20 Best Protein Sources for Vegetarians

One of the main reasons people refuse animal products is to take care of their own health. Of course, our body needs the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals, but often we do not know from which foods all this should be obtained in order to maximize the benefits.

For example, proteins and the amino acids they contain are the main building blocks for cells, but do not forget about the negative impact of constant consumption of animal protein. In today’s world, where cows and pigs gain weight artificially through hormonal feed and no movement, the percentage of fat in meat is disproportionately high. Consequently, people who use it often suffer from high cholesterol and are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Also Read: 7 Best Vegan Diet Protein Sources

Best Protein Sources for Vegetarians

Various combinations of foods high in protein will help keep your body fit without harming your body and diversify your diet. Indeed, sometimes we eat only the usual food that our mothers and grandmothers prepared for us in childhood. At the same time, we forget that the science of nutrition does not stand still, but gives us more and more practical knowledge about the benefits of certain products. Let’s look at what can replace meat and poultry.

1. Lentils

 It takes the first place among legumes in terms of vegetable protein content, is easily digested and perfectly nourishes the body. Boiled lentils contain vegetable protein (about 8 g per 100 g of product), but due to the low content of amino acids, its absorption by the body is very slow. The calorie content of lentils is 24 gram protein per 100 g.

Several varieties of lentils, of which there are a large number, are able to lower blood sugar levels and are beneficial for patients with diabetes mellitus. Lentil puree is recommended to be included in the diet for colitis and stomach ulcers.

2. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain amino acids, zinc, magnesium, iron, and fiber. They are often used in Mexican dishes. They are ideal as an addition to porridge, yogurt or salad. Finally, you can eat them just like that. The main thing – do not forget that seeds are high in calories, so try to know when to stop and keep yourself in hand. 100 g of pumpkin seeds contains about 24 g of protein.

3. Peanuts 

 It has an optimal ratio of amino acids so that they are perfectly absorbed by the human body.It contains 20 grams of protein per 100 gram. It improves memory function, has a beneficial effect on the condition of the walls of blood vessels, and is a prophylactic agent against the occurrence of heart diseases.

4. Milk 

 A very important source of protein. But at the same time it is worth remembering that some adults have problems with its assimilation. One glass of milk contains the same amount of protein as 1 egg, that is, 8 g.

Milk contains more than two hundred nutrients. It combines several proteins, fats, carbohydrates, useful amino acids, lactose, vitamins (D, A, PP, C, group B), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium), enzymes, hormones. Milk also has antimicrobial, bactericidal, antiviral effects, and is an excellent antioxidant.

5. Green pea  

Generally most of the people know that green vegetables contain more protein. For example, fresh green peas contain 5 grams of balanced protein, while frozen or canned peas contain slightly less. However, try adding peas to salads in the summer and making soups and pea patties in winter. This will serve as an additional source of vitamins and, of course, protein.

6. Spinach

The spinach has same protein content as broccoli, but the calories are lower than broccoli. Thus, this product can be eaten without prejudice to the figure and with obvious benefits for the body, added to various smoothies, salads and casseroles, or served simply as a side dish – for example, lightly fried or stewed in coconut cream.

7. Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder contain 24 gram of protein per 100 gram. On a cold evening, indulge yourself with a mug of hot chocolate with soy or almond milk, but be careful – such a delicacy, in terms of calories, may well replace your dinner.

8. Spirulina

 One teaspoon of spirulina contains 2 grams of protein. If translated into the percentage of protein by weight of the product, spirulina is the champion in this indicator, even among meat and dairy products. This superfood is a great protein supplement for vegan and vegetarian diets. Spirulina also provides our body with a large portion of iron, which is so necessary for children’s and women’s health. It Contain 57 gram of protein per 100 gram.

9. Whole grain bread

One slice of such bread will provide us with 3 grams of protein, as well as an excellent portion of fiber to normalize digestion, and B vitamins for the health of the nervous system. It contain 13 gram of protein per 100 gram.

10. Banana

The calorie content of a banana is 95 kcal per 100 grams of product. The same amount contains 1.5 g of protein.

The banana pulp contains beta-carotene, pectin, vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and PP. The use of bananas is also beneficial for heart muscle, lowers the level of “bad” cholesterol, and improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Bananas lift your mood and help prevent stress.

11. Quinoa

Rich in protein, this original cereal also contains a generous dose of fiber and zinc to support skin beauty. Depending on the variety, the protein content varies from 16 to 20 grams per 100 gram.

This culture does not contain gluten, is rich in phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, contains B vitamins and a lot of fiber.

12. Almond paste

 Almond butter is more granular in texture than peanut butter and contains more fiber, calcium, potassium and iron and less saturated fat. Try adding a scoop of almond butter to your oatmeal and smoothies, or spread the butter thickly over your toast. 100 g of almond paste contains about 15 g of protein.

13. Broccoli

It takes the leading place in protein content among vegetables (100 g of cabbage contains 3 g of pure protein). In addition, it contains vitamins A, B, E, C, K, fiber, iodine, phosphorus and other trace elements.

14. Brussels sprouts

It contains a significant amount of high quality and easily digestible protein (about 4 g per 100 g of cabbage).

 Brussels sprouts contain a large amount of vitamin C, B vitamins,vitamin A, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid. It also contains a lot of fiber.

15. Acorn

Acorn is the fruit of an oak tree. However, the acorn is called the fruit of chestnut, beech and other plants of the beech family, whose nuts are syncarpous fruits, consisting of a hard leathery pericarp and a plyusa – a cupped organ surrounding the fruits of some tree species. 100 grams of acorns 24 g of protein.

16. Greek or filtered yogurt

 It is a type of yoghurt that is filtered through a filter paper or cloth during manufacture to remove the whey. Greek yogurt is low in calories but high in calcium. The presence of protein helps to normalize blood glucose levels. It contains 12 grams of protein per 100 gram.

17. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are an excellent vegetarian source of zinc, which plays an important role in the health of the male reproductive system. It contains 20 grams of protein per 100 gram.

18. Whey protein powder

This is probably the most convenient way to increase your daily protein intake – just add a couple of tablespoons of this powder to smoothies or morning porridge. It contains 70 grams of protein per 100 gram.

19. Cheese

Lean mozzarella is the leader in terms of protein content in cheese. What else is cheese good for us? Of course, high in vitamin D and calcium, inherited from milk. It contains 32 grams of protein per 100 gram.

20. Walnuts

Walnuts can be eaten as a snack or added to yogurt for breakfast, for example. They contain many nutrients that the body needs: omega-3 fatty acids, copper, manganese and biotin (vitamin B7, which helps preserve hair, nails and skin). In addition, the fiber and protein content of nuts will help you stay full longer. 100 g of walnuts contains about 15 g of protein.

Also Read: Ketogenic Diet: Keto Full Guide to Beginner’s

Important: for all the importance of the protein content in foods, you should not go to extremes and eat only it. The average daily intake of protein for men is from 65 to 117 grams per day, for women – from 58 to 87 grams per day.

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