Protein is one of the essential nutrients that play a key role in how the body functions. However, too much of it is associated with many diseases. It’s, therefore, important to consume a varied diet than to focus on a particular nutrient. As long as your daily calorie intake is adequate, it can be easier for you to meet protein RDA recommendations — which are about 15% to 20% of calories. That is approximately 48g — 60g per day. You don’t need to eat just animal products to get enough protein.
There are best protein sources for vegetarians.
Quinoa (technically a seed) contains more than 8 grams/cup — including all the 9 essential amino acids, which the body needs for repair and growth, but can’t produce on its own. This is contrary to most grains that contain minuscule amounts of protein. Because of that, quinoa is usually referred to as a perfect protein. Additionally, it’s amazingly versatile because it can be easily added to vegetarian chili or soup during the winter season, served with fruit and brown sugar as a breakfast cereal, or can be tossed with vinaigrette and vegetables to make a delicious summer salad.
2. Green peas
Foods that belong to legume family are often good vegetarian protein sources, and since peas belong to this family, they are no exception. One cup of peas contains about 7.9 grams – the same as a glass of milk. If you do not like peas as a side meal, try to blend them into a pesto.
3. Nuts & nut butter
Nuts are rich in both protein and healthy fats, making them a highly valuable vegetarian diet. However, because they’re high in calories, cashews, pistachios, and almonds, for instance, all contain 5g to 6g of protein per ounce and 160 calories. It’s, therefore, important to choose varieties that are dry roasted or raw. Nut butter, such as almond butter and peanut are also good sources of protein.
Beans are available in several different varieties, including heirloom, pinto, white, and black just to mention a few, but all of them have high amounts of protein. For example, just two cups of kidney beans contain about 26 grams.
Also referred to as garbanzo beans, chickpeas can be easily tossed into salads, pureed into delicious hummus, or salted and fried as a crispy snack. These legumes contain about 7.3g of protein in only half a cup. They are also low in calories and high in fiber.
Conclusively, besides these great vegetarian protein sources, Edamame, Chia Seeds, Lentils, Greek Yogurt are also some other sources of protein you can consider.