Protein is essential to one’s health. Without the nutrient, our brain would not function at its best and our bodies will slag throughout the day. That is why a breakfast rich in protein can boost your metabolism and keep you active throughout the day. Not only does consuming foods rich in protein help maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps you increase muscle strength even if you are sitting still. Consuming the accurate amount of protein can be tricky, and people are of the notion that only non-vegetarian food contains a high source of the nutrient. Quashing this belief, diet experts have revealed how a well-maintained vegan-diet can give you all the protein you need. Besides being environmentally beneficial, vegan options also offer various health benefits. If you want to ditch meat and adopt a vegan lifestyle, here are some plant-based foods that are loaded with protein (see if your hair-fall is due to deficiency of protein)
Foods-Rich in Protein
A popular meat substitute, tofu, is a must-have for vegans. Ditching the negative stereotype of it being a boring vegan dish, tofu has emerged as a staple diet that is present in everything from breakfast to dinner and even desserts. Aside from being cheap, this protein source also has an added advantage of being flavored just to your liking – you can buy either firm tofu for rich creamy texture or soft for the chewy delicate taste. Containing about 10-19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces, the versatile ingredient can be added in numerous dishes like burgers and soups.
Touted as the ‘ancient grain’ or ‘healthiest grain’, Quinoa is power-packed with protein, so much so, that it even made it into the good books of the United Nations, with the organization dedicating an entire year as the ‘year of quinoa’. Rich in magnesium, antioxidants, and fiber, the versatile grain is a perfect substitute for rice. To avail the full protein value of the ingredient, you can stir it into stir-fry dishes or even sprinkled into your salad to make it extra healthy. If that is not enough, you can also use the grain to bake muffins and cookies. Containing the nine essential amino acids, quinoa is the go-to grain for vegans. One cup of the healthiest ingredient contains about 8 grams of protein.
The easiest source of protein, oats have been the staple diet of vegans for decades. Recently gaining popularity again in coffee shops as the go-to alternative for non-dairy milk, oats are not only low in sodium but also high in protein. It can be flavored in multiple ways, as is the perfect breakfast to keep you active all day if you are strapped for time. Their main attraction? It is easy to make and can be added in bread, pancakes, cookies, and even burgers. Half a cup of dry oats will provide you with 6 grams of protein and sufficient amounts of magnesium, zinc, and folate.
Bearing similarity to quinoa, amaranth is loaded in protein even though it is significantly smaller. Available in different tastes – spicy, earthy and nutty, the ancient grain is a rich source of iron, magnesium, and Vitamin – B. It also contains 18 essential amino acids; one cup of cooked amaranth will provide you with 7 grams of protein. An added bonus, it’s gluten-free and can be added in vegan burgers.
A lifesaver for vegetarians and vegans, lentils help you load up on protein in the quickest way possible. You can prepare burgers, rice dishes with these meaty legumes. Lentils are a great source of protein; a half cup of it adds 9 grams of protein and nearly 15 grams of fiber. They can also be used in salads and soups. The fiber found in lentils is proved to feed the good bacteria in one’s colon, resulting in a healthy stomach. Red and green lentils contain an ample amount of protein alongside fiber, iron, and potassium. Add it to your lunch or dinner to give you that extra boost of protein.
A delicious source of protein, edamame is relatively a young ingredient in the vegan world. You can mix it with soups, burgers and more to avail its nutty sweetness. It provides 8.5 grams of protein in just half a cup. It is also rich in antioxidants and fiber.
No list of protein packed foods is complete without Popeye’s favorite snack. The leafy green vegetable is known for being loaded with protein with one cup containing 5 grams of protein. So you better get munching!