Proteins are necessary to keep your body healthy–they are well known as the building blocks of the body. Your body breaks this down into amino acids that then promote cell growth and repair damaged tissues.
Proteins also take longer to digest than carbohydrates making them last longer in your stomach–giving you more energy for the day. Most common sources of proteins can be found in seafood as well as animal livestock such as pigs, cows, and chickens.
But some meat also contains a lot of bad cholesterol and other potentially harmful additives, and if you overeat meat, you might acquire a variety of health problems.
“There are many more meat-free
alternatives you can use as sources
of protein in your diet.”
That is why more and more people are looking for alternative sources of protein. You might not know this, but plants are also an excellent source of protein.
Though not as saturated as meats, vegetables also contain some level of proteins. There are even some plants that contain a lot of it.
By turning to this source of food, vegans have discovered that you don’t need to get your protein from meats, but you can also acquire them in these 9 protein-packed delicious foods:
Green Peas get a bad rap for being bad tasting food. But if you prepare them right they can be quite tasty while being an excellent source of protein.
You can boil peas to make them soft and then deep fry them in vegetable oil to make a nice snack. They are also great ingredients to other vegetable recipes. A cup of peas contains the same amount of protein as a cup of milk.
Nuts and nut butter
Peanuts and other nuts are a tasty and good source of proteins and healthy fats. That is why they are added as a snack in the best diet plan a nutritionist might recommend.
Ever since the publication of a report from the pioneering Adventist Health Study showing that a healthy nut and peanut consumption can lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Roasted peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are also excellent sources of calories.
There are a lot of varieties of beans you can choose from if you are planning to switch to a vegan diet. There are black, white, pinto, lima, and kidney beans.
They are also considered a good source of protein and are quite delicious when prepared properly.
You can buy fresh beans and then soak them overnight before cooking them, or you can buy them canned.
Sesame, Poppy and Sunflower seeds
Seeds are also a great source of protein, and the most prominent of them are sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds. These varieties are also high in healthy fats and calories.
Sunflower seed kernels contain a lot of protein, as much as 7.3 grams per quarter cup.
This is followed by sesame and poppy seeds containing 5.4 grams per quarter cup each. You can use seed as vinaigrette for your salads or add them to your holiday bread.
Tofu is a great replacement for meat. There are tasty vegan dishes out there that utilize tofu as their main ingredient.
This soybean-based substitute is a high source of protein and contains about 15 to 20 grams per half cup.
Tofu also contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B1. So it is very nutritious and if the prepared right can taste remarkably like beef or pork.
This is a recommended meat substitute for a person who has just recently started to switch to a vegan diet.
Another soybean-based food; organic soy milk is a great alternative to dairy milk. This type of milk is often used by people who are lactose intolerant and tastes very similar to regular milk.
It also contains a significant amount of calories, often containing about 100 calories per cup.
Organic soy milk also contains about 4 to 8 grams of protein per 8 ounces. There are also other milk alternatives in the market like almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk.
Oatmeal is an excellent way to start your day. This usually a staple food for breakfast, oatmeal contains a surprising amount of protein.
One cup of oatmeal usually contains about 6 grams of protein. And by adding organic soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk, you can have a healthy “pick-me-up” snack for the day. Oatmeal also contains calories and fiber.
This green leafy vegetable is a great source of protein, with around 5 grams in one cup. Spinach has long been considered as one of the best brain foods available in the market today.
In one study researchers found that rat being fed a diet consisting of spinach performed better in memory and learning test.
According to Dr. Paula Bickford, of the University of South Florida, “this finding is of significant interest and now needs to be tested in humans.”
You can check it for yourself by eating a healthy amount of spinach as part of your diet.
Broccoli is a lovely vegetable that contains just around 4 grams of protein per cup. This isn’t as much as the rest, but this plant also contains calcium, vitamin c, fibre and B vitamins.
Broccoli also contains about 30 calories per cup which makes it a great food to eat when you are planning to lose weight. With a proper vegan recipe, broccoli can make a great ingredient in any meal.
“Proteins are necessary to keep
your body healthy–they are well known
as the building blocks of the body.”
There are many more meat-free alternatives you can use as sources of protein in your diet.
By switching to these alternatives, you not only make yourself healthy but you are also advocating a lifestyle that promotes a cleaner world.
Raising and feeding livestock like cows and pigs create a huge carbon footprint on the planet.
Their manure alone produces a ton of methane every year, methane a greenhouse gas is one of the leading contributors to climate change.
On the other hand fruits and vegetables come from plants and trees–these help the environment by trapping carbon in the atmosphere in their trunk and roots. So try these nine great meat-free alternatives for your protein needs.
About the Author
Meighan Sembrano is an enthusiast and a passionate writer. She has expertise in Beauty and Skin Care articles and also contributed in the Health and Fitness field. You can follow Meighan on Twitter and Facebook.
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