The most common dietary problem that every vegetarian comes across is protein deficiency. It was a widely acknowledged fact that animal products are the best protein sources. However, it is no longer so, and vegetarians everywhere can now rejoice!
Here are the 13 best sources of protein for vegetarians:
- Green peas: Green peas are legumes, which are a very good protein source. They contain 7.9 grams of protein per serving.
- Quinoa: Grains usually contain very little protein, but quinoa is unique. It contains 8 grams of protein per serving; and contains all nine important amino acids that your body needs for repair and growth.
- Nuts and nut butter: Nuts are a good source of proteins and healthy fats. However, eat them with caution, as they do contain 160 calories per serving. Butter made from nuts like peanut butter and almond butter is also a good source of protein.
- Beans: Beans are available in a variety of colours and shapes, but all of them have one thing in common that is the high level of protein.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are also from the legume family, so they also contain high amounts of protein; 7.3 grams of protein in only half of a serving.
- Tofu and tempeh: Tempeh and tofu are both soy products and they have the highest amount of vegetarian proteins, about 15-20 grams per serving.
- Edamame: Edamame or soybean is excellent for snacking. They contain 8.4 grams of protein in just half a cup.
- Leafy greens: Vegetables usually do not contain much protein, but eating green vegetables will significantly add to your protein consumption. For example, you can eat one cup of cooked broccoli as that contains 8.1 grams of protein.
- Hemp: Blend hemp seeds in smoothies or baked goods to get your daily dose of protein. Hemp contains 10 grams of protein per tablespoon.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds contain 4.7 grams of protein per two tablespoons, making them excellent sources of protein.
- Seitan: This is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten and it contains 36 grams of protein per serving (about half a cup).
- Non-dairy milk: Milk made from soy (best non-dairy protein source), almond, rice and hemp are good dairy substitutes.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: This will surprise you, but bitter cocoa contains nearly 1 gram of protein per serving (1 tablespoon)! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.