Protein is not only found in meat and fish, but it can also be found in vegetables and some fruits. For vegetarians, they often times have a tough time finding protein, however they can get their protein from quite a few different foods. Some of the protein that they obtain is actually better for their body than what they may get from certain meats.
The difference between animal protein and vegetarian protein is the type of amino acids they contain. Animal protein is regarded as the complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs. In contrast, there are a few vegetarian protein sources that contain “complete” protein such as quinoa, chlorella and bee pollen. By combining different plant foods, you can get a complete protein.
If animal protein and vegetarian protein are compared, there are a few health benefits of vegetarian protein that make it the best protein.
Here are some of the benefits of vegetarian protein:
1. It will lower the intake of cholesterol and unhealthy saturated fats and reduces chances of heart disease.
2. Decreases the risk of some cancers.
3. Good source of fiber and protein that lowers blood cholesterol and minimizes the risk of diabetes.
4. Helps the kidney become healthier and prevents kidney stones.
5. Decreases the chances of developing strokes or becoming obese.
Here are 8 foods that are best vegetarian protein source:
1. Green Peas
Foods that are found in legume family are a great source of vegetarian protein and peas is one of them. A cup of peas contains 7.9 grams of protein, the same amount as milk. Other than that, peas contain 100% of the daily requirement of vitamin C.
Most grains contain a small amount of protein, but quinoa is an exception. For every cup of quinoa, it contains more than 8 grams of protein, and it includes nine essential amino acids that the body needs for growth and repair. Quinoa is also a versatile food as it can be cooked in many different ways and can be substituted for many other types of foods. It is the only plant-based source of complete protein and a perfect non-animal source of protein.
3. Nuts and Nut Butter
All nuts contain healthy fats and protein, making them a valuable part of a plant-based diet. A handful of nuts contains 6 to 8 grams of protein. Nut butter is also an excellent source of protein, and the best ones are those that do not contain hydrogenated oils or are loaded with sugar.
There are different varieties of beans and what’s common is that they all contain a high amount of protein. Two cups of kidney beans contain 26 grams of protein. They are also rich in nutrients that nourish the brain, heart, and muscles.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans is the main ingredient for hummus, which is also rich in protein. A half a cup serving of chickpeas can contain 7.3 grams of protein. It is also high in fiber and low in calories.
6. Tempeh And Tofu
Foods that are made from soybeans are some of the highest vegetarian sources of protein. They contain about 15 to 20 grams per half a cup of serving. They can be a substitute for meat and some people even developed them to taste like meat, but they are completely vegetarian.
For those who doesn’t like the taste of meat substitute, you can also try edamame. Edamame is packed with protein, and a half cup of boiled edamame contains 8.4 grams of protein. This can be eaten as a snack, an appetizer or added to salads or pastas.
8. Leafy Greens
It is not only legumes, nuts, and beans that contain protein. Green vegetables also contain protein, but not as much as the beans and lentils. Vegetables mainly contain antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber, but the combination of different kinds of vegetables can add up to a good amount of amino acids.
Protein is vital for the health and a high amount of protein can be found in vegetables and another plant- based foods. In this post, we shared with you why vegetarian protein is the best protein & 8 foods that are the best for it.
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