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Dec 29, 2020

Protein Sources for A Healthy Vegetarian Lifestyle

Are you considering moving toward a vegetarian lifestyle? If so, check out these helpful tips on how to incorporate more protein in your diet. 


Since meat and dairy products are the richest sources of protein, non-vegetarians can afford not to monitor their protein intake rigorously. However, if you’re a vegetarian, making sure you’re getting the right amount of daily protein is crucial to your health and well-being. Because protein is a critical nutrient without which you cannot stay healthy and active, you need to plan your diet around it. 

Here is a list of protein sources to include in your nutrition plan so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Soybeans 
No doubt, soybeans are the best protein source you can find as a vegetarian. Most importantly, soybeans are considered a whole protein source because they contain all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Because meat products provide complete protein whereas most plants provide incomplete protein, soybeans are an excellent replacement for meat. Learn more about Sustainable Soy to get the whole range of health benefits from this essential plant. Besides tofu or tempeh, you can incorporate soybeans into a wide variety of delicious vegetarian recipes. 

Lentils
Made up of 25% protein, lentils are an excellent protein source and meat alternative. Although today these highly-nutritious and inexpensive legumes are often neglected, lentils were considered in the past the equivalent of a superfood, in many cultures around the world. Besides containing a high amount of protein, lentils are packed with other nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, B vitamins, and iron. Lentils are also very versatile when cooked so you can include them easily in your diet. From lentil soup to salads, there’s a wide variety of choices. 


Chickpeas & Beans
Most varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein. This includes chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans. Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, or black beans, you can get at least 15 grams of protein from each cooked cup.  In addition, beans contain iron, fiber, potassium, and several other crucial nutrients. A diet rich in chickpeas and beans not only can help you keep your protein intake at an optimal level, but can also bring you many health benefits such as low cholesterol, balanced blood sugar level, and reduced belly fat

Hemp seeds 
Although soybeans and legumes are known for being great protein sources, few people know about hemp seeds. Not only that hemp seeds provide whole protein, but they also contain 50% more protein than the popular flax seeds and chia seeds. They’re also a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. You can add hemp seeds to your salad, oatmeal, or daily smoothie, but you can also include it as an primary ingredient in granola bars or vegetarian desserts. 
Being a vegetarian doesn’t require a compromise in nutrition quality, as some people wrongly assume. There are plenty of high-protein vegetarian foods and ingredients you can add to your diet that will help you maintain excellent health. The only thing to remember is to diversify your diet to include a variety of protein sources since most plants don’t provide whole protein. 
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