Protein helps you build muscle, improve metabolism, and keeps you satiated for longer.
Whether you have always been a vegetarian, or have recently sworn to ditch meat and dairy, questions about meeting your daily protein requirements can surface for anyone.
Although animal-based sources of protein are often touted as the ‘high-quality protein’, their plant-based counterparts can have been found to match the protein content and quality.
No matter the source, protein helps you build muscle, improve metabolism, and keeps you satiated for longer.
If you want to eliminate animal foods but also ensure your daily protein intake, experts at Myprotein suggest that you include these high-protein foods in your diet.
A whole protein containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is arguably one of the greatest protein and carbohydrate sources for vegetarians and vegans.
Its couscous-like consistency makes it highly versatile for use in salads, casseroles, and even breakfast bowl recipes.
Quinoa is also high in iron, fibre, and magnesium, which makes it the perfect whole food.
Every 100 grams of quinoa contains 10-14 grams of protein; so be sure to add a cup to your daily diet.
2. Chia seeds
Chia seeds have grown in popularity as of late as a superfood, due to their high omega-3 content — higher than any other plant-based food.
Their consistency when mixed with liquid makes them excellent in recipes, especially as a substitute for eggs. What’s even better is their low calorific value.
They are also packed with iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as lots of antioxidants.
Every 100 gram of chia seeds has 17 grams of protein.
Our advice: Add a liberal sprinkling of chia seeds to any dish throughout the day!
Other varieties of seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds are also great for overall health, and contain protein as well.
Soybeans are a great addition to any salad, recipe and are great to snack on too.
There are lots of products derived from soybeans, such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame beans.
It’s one of the greatest sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans and is often also used in protein shakes.
Soy milk is also a source of B12, which is mostly found in animal-derived products.
This concentrated protein source contains 26 grams of protein in every 100 grams.
There are dozens of varieties of beans, from black beans to pinto beans, each with its own goodness.
They make an excellent salad and can be combined with other food such as rice to make a tasty dish high in protein and complex carbs.
Kidney beans, or rajma, are a delicious alternative to animal-based proteins and are commonly available in Indian households.
Every 100 gram of black beans offers 22 grams of protein and less than 2 grams of fat.
Nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachio, walnuts, etc. are all excellent sources of protein.
They can also be bought in the form of nut butter.
A handful of mixed nuts and dried fruits can not only fill you up with whole protein but also provide many additional nutrients.
Peanuts make for a great snacking option and a nutrition powerhouse as well with 17 grams of protein in every half a cup (73 grams).
Most nuts can be consumed on their own as well as added to dessert recipes for a healthy, crunchy touch.
Chickpeas, locally known as chana, are highly versatile legumes, packing essential amino acids with high protein content.
They are also used to make hummus, which is a great topping/dip for any snack.
In the Indian kitchen, several recipes utilise this superfood.
They are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals too. There is evidence that the quality of protein in chickpeas is superior to that of other legumes.
It is also known to aid digestion and keep you full for longer. Every 100 grams of chickpeas has about 19 grams of protein.
7. Green peas
Easy to cook, great in taste, and low in calories, this green veggie is a viable option for protein lovers too.
They don’t have as much protein as some of the other items on the list, but for a vegetable, they have an excellent macronutrient ratio and are highly nutritious.
Every 100 grams contain 5 grams of protein. They are high in fibre and low in fat. Add them to any recipes as boiled peas, make roasted and salted snacks from them, or grind them for a useful pea paste.
You don’t have to be a lean, mean, chicken-eating machine to make gains today.
There are so many vegan protein sources and so many recipes to help you find meals you love using them.
Train up your chef skills and integrate a few of these high protein sources into your meals, and make the ‘ve-gains’ of your dreams.
Myprotein is a leading sports and nutrition brand.
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