4 unexpected sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians
Whether you’re a committed vegetarian/vegan or just looking to reduce your consumption of animal-based protein by going vegetarian a few days a week, there are so many plant-based options that give you a high amount of protein per serving. If figuring out these plant-based protein alternatives seems daunting, keep reading to discover some surprising options!
Half a cup of cooked quinoa contains roughly 4 grams of protein- surprised? Quinoa is shockingly not a grain as believed by most people and in fact, belongs to the same family as leafy vegetables such as spinach! Apart from being one of the most protein-rich carbs that also contains essential amino acids, quinoa is also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It makes a healthy alternative to rice or pasta and is a great add on to salads or as a side dish when combined with nuts and cheese.
A delicious plant protein, asparagus has up to 3 grams of protein per cup! Packed with folic acid, vitamin c, iron and fibre as well, asparagus can be added to salads, sandwiches and much more.
A superfood, chia seeds have become increasingly popular amongst those looking to follow a health-conscious lifestyle, but did you know that while the most focus is on the omega-3 it contains, chia seeds are a great source of protein too!
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain roughly 3 grams of protein and can be easily added to any meal. For instance, chia seeds make a great toppping to oatmeal, muffins or breakfast smoothies, while the delicious nutty flavour lends itself well to salads, yoghurt etc or can be even eaten alone as chia pudding.
Loaded with fibre as well, the popular chickpea (also known as garbanzo beans) which is a Middle Eastern legume provides 6 grams of protein in every half cup. While this is not a huge amount, chickpeas are certainly an affordable protein source for those looking for vegan/vegetarian-friendly protein alternative.
Extremely adaptable, chickpeas can be easilymade into curries, soups or just added to your favourite salad! If you’re up for a little experimenting, mash up the chickpeas and make yourself a healthy falafel or hummus with some pita bread for a quick and easy lunch.
In summary, a vegetarian or vegan diet doesn’t have to be protein deficient. With the right protein-based plant food like the ones mentioned above, people who avoid animal based protein can easily eat well-balanced diets that contain protein to support a healthy lifestyle and improve general wellness.
You can purchase some of the plant-based proteins mentioned in the blog above at the JustGoodness website.