Nutritionists often emphasize why adequate protein is an integral part of a well-planned diet. There is an umpteen number of animal protein sources, but the same can not be said about plant protein. Protein is essential as it promotes weight loss, satiety, and muscle strength. However, vegetarians repeatedly suffer from the lack of vegan/ vegetarian sources of protein. A generous helping of tofu is appetizing occasionally, but let’s be honest, surviving on tofu seven days a week isn’t something drool worthy. If you are someone who has been struggling to find a good source of vegetarian protein, read our list:
- Tempeh and Edamame: Tempeh and Edamame are both soy-based protein like Tofu. Soybean is known for being a whole source of protein, which means they provide all essential amino acids to the body. While Edamame is immature soybeans, Tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans before pressing them into a patty. You can use either one of them for a protein-rich meal. Both contain iron, calcium and 10-19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces.
- Lentils: They are an Indian staple food. Reason? A vast majority of Indian population is vegetarian, and lentils are a preferred source of protein in the country. Lentils can be used in a variety of dishes including soups, salads, and dahls. A bowl of lentil (250 ml) provides about 12 gm of protein. Lentils are also an excellent source of slowly digested carbs and fiber, so next time you need a quick protein source- don’t ignore the humble lentils.
- Beans (kidney beans, garbanzo, black beans): Beans are a powerhouse of proteins along with being an excellent source of complex carbs, fiber, potassium, magnesium and more. A cooked bean bowl (240 ml) contains about 16 gm of protein. Studies show a diet rich in bean can significantly reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce belly fat.
- Green Peas: Regularly served as a side dish, the modest green peas contain 10 gm of protein per cooked cup (250 ml). Green peas also great to meet your fiber, B vitamin, iron, magnesium, and copper requirements. Get experimental and use them often in your dishes if you have been looking for a rich protein source.
- Seitan: Known as wheat gluten, early origins of seitan can be found in Asian cuisine. It has been a common meat substitute for many years. Traditionally, seitan was the byproduct of rinsing and cooking wheat dough to remove the starch, leaving a protein-rich substance that was an excellent meat substitute. Seitan is now readily available in stores and gave origin to ‘Gardein’ menu that you often see in the restaurants.
Have a vegan/ vegetarian protein source that’s not mentioned in our list? Tell us by commenting below.
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