A big challenge for vegetarians is to get enough protein from non meat protein sources, but why protein is so important for our body?
The reason is that we need protein to get the Amino acids out and so that we can then use those amino acids to build our body.
The higher quality the protein the higher quality actually we are going to be
Protein is basically composed of Amino acids and these Amino acids literally are the building blocks of our body.
So our muscles, our tissues, our organs are composed of these Amino acids that we get from protein.
Another important thing about protein is that when we eat protein it stimulates the release of the hormone Glucagon. Glucagon is the digestive hormone that encourages us to burn and metabolize fat.
So including protein in your meals and stimulating the release of Glucagon is what signals our body to become full and become satisfied.
It also stimulates our body to start metabolizing and burning fat. So protein is something we want to include in our snacks and in all of our meals.
Since meat is the biggest source of protein. But for vegetarians what are the alternative non meat protein sources to get enough protein. We will explore these sources in this article.
How Can Vegetarian Get Enough Protein?
Yes, this is it because you’ve got these really great vegetables so not only do we have Phytonutrients Vitamins & all kinds of wonderful nutrients coming from these vegetables.
You might be surprised to find that some vegetables are actually up there really good alternatives to the meat products.
All of the vegetables have a good amount of protein to offer. Squash, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Peas, Kale, Spinach, Asparagus, Swiss chard, and Mustard greens all of these different vegetables are good sources of protein.
10 Best Non meat Protein Sources
Here are some really good non meat protein sources to get a good amount of proteins.
Eggs are a terrific source of protein. Now there have been a lot of people who have said eggs are really high in cholesterol, you don’t want to eat the yolk and this is not a good
healthy choice. The fact is that eating the whole egg is what provides you the benefit.
So the yolk actually is what contains most of the nutrients that are contained in the egg.
So if you’re not eating the yolk then you’re really missing out and also it doesn’t taste as good.
When you eat eggs you want to actually eat the whole entire egg. they make a great breakfast, add them into salads into sandwiches.
So there’s a lot of ways to integrate eggs not just for breakfast, you can integrate eggs into a lot of different meals.
So, if you are vegetarian, eggs are going to be a really great source of protein.
Don’t worry about the cholesterol myths surrounding eggs go ahead and eat the whole entire egg and recognize that this is going to be a great source of protein.
Cheese is another top source of protein but it’s important to know that processed cheese products don’t count.
Processed cheese products are really not a very healthy option.
But when we use high-quality cheeses then it can be a very good source of Protein.
A high-quality source of cheese is if it actually says the words grass-fed or pasture-raised.
Another wonderful source of protein is Yogurt but there are few things you should keep in mind.
Yogurt is not only a high source of protein but also a good source of high-quality fats.
These high-quality fats are really good for our brain, good for our overall health, and they’re what make us feel full and feel satisfied.
.There are a lot of different yogurts to choose from and most of the yogurts that actually contain a whole lot of sugar.
In some cases, they even contain high fructose, corn syrup, and other different chemical additives that are not part of healthy food.
So in case of yogurt or any kind of animal product from animals that are grass-fed and pasture-raised contain a lot more nutrition.
It’s going to be a lot more high-quality product again you could also look for the words organic.
Try to avoid nonfat dairy products also. The fat contained in a high-quality dairy product is actually what helps you digest that dairy product.
So when you take the fat out and eat a fat-free or skimmed version, it’s actually going to be harder for your body to digest.
Greek yogurt should be a good choice because preferably it comes from pasture-raised or grass-fed animals and it is not a nonfat product.
Quinoa is definitely one of my most highly recommended foods & really easy to prepare.
It prepares pretty much just like rice or any of the other grains.
It makes a great replacement for rice or pasta or whatever carbohydrate you might have as your meal.
Quinoa offers a good amount of protein so this versatile seed can again take the place of grains.
You can make a great breakfast,t it can be a part of a lunch, it can be part of a snack, you can add it to salads.
So it is highly recommended you add to your diet.
Hemp seeds have really high Protein value & considered as a complete protein source because they provide you all essential Amino Acids.
They are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids which is really a unique feature because normally you get Omega-3 from Fish.
You can make a powder of Hemp seeds or add these seeds into your salads & smoothies.
Nuts are another fabulous source of protein and Almonds are probably the top source of protein.
Another great thing about Almonds is that they help to stabilize our blood sugar so they make a really great snack.
They can make a really great snack especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Also if you have problems with maintaining your blood sugar, or you have diabetes or something like that.
So, nuts should be your preferable snack If you are really looking for a good high-quality protein snack.
You want to just have the nuts and preferably not salted, this is something that’s really going to help you lose weight
Just get a bag of Pecans, a bag of Almonds, a bag of Peanuts and make your own trail mix with those different fresh nuts.
Beans & Lentils
Beans are one of the best non meat protein source. But whether you’re vegetarian or not I highly recommend that you incorporate more of these foods in your diet.
Beans are a great source of protein and there are a lot of different beans out there.
there’s Lentils, Kidney beans, Black beans, Garbanzo beans and there’s a lot of different uses for beans.
You could make Hummus, you could make a Stew, you can add beans to salads.
Beans have a bad reputation for causing digestive distress but that digestive distress can be significantly minimized by preparing the beans correctly.
So soaking the beans before preparing them or even sprouting the beans will help to make them easier to digest.
Most of you have probably heard of Tofu but you may not be familiar with Tempeh.
Tempeh is a fermented Tofu product and when you ferment the Tofu it really unleashes the different nutritional benefits.
It significantly ups the protein content.
so you can find Tempeh in pretty much any grocery store definitely any health food store.
It’s very easy to prepare. This is really great food for vegetarians because it can be used in place of certain meat products.
Now Tofu itself is still a good source of protein but there are some people who have problems when they eat too much soy.
So if you are a vegetarian really depend on Tofu for the protein in your diet then I would recommend checking out Tempeh.
Even if you’re not a vegetarian this is still a really great source of protein it has a really great flavor. so I highly recommend that you check it out.
Peanut butter is a good source of Protein. one of the best among the non meat protein sources.
Just one tablespoon of peanut butter gives you 3.5 gm of Protein.
It is also full of Vitamins. & minerals.
It is a very good source of Vitamin B-6, Magnesium, & Potassium.
Peanut butter is also a good source of Fiber & Monounsaturated fats.
But remember, not to eat too much of it at once.
Peanut butter also helps you to lower bad cholesterol & keeps your weight normal.
Its a complete non meat protein source containing all 9 essential amino acids.
In addition to Proteins, Edamame also provides you a good amount of Fibers, Vitamins, Minerals & also healthy polyunsaturated fats.
100 gm of Edamame provides 11 gm of Protein.
Edamame also doesn’t have many calories because they are naturally Gluten-free.
Proteins are essential for our body but you should be very careful about the selection of Protein source for you.
All the non meat protein sources mentioned in this article can be a great choice to get high-quality protein.
Remember, always try to use organic Vegetables & Dairy products from grass-fed animal sources to get good, clean & healthy Protein.
Have a Happy & Healthy Life.