Top 10 Vegetarian Protein Sources
Proteins are the building blocks of body tissue, and even give the body the energy it needs to grow and develop properly.
When protein is digested, it breaks down into amino acids. The Institute of Medicine says that women need at least 46 grams of protein a day, and men need at least 56 grams a day.
Here are the top 10 sources of protein for vegetarians
1. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt, which has the whey strained out of it, is a great source of protein. A 6-ounce cup of Greek yogurt has 15- 20 grams of protein. That’s much more than regular yogurt, which has about 9 grams of protein. This probiotic food also has a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Eating Greek yogurt all the time will help your digestive system stay healthy, boost your immune system, help with weight loss, stop high blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, and fight yeast infections.
Lentils is another good choice for protein. But they are not a full protein food because they don’t have all nine important amino acids. One cup of boiled lentils has 18 grams of protein.
There are many good health reasons to eat lentils. They give energy, lower the risk of heart disease, help keep a normal body weight, and keep the digestive system healthy.
Edamame is a full protein food, important amino acids you need in your diet. One cup of cooked edamame has 17 grams of protein.
Edamame beans have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 alpha- linolenic acid. They are also naturally gluten- free and don’t have a lot of calories.
4. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are another great source of protein. One cup of boiled kidney beans has 15 grams of protein. They have all nine amino acids, but they are not a full protein because they don’t have a lot of methionine, a proteinogenic amino acid.
Kidney beans have a lot of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins K and B6. They are also low in fat and cholesterol.
Tofu is a soy milk product, and is also a good source of protein. ½ a cup of tofu has 10 grams of protein. It has eight important amino acids and a lot of iron and calcium. It also has manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.
6. Chia Seeds
Another good source of protein for vegetarians is chia seeds. Two tablespoons of chia seeds will give you 9.4 grams of protein. They are also one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds can help with digestion, treat anemia, give you energy, control blood sugar, stop aging signs, and boost brainpower.
Quinoa has all nine important amino acids, and is a full protein source. One cup of cooked quinoa has 8.14 grams of protein. Quinoa also has fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and folate. Eating quinoa every day can lessen swelling and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. It can also help your digestion and help you keep a healthy body weight.
8. Soy Milk
Soy milk is used instead of milk by a lot of vegans and people who are lactose intolerant and cannot drink milk. It is full of protein and has vitamins A, B12, and D. One cup of soy milk has 8 grams of protein.
9. Green Peas
One of the best sources of vegetable protein is green peas, or any peas for that matter. Green peas also have fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamins B, C, A, and K. They are also low in calories. One cup of cooked green peas gives you about 8 to 10 grams of protein.
Green peas can help lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
10. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is another great way to get protein. This nut butter is a good source of monounsaturated fat and fiber. It is also full of vitamins. Just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 8 grams of protein.
If you’re careful not to eat too much of it at once, this butter can help lower bad cholesterol and help you keep a normal weight.
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