Proteins are the building blocks of life. They break down to form amino acids that promote the cell growth and repair. Proteins take longer to digest that makes you feel full for longer, on fewer calories. This is beneficial for those people who are trying to lose weight. You most probably know that the animal products like eggs, dairy and meat provide good sources of protein. However these animal products can also have high cholesterol and saturated fats. The good news is that you don’t have to eat cheese or meat to get enough protein.
Unlike most grains, quinoa carries more than 8 grams of protein for every cup including all the nine essential amino acids which the body requires for growth and repair, yet it can’t produce on its own. Additionally, quinoa is amazingly versatile. Quinoa can be tossed with vegetables, served with fruit and brown sugar as breakfast cereal and also used as a vinaigrette for making a refreshing summer salad.
There exist different varieties of beans-white, heirloom, black and pinto but they have one thing in common, that they have high amounts of protein. Two cups of the kidney beans, for instance contains about 26 grams which is almost the same as that of a Big Mac that has 25 grams.
According to Gerbstadt, vegetables do not contain as much protein as nuts and legumes but some of them have significant amounts together with heart-healthy fiber and lots of antioxidants. If you eat a wide variety of the different kinds of vegetables, it is certain that it will add up to the desired amounts of amino acids. For instance, two cups of the raw spinach contains 2.1 grams protein and a cup of chopped broccoli has 8.1 grams.
Seitan is another meat substitute that is popularly used by vegans. Seitan is derived from the protein portion of wheat. Seitan is loaded with protein, 1/2 cup contains 36 grams which is more than either tempeh or tofu. Seitan resembles duck meat but tastes like chicken and you can use it in any poultry recipe.
Non-dairy milk can also be a good protein source for vegans. Soy milk is the most commonly used alternative to the dairy milk and also contains the same nutritional profile as that of the cow’s milk. Soy milk contains 5-10 grams protein while the cow’s milk provides 8grams. Most soy milk brands will boast pretty much equal amounts of protein, vitamin D and calcium as cow’s milk. Those who do not like soy milk can try hemp milk which is also becoming a popular alternative. Hemp milk gives complete protein but it’s creamier than the soy milk.
This yummy spread is filled with protein. Two tablespoons of tahini contain 8 grams of protein and also provide a good source of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and iron.
The above list clearly shows that a dinner dish doesn’t necessarily have to contain meat in order to be complete. You can replace the meat with a plant-based protein that you will love and enjoy just as much as meat. You should note that you don’t have to get the amount of protein that you need during one meal. You can incorporate protein throughout the day from a plant based diet particularly in snacks without the need for a massive source at each meal.
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