Popular belief goes to say that vegetarian and vegan diets often lack sufficient protein. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why non-vegetarians stray away from making a shift to a plant-based diet.
Proteins are building blocks of the body and skimping on them could cause an array of health concerns. Meat-eaters indeed find it easier to feed themselves a fair dose of protein. However, this isn’t to say that vegetarian options are any less. It’s all about making the right choices. So, we’ve put together a list of 6 protein-rich foods that every vegetarian should have on their radar.
Chances are that you’re no stranger to lentils. Indian food is largely characterised by dals of all sorts. Little did you know, lentils are packed with a wealth of proteins. In fact, some studies claim that they are as good as meat on the protein front.
Besides, lentils are also loaded with other nutrients like potassium, iron and fibre. So, if your diet is already heavy on lentils, keep up the good work! If not, it’s time to make some changes.
Nuts have come to don a negative tag because they are considered to be fatty. However, this is the good kind of fat—one that your body needs and keeps you full for hours on end. Moreover, nuts are incredibly rich in protein and also really delicious! What one can also not side-line is their versatility. Use them to garnish your desserts, blend them into your smoothies or snack on them at teatime.
Although chia seeds have been quite underrated and unpopular all this while, they’re gradually coming into the limelight. These tiny seeds are a powerhouse of proteins. When soaked in water, they form a gel-like gooey substance, that can be used to substitute eggs in vegetarian and vegan baking.
You can also consume chia seeds by topping off your smoothies with them, mixing them into your oatmeal or adding them to your cake/bread mix. The options are endless!
Quinoa is a grain that is not just rich in protein but also in other nutrients like magnesium, iron and fibre. Moreover, it is a friendly choice for those intolerant to gluten.
Quinoa can be added to homemade energy bars, salads, smoothies or soups. Quinoa is more versatile than you can imagine—get creative!
Oats have come to take the world of foods by a storm. They’re extremely healthy, quick to prepare, keep you stuffed for hours on end and are also very yummy! Moreover, this breakfast cereal has a considerably higher concentration of proteins than other grains. You can also ramp up their protein content by coupling your oatmeal with some Greek yoghurt, peanut butter or almonds.
Needless to say, you should consume a diet loaded with veggies. However, some vegetables are especially high in protein. Some of them are spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushroom, green peas and potatoes.
These veggies will be sure to give you a protein boost and can be consumed in a myriad of ways. For instance, you can use sprouts to whip up some lip-smacking salads, spinach for soup and mushrooms with some good old toast.
While these six foods are great protein-rich alternatives to meaty foods, this isn’t an exhaustive list. You’ll soon find out that the vegetarian world is blessed with proteins—you only need know where to look!