The Best Protein Sources For Vegetarians
Many people are now starting to move to a vegetarian diet plan in an effort to not only help animal life but also to help their own health. Vegetarian diets, when done correctly, can help you achieve lower cholesterol levels, a decreased risk of heart disease, reduced inflammation, and even potentially reduce your risk factor for cancer as well.
But this said, going vegetarian is easier said than done. Most people will fall short in their protein intake when doing so. What’s more is that they may not get in complete sources of protein, which is vital to maintain their ongoing health.
So how can you avoid this issue? What are the best sources of vegetarian protein to be consuming? Let’s take a look.
First up is quinoa. This is a great grain that will provide numerous benefits including keeping blood sugar levels stable and cholesterol down. Quinoa offers a nice nutty flavor to your dishes and unlike other grains, it’s also an option that gives you a complete source of protein. This means you don’t have to worry about eating it with anything else – it’s giving you everything that you need.
Per one cup cooked, you’ll serve yourself 8 grams of protein, so it’ll quickly help you meet your daily total. Remember that as a vegetarian, you should strive to consume around 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
Vegetarian life wouldn’t be complete without tofu. Tofu can be prepared in so many different ways that boredom shouldn’t ever be an issue. There are also different types of tofu in general as well, which can mean great things as far as keeping good variety in your diet goes.
You can play around with the different variations and find one that works best for you and then begin incorporating that into your meal plan.
Per a 3 ounce serving of tofu, you’ll take in around 8 grams of protein and also get a good dose of calcium and iron as well. These are two additional nutrients that can be hard for vegetarian eaters to get in.
Buckwheat is a grain that most people never think about but yet, is also a great source of plant-based protein. Like quinoa, this grain contains the full spectrum of amino acids, giving you everything you need under one roof, so to speak.
It’s often ground into flour and used to prepare baked goods so consider it for your next baking recipe. Per one cup cooked, you’ll take in 6 grams of protein total. Note though if it is ground into flour, the protein content will go up as the flour will be denser.
Finally, here’s an easy addition to your diet plan because it’s one that you’re probably already eating – Ezekiel bread. If you’re a vegetarian who loves eating a veggie-friendly sandwich for lunch, simply swap out your normal whole wheat bread for some Ezekiel bread instead.
This bread provides all of the essential amino acids that your body needs and will also provide a good dose of fiber as well. It offers a more grainy taste than your average wheat bread, so many will find they really enjoy the flavor change as well.
Ezekiel bread is often found in the freezer section of your grocery store, so if you’ve never seen it in the bakery, this is why. Seek it out in the frozen goods section. It typically is more expensive however if you eat just a couple slices per day and then have your regular whole wheat bread if needed at other meals, you’ll be all set.
So there you have a few of the top sources of complete plant-based proteins for vegetarians. Being a vegetarian and keeping your nutrition in check does definitely take a bit more effort however if you’re willing to put it in, the health benefits from doing so will be well worth it.
Do you have any other sources of protein that you enjoy eating on your vegetarian diet plan? Please let us have your comment.