The vegetarian diet can be very healthy; however, many vegetarians
do not get enough protein. Instead of eating nutritious protein sources, many
vegetarians end up eating too many carbohydrates. This type of diet not only
causes weight gain, but it also can negatively impact your health. Use the
suggestions listed below to ensure your body gets the protein it needs to
- Chia- Chia seeds have been touted as a super seed. Two tablespoons of
chia seeds contain 4 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. In additions, these
powerhouses contain eight essential amino acids and a variety of trace
minerals. This powerful antioxidant rich food contains more omega-3 fatty acids
than a serving of walnuts, twice as much magnesium and iron as a serving of
spinach and as much calcium as a serving of milk.
- Edamame- Edamame is green soybeans. Soybeans, including edamame, contain
nine essential amino acids and a plethora of vitamins and minerals. A half-cup
serving of edamame provides you with 11 grams of protein. This delicious soy
product contains over 100 percent of the daily-recommended allowance of folate,
half the vitamin K you need and over 79 percent of the recommended daily
allowance of manganese.
- Hemp Seed- Hemp seeds provide you with both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty
acids. Three tablespoons of hemp seed provides you with 10 grams of protein,
half the daily-recommended value of magnesium and 3.5 grams of
- Hummus- Hummus is made from ground chickpeas. A one-cup serving of
hummus provides 19 grams of protein and 33 percent of the recommended daily value of iron. It is
also packed with folate, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.
- Lentils- Lentils are packed with proteins and fiber to help you stay
healthy. A quarter of a cup of uncooked lentils contain less than 170 calories,
but supply you with 12 grams of protein, making them the perfect choice for
those watching their weight, while wanting to increase their protein
- Peanut Butter- This delicious spread is packed full of protein. In fact, each
2-tablespoon serving gives you 8 grams of protein. Each serving also contains
vitamin E, Niacin and manganese.
- Quinoa- A one cup serving of quinoa provides 8 grams of protein and only
has 222 calories. Filled with magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, this
wholesome grain is delicious and a great side for dinner.
- Seitan- Seitan is the meaty portion of wheat that contains protein. A
three-ounce portion contains 21 grams of protein and is a great alternative
protein source for vegetarian. It contains no saturated fat and plenty of
- Sunflower Seeds- Sunflower seeds are often enjoyed by athletes.
Each 1-cup serving provides 23 grams of protein, making the perfect snack to
enjoy on the go. Additionally, it is packed with vitamins and minerals,
including pantothenic acid, folate, iron and zinc.
- Tempeh- Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and provides 15 grams of
protein per 1/2 cup serving.
- Tofu- Tofu is another meat alternative loaded with protein. One ounce
of tofu contains 5 grams of proteins and only 76 calories.
- Kale- Enjoy a serving of kale for a low calorie side dish that
supplies 2 grams of protein, over 600 percent of the recommend daily value of
vitamin K, 200 percent of vitamin A and 134 percent ofvitamin C.
- Spinach- Popeye had it right by eating spinach. One cup of canned spinach
provides 5 grams of protein and over 300 percent of vitamin A.
- Broccoli- One cup of broccoli florets contains 2 grams of protein, over a
hundred percent of the daily value of vitamin C and is only 20 calories.
- Avocados- Avocados are filled with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and 5
grams of protein. Loaded with folate and vitamin C, this healthy fruit is
delicious and provides 16 grams of fiber.
Being a vegetarian does
not mean that you have to sacrifice your protein intake. There are many
delicious and nutritious vegetarian protein option available. Use the protein
sources listed above to help ensure you get enough protein in your diet. Taking
a high quality protein powder from Metagenics can substitute your protein requirement as well.