How Can You Get Protein Without Eating Meat? Cheap Sources of Plant Based Protein

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What vegan foods are high in protein?

The article is a continuation of my previous where I described where do vegetarians get protein from and why including minimum 25-35% of proteins to your diet is necessary for your health as well as described the best sources of protein for vegetarians.

As some of the previously listed can come across as hard to find or expensive, in that part, I would like to focus on cheap, easy to get and prepare foods which are also excellent fibre sources.

COTTAGE CHEESE

(11g per 100g)

Low-fat cottage cheese is often recommended on diet programs because it provides plenty of protein, without a lot of fat and calories. When paired with fresh fruit it provides a balanced meal of protein and carbohydrates.

An egg is literally a chicken period. Cheese usually came from exactly the same industry where meat is being produced. I know that for some it can be a problem, so if you want, continue reading about cheap sources of proteins which are 100% vegan.

LENTILS

(13,1g per 100g)

Lentils are full of proteins and rich in important minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. They are cholesterol free and low in fat and sodium.

No matter which one you choose, the red, green or black lentils, they make a perfect choice from health and economic point of view.  Lentils are cheap, easy to cook and can be stored for a long time, so you can always have them in your kitchen.

They can work as a side dish, be mashed up or serve as a great trick to thickening a soup. If you want to get a bit more creative, you can mix cooked lentils with egg, chopped onions and a bit of flour and shaped into veggie burgers.

When eating legumes, it is best to make sure they are fully cooked upon eating. You may also want to investigate soaking, sprouting and fermenting your lentils before consumption.

BLACK BEANS

(9g per 100g)

Black beans have been gaining in popularity over the years as a healthy side dish, but vegetarians and vegans have known just what a great source of protein they are for quite some time.

Black beans are a great source of zinc and there is a strong bioavailability of zinc from black beans – meaning we can absorb these nutrients. While a larger portion of calories come from carbs, most of these carbs consist of “resistant starch”. Resistant starch is not easily digested and does not get broken down the same way as a regular starch, therefore it does not have the chance to turn into simple sugars.

This avoidance of being turned into simple sugars means that your blood sugar and insulin do not spike; ranking black beans “low” on the glycemic index, which also makes you feel fuller longer.

Black beans along with other legumes contain lectin. Lectin is something that plants produce to protect themselves from predators. Lectins can lead to “leaky gut” and increased inflammation in the gut. Consumption of large amounts of lectin can cause damage in the lining of the digestive system. When eating black beans and other legumes try soaking them beforehand and ensuring they are properly cooked, this will help to reduce or neutralize the lectins present.

CHICKPEAS (hummus)

(19g per 100g)

Chickpeas are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are typically used in plant-based meals as a meat substitute due to their hearty texture.

Not just for hummus, a 1/2 cup of chickpeas will also give you a nice dose of protein (6-8 grams depending on the brand). You can also use hummus, though note that it’s not as high in servings as chickpeas since it contains other ingredients. Try incorporating chickpeas into meals more often when you can … here are some tasty ideas to start!

Chickpeas are an incomplete protein; therefore, they do not contain all nine essential amino acids. When incorporating chickpeas into your diet make sure you are also consuming a variety of other plant-based protein.

EGG

(6g per egg)

Hard-boiled with your favourite topping, omelettes, quiche, scrambled, poached; one a side, or on a top of your salad. Cooking with eggs can brings fast meal to a whole new level.

BROCCOLI

(2,8 g per 100g)

Looking for fat-free protein gains? You might want to check out the green veggie that looks like a miniature tree. Often thought of as simply a side dish to accompany beef or chicken, one cup of chopped broccoli has 2.6 grams of protein all on its own. And unlike your standard animal-based protein, a cup of these green florets also packs over 100 per cent of your daily need for vitamins C and K.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS

(21g per 100g)

Sunflower seeds pack in the protein in a small package, and they’ll help boost your daily intake of protein in no time flat. A handful of sunflower seeds can be taken with you anywhere, so use them as a way to hold you over between meals. Sprinkle them on a salad, as they add a nutty flavour without being overpowering.

PUMPKIN SEEDS

(5.2 grams per ounce (roasted)

Once you’ve ground that gourd into a delicious pie, you might find yourself wondering what to do with the seeds. Roasting them provides a good snack alternative to chips, but did you know that just one ounce provides more than 5 grams of protein, more than half of the protein found in an egg?

In addition to being a plant-based protein bomb, diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with lower levels of gastric, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Facing a sleepless night? The L-tryptophan in pumpkin seeds has been suggested to encourage a good night’s sleep.

DRIED FRUITS

– APRICOTS

(3.4g Protein )

Apricots rock the number one spot on our list, but they have to be the dried variety, as fresh apricots don’t yield the same amount of protein. You’ll find that with most dried fruit their values are concentrated, but so is the sugar content, Chop up dried apricots and put them on your cereal or bake them into a high-protein cookie.

– DATES

(2.4g Protein)

Dates are a very good source of protein, and along with others in the top 5 on our list, it will provide you with roughly 5% of what you need for the day. Not too much compared to big protein foods like chicken, but when used along with other fruits and vegetables it can add up. Dates are a portable snack that you can take with you and eat while on the go. They are often used in baking for their chewiness and natural sweetness.

GUAVA

(2.6g Protein)

When you eat guava you’ll be getting lycopene, the antioxidant in tomatoes that earns tomatoes the reputation for being so healthy. Guavas actually contain more lycopene ounce for ounce than tomatoes, and lycopene has shown consistent results as being an anti-cancer antioxidant.

CURRANTS

(2g per 100g)

Currants are loaded with fibre and will help you meet your fibre needs. It’s important to consider fibre along with protein because many high-protein foods contain little to no fibre. Eating food like currants that is a source of protein as well as fibre is a great way to supplement your protein intake and help your digestive system function.

What are your favourite protein sources?



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