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These Are The Best Meat-Free Protein Foods

2018-09-02

Whether you are a vegetarian or you just don’t fancy meat everyday, here is the list  of high-protein meatless foods.

Protein is essential for everything from healthy hair and nails to encouraging muscle growth. That’s why one of the most popular arguments from meat eaters when talking about vegetarian/vegan diet is: “But what about the protein?” Such argument si based on faulty foundation that without meat our bodies don’t have enough proteins to build muscles or even live in optimal health. Nowadays vegan/vegetarian movements continue to gain strength what leads to numerous options available today.

In this article you will find great alternatives to meat.  Here are the best sources of protein that DON’T involve the consumption of any animals.

Lentils

Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are a great source of lean protein, fiber, and iron. As a high fiber food lentils reduce risk of heart diseases, stabilize blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol.

Lentils are one of the most popular replacements for vegetarians thanks to its hearty, meaty taste. And the most important, they are easy to cook!


Tempeh

A soy based high-protein food originating from Indonesia. It is also a great source of both fiber and calcium. It is relatively low-fat and cholesterol-free food too.

How is it made?

It is prepared from soybeans, which are cooked and slightly fermented. After fermentation which helps to make the carbohydrates in soy more digestible the tempeh is formed into a patty.

One serving of tempeh (100 grams) may provide up to 18 grams of protein and is an excellent source of vitamin B2, B3, B6, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. It contains approximately 8x more fiber than tofu.


Spinach

Want to have enhanced muscles and super-strength like Popeye?  Spinach contains 15 different vitamins and minerals, offering vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C in every bite.

A cup of cooked spinach gives you 5.36 grams of protein what equals one hard-boiled egg.

It is recommended to boil the spinach before eating because it helps to our bodies to absorb calcium and to reduce oxalic acid content, however juicing or blending fresh spinach may provide a great number of health benefits too.


Quinoa

Sometimes called superfood quinoa is an ancient food with tremendous health benefits. This seed is higher in minerals, enzymes, vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients than most other grains.

It is versatile, affordable and easy to cook. You can sprout it, eat it as a side dish, porridge or serve it as a salad with avocado, pomegranate and goat cheese. And you can drink it too, quinoa milk is dairy free, easy to digest and tastes delicious. Pour it over cereal or use it in smoothies, shakes or even cakes.

Just one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein!


Greek Yogurt

Need a quick recovery food after workout? Healthy greek yogurt contains protein that can repair damage done by exercise.  Add a banana or some berries to your bowl for a nutritious post-workout snack. If you enjoy chia seeds, add 2-3 table spoons of them for a protein and fiber boost.

By adding an extra step to the process of making yogurt excess water, lactose and minerals drain out. That’s how creamy, rich yogurt with less sugar and more carbs is made.

A cup of plain Greek yogurt can have 12 to 17.3 grams of protein.


Chia Seeds

As you may presume, chia seeds are seeds of the chia plant, which is part of the mint family. Its leaves are occasionally consumed as an herbal tea but most people are after the seeds.

Because these hard, small seeds develop a gelatinous coating when submerged in liquid, they can be used as a thickener, jam, or simply eaten on its own as a rich, creamy pudding.

Almost a half of chia seeds’ weight is fiber. In 100 grams of chia seeds, 40 grams is fiber and more than 14 grams is protein. Only two tablespoons of the seeds contain 18 percent of recommended daily value of calcium and 30 percent of recommended daily value of manganese and magnesium.


Peanut Butter

This energy booster is nutritious and delicious. Peanut butter is high in healthy fats and magnesium which is an essential mineral that powers your bones and muscles. Just two tablespoons of butter give you 8 grams of protein.

And last but not least it helps to reduce stress!


Hummus

Hummus is an incredibly popular Middle Eastern dip and spread. A great source of plant-based protein (7.9 grams per 100 grams of hummus) and fiber is typically made by blending chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor.

Incredibly easy to make, simply add the ingredients below into a food processor and blend until smooth.

2 cups of canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/3 cup of tahini
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A pinch of salt


Green Peas

These little green guys are good prevention of wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, bronchitis, osteoporosis, candida, cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. The prevention comes from peas strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Peas is a great protein source, budget friendly and delicious at the same time. With 8 grams of high quality protein per cup many commercial protein powders are starting to use it instead of soy or dairy products to avoid their possible side effects.


Eggs

If you don’t eat meat, eggs are probably your main protein source. They are tasty and can be easily prepared in many different ways. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin A and each of them contains about 6 grams of high-quality protein.

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