When I decided to be fully vegetarian, the question most people asked me is how I would get protein. My other vegetarian friends had the same experience. Non-vegetarian people only think protein is found in meat. Fortunately, there are other food resources that are rich in protein.
Some vegetables have protein. What I usually do is vary my veggie foods that are high in protein. That way they can provide all essential amino acids that I need. It may be a bit tricky for beginners if they do not know where to get protein without using meat. You only have to be familiar with non-meat foods that are packed in proteins. Here is the good news for veggie eaters!
1. Quinoa, Oats and Other Whole Grains
Whole grains are filled with protein. Oats, quinoa, cereals, barley, rice, and bread are all whole grains. You can get 10 to 18 grams in a single cup. These foods also contain fiber, which is another essential compound needed by the body.
2. Beans, Lentils and Legumes
Most particularly dried ones, beans are vegetables that are high in protein. Most vegetarians include beans, lentils, or legumes in their dishes for this reason. What’s more interesting is that you can choose from many types. There are the kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, chickpea hummus, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, etc.
3. Tofu and Other Soy Products
Tofu is the most commonly used food that replaces meat. For starters, this is a good help. The first time I tasted tofu made it easier for me to eat meatless dishes. I actually liked tofu. I tend to cook the traditional foods I used to eat. Instead of meat though, I use slices of tofu.
Soy products are also high in protein. Whether it is a soy milk, soy nuts, or edamame, this is another food item to include in your list.
Aside from protein, soy contains vitamin B12, calcium, and iron. This makes a good diet for vegetarians.
Whole nuts are crispy and crunchy to eat. You can also mix them with your shake and smoothies. You can make nut butters for bread filling, too. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are some of the easiest to find. With these many options, you can surely find seeds and nuts to be very useful for your diet.
5. Cottage Cheese
For some vegetarians, milk and cheese are added in their diet. The good news is that there is protein in cottage cheese. A half cup of this can supply you 13 grams of protein.
6. Protein Powders
Even my beverages were changed when I became vegetarian. No more sodas and I prefer fruit juices, smoothies, and teas. In my smoothies, I always put protein powder. Whether you are resting after an intense workout or just relaxing during the heat of the summer, a glass of smoothie with protein powder is an excellent option.
Why vegetarians must not eliminate protein? This compound is very significant in human body and health. Its main function is to improve the immune system and protect the body from diseases. It also helps supply energy. And for vegetarians, it is about living a healthy lifestyle. Thus, protein is definitely necessary for your health.