Vegans are often faced with the challenge of finding a healthy protein source to include in their diet. This can be difficult, especially if you have just switched from a diet where meat was your number one source of protein.
Why consume meat-free meals?
There are several reasons why changing your protein source or consuming meat-free meals is worth it. Here are some of them:
- Meat-free meals are always cheaper.
- They are low in calories.
- Not eating meat lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- According to the USDA, exceeding the daily recommended amount of meat is linked to certain health risks.
- Processed meats have been linked to increasing the risk of cancer.
- Diets low in saturated fat, but high in fiber and proteins like beans and lentils, reduce the risk of certain diseases.
- Meat-free meals improve the quality of your diet.
- Making better food choices create a more humane society.
- They are better for the environment.
- Plants containing a high amount of protein
If you wish to include meat in your diet, this is not a problem. Eggs and dairy products can act as an alternative, but there are plenty of other sources of protein that you can consider. Here are some of them.
Derived from soybeans, tofu is considered a complete source of protein. A half cup of firm tofu provides 10 grams of protein. It can be deep fried in a healthy oil, or can be used in the preparation of numerous foods, such as burgers or soups.
A cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein. Quinoa is also full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It’s a healthy substitute for rice and can be used to make muffins, cookies, or casseroles.
Buckwheat, a relative of rhubarb provides 6 grams of protein per cup and is a healthy alternative to white flour. It can be made into gluten-free pancakes or cooked like oatmeal. Studies show that buckwheat may improve blood circulation, lower blood cholesterol, and control blood glucose levels.
This nutrient-dense food is also rich in folate, manganese, and iron. They act like probiotics, promoting good bacteria in your gut.
These blue-green algae are packed with protein. Just two tablespoons provide 8 grams of protein, which is 20% of your recommended daily allowance. The powder form can be mixed into smoothies or can be consumed in capsules.
Just two slices of this bread contain 8 grams of protein. It is made from organic sprouted whole grains and legumes. As well as being packed with protein, it contains soluble fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
A half cup of dry oats provides 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber. They are à popular breakfast option for both adults and kids. Oats can be added to cookies, burgers, or incorporated into a vegan diet.
A teaspoon of chia seeds contains 6 grams of protein: they are known to contain six times more protein than kidney beans. They are also an excellent source of Omega 3, and contain 17 vitamins, and other minerals.
Aside from being packed with protein, chickpeas are rich in lysine, thus giving you even more reason to enjoy hummus and pita, both Middle Eastern staples. Chickpeas contain a similar amount of amino acids to other legumes like cannellini and edamame for example.
Soy milk is made from soybeans and has gained popularity over the years. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, which makes it an excellent alternative to cow’s milk. One cup contains 7 grams of protein, as well as containing calcium and vitamin D. Choose the unsweetened variety if you are limiting your sugar intake.
Amaranth has a similar nutritional content to quinoa. One cup provides 7 grams of protein, and it is also packed with iron, B vitamins, and magnesium. You can incorporate it into burgers along with lentils and other spices.
These edible flowers may look intimidating, but they need a little TLC. Just a half cup of artichoke contains 4 grams of protein. Artichokes are also rich in fiber and low in calories. They help lower blood sugar levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent body inflammation.
There are a many plant sources which you can use to obtain your daily protein requirement. In the long run, they not only cost less but also offer you massive health benefits, all whilst helping to preserve nature. Going vegan has never been so fulfilling or yummy!