If you’re a vegetarian looking for suggestions on how to include protein in your diet, you’re often met with disbelieving stars and standard responses like “Why don’t you start eating eggs?” A lot of vegetarian foods come with high amounts of protein to help you lead a healthy lifestyle without reaching the egg counter for help.
Here are 10 high-protein foods for you that can help build muscle strength, promote satiety, and enable weight loss.
Made from gluten, seitan is a well-known source of protein for both vegetarians and vegans. It is also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, as it matches the texture and consistency of meat when cooked. Each 100g serving of seitan contains 25g of protein. It also contains selenium and small amounts of iron, calcium, and phosphorus. You can fry, sauté, or grill it to incorporate it into a recipe of your choice. However, if you are sensitive to gluten or suffer from celiac disease, you should avoid seitan.
- greek yogurt
Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt by a straining process that removes the whey, a liquid that contains lactose, which is a natural sugar found in milk. This means that Greek yogurt has a lower concentration of sugar than regular yogurt. Contains calcium, protein, probiotics, iodine and vitamin B-12. A cup of Greek yogurt has 23 g of protein. Thanks to its high protein content, it can help improve bone health, reduce appetite and hunger, stimulate metabolism, and improve gut health, among other benefits.
If you are opting for a vegetarian diet to meet your body’s protein requirements, soy products may be your best option. The origins of tofu go back to China. It is made from condensing soy milk, which is then pressed into solid white blocks. Tofu is a high-protein food and it also contains all the essential amino acids important for your body. A 100-gram serving of tofu contains 8 grams of protein. In addition to being rich in protein and a number of healthy nutrients, tofu can also protect you against various health conditions, including heart problems, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.
A traditional Indonesian food, Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. With a pretty impressive portfolio of nutrients, it’s a popular meat replacement for vegetarians. In a 2014 study, 20 obese men were given a high-protein diet that included soy or meat-based proteins. After 14 days, both diets were found to lead to weight loss, reduced appetite, and increased satiety with no significant differences between the two protein sources. An 84-gram serving of tempeh comes with 15 grams of protein. A cup of tempeh contains about 2/3 of the calcium found in a cup of whole milk. Since it undergoes fermentation, the phytic acid found in soy breaks down, making it easier for absorption and digestion.
A powerhouse of protein, lentils grow in pods and are available in red, green, black, and brown varieties. 100 g of cooked lentils contain 9.02 g of protein. Consuming it can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and promote a healthy complexion and hair, reduced weight, and increased energy. An inexpensive source of protein, lentils can also offset folate and manganese in your daily nutritional needs. With a plethora of recipes that can be used to prepare lentils, they are without a doubt the most versatile high-protein vegetarian food that can help you complete your daily health list.
Edamame are immature soybeans, also known as vegetable soybeans. They are green in color and can be added to soups, salads, stews or simply eaten as a snack. One cup or about 155g of edamame comes with 18.5g of protein. In addition to being a rich source of protein, it can also be instrumental in lowering cholesterol levels, which reduces the risks of heart disease and improves the lipid profile in the blood. With a low carb count and glycemic index, it’s a perfect snack for those trying to control their blood sugar levels as well.
- garbanzo beans
Chickpeas, native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, are also known as garbanzo beans. A cup of cooked chickpeas comes with 15 g of protein. They are also excellent sources of carbohydrates, iron, fiber, folic acid, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, and a host of other beneficial nutrients. It has also been shown in several studies that a diet rich in chickpeas can help lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, and may even help reduce belly fat. Selenium, a mineral found in chickpeas, helps your liver enzymes work properly and can also detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in your body.
- chia seeds
1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 3 g of protein. Chia seeds are small black seeds and come from the Salvia hispanica plant. Its rich protein content is complemented by an impressive presence of nutrients. They include high levels of fiber, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and several other micronutrients. All the carbohydrates that chia seeds contain are fiber, which the human body does not digest. Fiber does not raise blood sugar and does not need insulin to break down. Chia seeds have 40% fiber, making them one of the best sources of fiber in the world.
High in protein, full of healthy fats, and known to improve heart health, peanuts can be an easy way to pack protein into your body. Half a cup of peanuts comes with around 20.5 g of protein. They are a low-carb food, so they are perfectly healthy for diabetics. An excellent source of protein and minerals such as biotin, copper, niacin, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin E, and magnesium, peanuts can be easily incorporated into your daily diet as a snack or as part of a routine meal.
- nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is sold commercially as a yellow flake powder. Its cheesy flavor can be combined very well with mashed potatoes or scrambled tofu. It can also be sprinkled over pasta or enjoyed as a tasty topping on popcorn. A 28-gram serving of nutritional yeast contains 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Several studies have shown that S. cerevisiae, the yeast found in nutritional yeast, can help build immunity and can also reduce inflammation that occurs as a result of bacterial infection. It can be a great food to help you fight brittle nails or hair loss, thanks to a high concentration of protein.