Proteins are considered the building blocks of life as they become amino acids that help repair and develop cells. They are a good friend to those who are trying to lose weight because they take longer to digest when compared to carbs. This way, you feel fuller for a longer period without consuming more calories. It is common knowledge that protein sources include eggs, dairy, and meat. However, these are quite high in cholesterol and saturated fat.
Thankfully, you can have the protein your body needs without eating a lot of cheese and meat. Here are the best protein sources for you:
1. Eggs – Vegetarians who eat eggs will find this quite helpful as their protein source. Simply add a large egg to your favorite salad and you can have as much as six grams of protein. What’s more, you can get other nutrients, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Eggs are high in cholesterol, but it does not have high amounts of saturated fats, so it does not affect your blood cholesterol. Diabetics can eat as much as seven eggs every week.
2. Greek Yogurt – This type of yogurt is strained and thicker than your ordinary yogurt. It has 11 grams of protein for every 2/3 cup of serving. Instead of other salad dressings you may be used to, use Greek yogurt instead.
3. Tempeh – This has a total of 31 grams of protein for every cup you eat. It also comes with B vitamins, iron, and calcium. Tempeh has undergone fermentation, so your body can better absorb the minerals it has.
4. Hemp Seeds – Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein and also contain fat for those on a pure meatless diet. 30 grams of the seeds can give you 11 grams of protein and 16% iron.
5. Green Peas – Fresh green peas and not the ones from the can give you a ton of health benefits. One cup contains eight grams of protein, alongside 97% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. It also has seven grams of fiber and can be used in your favorite salad.
6. Beans – Beans have protein as well, specifically 15 grams of it when you eat one cup of chickpeas. Black beans have 15 grams of protein and fiber as well, while white beans have 19 grams of protein.
7. Lentils – You can choose from the different varieties of lentils, such as French green and red and brown lentils. They have high protein content, up to 18 grams for every cup consumed. They also have 16 grams of fiber.
8. Nuts – All nut varieties, such as almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and peanuts, come with protein. Peanut butter for those who like it smooth is also an excellent protein source with almost five grams of protein for every tablespoon. Go for unsalted nuts though to make sure you don’t go over your sodium intake.
You can bulk up and take advantage of protein even without eating meat. Choose from the mentioned foods above or combine them to have a healthy meal.