If you are a vegetarian, or if you have decided to become one and forgo meat completely then you must make sure you get the right amount proteins to maintain a healthy constitution. On an average, men need 56 grams of proteins, women need 46 grams of proteins every day, and you need 2-3 servings to ensure your body absorbs them efficiently. Of course, athletes, sports people and breast feeding mothers definitely need more than that. Generally, people believe that eating vegetarian based meals will not suffice because you don’t get a balanced meal. But that is not true, you don’t have to eat meat to get all the nutrients your body needs.
Here are some Protein Sources you can use to Supplement your Daily Needs:
- Nuts like peanuts, walnuts and pistachios
- Seeds of pumpkin, sesame and sunflower
- Legumes like black beans, chickpeas and lentils
- Soy like Edamame, Tempeh and Tofu
- Grains like Whole wheat bread, oats and buckwheat
- Dairy items like Swiss cheese, fat free yoghurt and cheddar cheese
- And of course, boiled egg whites
These sources provide different levels of proteins. For 1/4 cup of peanuts, you get 9 grams of proteins, 1 cup of cooked lentils will give you 18 grams and 1 slice of whole wheat bread will provide 4 grams of proteins.
The Advantages ‘Vegetarian Proteins’ have Over Meat Proteins
Proteins are essential building blocks that help in growth. Hence, they are very important for muscle growth. The proteins are important for maintaining a healthy metabolism, to protect the immune system and to help with respiratory functions. The major advantage that meat free proteins have over meat proteins is that they are considerably lower in calorie value and even low in fat content.
Here are some foods that you can try out to sustain the same protein levels needed by your body:
This is the more tangier version of the regular yoghurt. It doesn’t contain any sugar, but has double the protein level and hence contribute to more calorie value. Ideal for people who need more calories in a day.
A half cup of Tofu contains more than 10 grams of protein.
One-cup cooked spinach contains a rich amount of calcium, iron and 5 grams of protein.
Nuts are loaded with proteins. One ounce of almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios contain 7 grams of protein.
You can wash the beans first and then roast them over low flame for 2 hours. It is a great snack that contains fiber too.
This is something which even kids would love to have. You can use it not only in breads and other baked goods, but you can also use it in smoothies and whole wheat crackers.
If you are allergic to milk and milk products, what better source other than soy to give you that protein boost?
Garbanzo Beans (also called chickpeas)
One cup contains 15 grams of proteins.
Also called wheat-meat, this protein substitute is ideal for making sandwiches and soups. It looks like meat and has the texture of chicken, but it has high proteins and is a 100% vegetarian dish.