Plants also offer great protein sources

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Plants also offer great protein sources

If you are seriously thinking about becoming a vegetarian, don’t worry, there are many ways to get adequate protein.

Protein is key for maintaining your muscles and keeping them strong.

Protein, too, keeps you feeling full and satisfied.

According to dietary guidelines, men need 56 grams of protein per day and women need 46 grams of protein per day, depending on activity levels and age.

If you are a vegetarian or considering reducing your meat intake, here are some high protein foods that vegetarians can add to their diets:

Almonds

6 grams of protein per ounce

Almonds are also packed with protein, fat and fibre. Almonds are a wonderful vegetarian option to keep hunger pangs at bay. They are filling as a snack, or they can be added to salads or you can make almond butter with them.

Eggs

6 grams of protein per large egg

Previously eggs had a bad reputation because they are high in cholesterol but eating cholesterol doesn’t raise your cholesterol. Eggs are extremely nutrient-rich, delivering protein, antioxidants and vitamins.

These are just a few protein-packed options for vegetarians, but there are many more such as tofu, tempeh, TVP, quorn and more. Check out your local health food store for more ideas, or follow one of the many vegans or vegetarians on social media.

Chia seeds

3 grams per 1 tablespoon

Chia seeds are nutrient-dense, deliver protein, plenty of fibre and omega-3. Chia seeds can also be blended into smoothies. Did you know that you can make delicious chia seed jam to eat on your toast?

Lentils

9 grams per 1⁄2 cup (cooked)

Lentils are packed with protein and also offer you essential fibre which good for your heart. Lentils give you that full- feeling and keep your weight in check.

Greek yoghurt

23 grams per cup

How delicious is Greek yoghurt? You can add it to smoothies and layer it with delicious fruit and granola. Or use it as a sour cream replacement for your dips and tacos. Not only does Greek yoghurt have plenty of protein, but it also contains probiotics to keep your gut healthy.

Green Peas

8 grams per cup

A lot of us don’t really know that peas are a protein source, but they are. Green pea soup is delicious and is very healthy. Peas are also ideal for side dishes or added to salads, etc.

Edamame

5 grams per 1/4 cup (shelled)

Never heard of edamame? Well, they are green soybeans and you often find them on the sushi restaurant menus. You buy them either in their shells or shelled – add them to salads, stir-fries and grain bowls.

Cottage cheese

14 grams per 1⁄2 cup

Cottage cheese is delicious on crackers, by itself, with honey for breakfast or on seeded bread. It also works well as a dip or you can even add fruit to it.

Peanut Butter

7 grams per 2 tablespoons

Peanut butter and peanuts are packed with the winning combination of protein, good fat and fibre. Peanut butter is so delicious that apart from eating it on toast, it is ideal for smoothies too, or try dunking a spoon in the jar and eating it just like it is.

Beans, such as black beans, chickpeas, etc.

8 grams per 1/2 cup (cooked)

Just like lentils, beans also deliver plenty of fibre in each mouthful and are an ideal addition to dips, soups, and salads.

Hemp Seeds

4 grams per 1 tablespoon

Not only are hemp seeds an excellent source, but they also provide plenty of omega-3. They are delicious sprinkled over cereal and in salads.

Quinoa

8 grams of protein per cup (cooked)

Quinoa is one super grain you don’t want to do without, it actually contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein which other plant-based proteins aren’t. Just one cup of quinoa has 5 grams of fibre too.

Apart from all that filling protein, quinoa is rich in phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, thiamine and folate. The added bonus for some is that quinoa is gluten-free.

Check out some of our great vegetarian recipes by clicking here.

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