Quinoa
Ancient or gluten-free grains of Latin American and African origin, amaranth, and quinoa don't grow from grasses as other cereal grains do. Hence, they're technically considered "pseudocereals.". They can ground into flours similar to wheat and be used for baking.
They provide 8–9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml) and are a wholesome source of protein, which is rare among grains and pseudocereals.
Everybody cannot drink cow’s milk as they can be lactose intolerant. Most Indians surprisingly are lactose intolerant. In such a scenario alternatives like Almond Milk and Soy milk are a great alternative. Soy milk contains 7 grams of protein per cup (240 ml) and is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
Soy milk can be consumed on its own or in a variety of cooking and baking recipes. You can also opt for the unsweetened version to limit your intake of sugars.
Oats and Oatmeal
Oats are the easiest and delicious way to add protein to any diet.
Half a cup (120 ml) of dry oats will give you 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. It will also contain good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and folate. Oats have a higher quality of Protein compared to rice and wheat.
Oats can be used in a variety of recipes ranging from oatmeal to veggie burgers. You can also ground oats into flour and use it for baking.
Wild rice contains one and a half times as much protein as other long-grain rice varieties, including brown rice and basmati. One cup (240 ml) of cooked wild rice, provides 7 grams of protein, a good amount of fiber, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
Wild rice also contains bran, unlike white rice. This is great for your health as bran contains fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals
Chia seeds are derived from Mexico and Guatemala.
They contain 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per 35 grams, chia seeds are a high source of protein. These little seeds contain a good amount of iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Nuts, Nut Butters and Other Seeds
Nuts, seeds, and products made from them are great sources of protein. 30 grams contain between 5–7 grams of protein, depending on the nut and seed variety.
They are a great source of fiber and healthy fats, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and certain B vitamins. When choosing which nuts and seeds to buy, reach for raw, unblanched versions whenever possible as roasting and blanching kill the nutrients in the nuts.
You can also opt for nut butter like peanut butter to avoid the oil, sugar and excess salt often added to many household brand varieties.
Protein-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of protein.
Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts contain the most amount of Protein, about 4–5 grams of protein per cooked cup.
Fresh fruits generally have a lower protein content than vegetables. Fruits like guava, cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines, and bananas, have about 2–4 grams of protein per cup.