There can be many choices to consider when following a healthy eating diet plan whether you are trying to lose weight or not, to ensure you are getting the right nutrients and vitamins. Being a vegetarian can increase these choices especially when it comes to looking for the best sources of protein.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not there are lots of tasty meat-free sources of protein that also give you wonderful health benefits. Protein is essential to growth, building muscle, the immune system and heart and respiratory functions. So it’s important to get the right amount each day, here are a few non animal protein sources:


Protein Content: 6g per egg
There’s a reason the incredible, edible egg is such a fantastic choice of protein. The protein in eggs has the highest biological value, a measure of how well it supports your body’s protein needs, of any food, including beef. And the yolks contain vitamin B12, deficiencies of which are common in vegetarian diets and can cause attention, mood, and thinking problems while raising blood homocysteine levels, a risk factor for heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.


Yep, good old greens will pack a protein punch. One cup of cooked spinach has about 7 grams of protein. The same serving of green beans has about 13 grams. Two cups of cooked kale? 5 grams. One cup of boiled peas? 9 grams.


Protein Content:1 cup of cooked quinoa 20 grams of protein.
Quinoa is perhaps one of the most perfect non-animal sources of protein on the planet. What makes quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) unique is that it is the only plant based source of complete protein. “Complete” means that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that are crucial to human function and health. It is also a wonderful option for those that follow a gluten free diet, since it is completely gluten free.

Chia Seeds

Protein Content: 10 grams per cup
Though the protein content isn’t as high as some other vegetarian foods out there, chia seeds pack a huge nutritional punch, and still have a high amount of protein. For starters, they’re an incredible fibre resource with nearly half (11 g) of the amount you need every day in just 3 teaspoons. That helps fill you up and eat fewer calories. They also contain 18 percent of your daily calcium requirement, more than triple that of milk, which helps your bones. Chia seeds have no flavour, so you can add a tablespoon to any food you wish without altering its flavor, and unlike flax, chia seeds don’t need to be ground in order for your body to absorb all the nutrients.

Lentils and Beans

A cup of iron-rich lentils packs 18 grams of protein, almost as much as a good size steak. One cup of chickpeas, contains 15 grams of protein, as does a cup of black or kidney beans.

Organic, Plain, Greek Yoghurt

Protein Content: 10 grams per cup
All dairy products are good sources of protein. A glass of milk provides you with 8g, but Greek yoghurt is a protein powerhouse, with twice the protein and half the sugar and carbs of regular yoghurt. Top a ½ cup of yoghurt with a handful of nuts and you could get half of your daily protein intake at breakfast.
Sarah Michelle Weir
Adv Dip in Nutritional Medicine


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