Meals that are meat-free are typically lower in calories, are more sustainable for our environment, and are generally cheaper! People who want to have their go at becoming vegetarian may wonder how they can get their daily recommended intake of protein without consuming animals – and it’s far more simpler than you might think.
Meat is an effective way of getting protein in our diets because it’s a complete protein; meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids which are basically the building blocks of protein. There are many other protein sources out there but they do not provide us with the protein we need, so if we’re taking on a meat-free diet, it’s important we mix and match our meatless protein sources to ensure we’re getting all the essential amino acids to keep our bodies functioning at their best.
When eggs are eaten in moderation, they do wonders for your health. They’re practically a powerhouse of nutrients, and there aren’t many calories either! On average, a medium egg will contain around 7 grams of protein and guess what, eggs are a complete protein!
Greek yogurt doesn’t get the recognition it deserves! Swapping it for fatty condiments such as sour cream and mayonnaise means you’re cutting out fat while introducing more protein into your diet. In just one cup serving, you’ll benefit from a huge 29 grams of protein!
Chia seeds contain around 4 grams of protein per a serving of two tablespoons, and are also the highest plant source of omega-3! They are rich in various minerals and antioxidants, and when combined with milk or water they form a gel which is great for thickening smoothies.
Lentils are a popular meatless protein which are rich in minerals and vitamins. They lower your blood pressure and are great for your overall health. You will find approximately 18 grams of protein in just a one cup portion on lentils.
Ten grams of protein can be found in a half cup serving of tofu. Soy is another complete protein meaning you will benefit from all nine essential amino acids. It’s a popular meat substitute and the firmer your tofu is, the higher the protein content.
Quinoa is quite similar to couscous but it’s much more nutritious. In a one cup serving you will benefit from 8 grams of protein, plus iron, fibre, and magnesium. It’s a great substitute for rice.