Vegetarians and vegans stick to strict diets for a variety of reasons. One of the major benefits that these people enjoy is the fact that they are eating clean and healthy. Since the meat is not part of their diet, they need to find other ways to get the protein that they need. Diets that are high in protein promote weight loss, muscle strength, and a full feeling when you are eating. Foods that are highest in protein include lean meat and eggs. Since these foods are not on a vegan’s or vegetarian’s diet, they need to find other sources of protein. Luckily, there are some plant foods that contain a high amount of protein per serving. Read this article and learn the 17 vegetarian and Vegan foods that are high in protein to add to your diet.
15 Vegetarian and Vegan Foods that are High in Protein:
1. Nuts, Nut Butter, and Other Seeds
Nuts, seeds, and their derived products are excellent sources of protein. One ounce contains between 5 to 7 grams of protein, depending on the variety of the nut or seed. Nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats and fiber. They also contain calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin E, and certain B vitamins. They also contain other beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants. When you are purchasing nuts and seed, you should keep in mind that roasting and blanching can damage the nutrient in the nuts. You should buy the unbleached, raw varieties if possible. If you are looking for nut butter, you should avoid oil, excess salt, and sugar that is often added to most of the household varieties.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are native to Guatemala and Mexico and are derived from the Salvia hispanica plant. They contain 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per 1.25 ounces. These seeds are also an excellent source of calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and omega 3 fatty acids. They are also an excellent antioxidant and contain several other beneficial plant compounds. They have a bland taste, but they can absorb in the water. They turn into a gel-like substance. This makes them a great ingredient in smoothies, baked goods, and in Chia pudding.
3. Wild Rice
Wild rice contains 1 ½ times as much protein as other long grain rice varieties, such as basmati and brown rice. Once cooked cup of brown rice provides 7 grams of protein. It also contains good amounts of copper, phosphorus, B vitamins, fiber, and manganese. Wild rice is not like white rice, as it is not stripped of its bran. This is good because bran contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber. There are, however, concerns about arsenic. It can accumulate in the bran of the rice crops if they are grown in polluted areas. Arsenic is a toxic trace element, which can cause a variety of health problems if it is ingested for a long period of time. If you wash you wild rice before you cook it and use a great deal of water to boil it, you can reduce the arsenic content by 57 percent.
4. Oats and Oatmeal
Oats are a delicious and simple way to add protein to your diet. Just a half cup of dry oats can provide you with 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. This amount also contains zinc, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. While oats are not considered to be a complete protein, they do contain higher quality protein than grains such as wheat and rice.
5. Soy Milk
Soy milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk and is made from soybeans and fortified with vitamins and minerals. It contains 7 grams of protein per cup and is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Soy milk and soybeans don’t contain a natural source of vitamin B12, therefore, you should pick a fortified variety. Soy milk can be found in most supermarkets. It is great because it can be consumed on its own, or it can be used in cooking and baking recipes. If you want to keep your sugar to a minimum, you should go with the unsweetened varieties.
6. Amaranth and Quinoa
Amaranth and quinoa are often mentioned to as gluten free and ancient grains. They are technically pseudocereals. They can be prepared or ground into flours that are known as grans. They both contain 8 to 9 grams of protein per cup, and they are complete sources of protein. This is very rare among pseudocereals and grains. They are also excellent sources of fiber, manganese, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and complex carbohydrates.