Protein, protein, protein! We hear a lot about the importance of protein but why exactly do we need it? Protein is an essential nutrient used in our body to build new cells which makes it possible to perform necessary bodily functions. Our hair, nails, and even the outer layers of our skin are made of protein. Our bones, muscle tissue, and red blood cells also contain protein as well. Therefore, protein has a huge role in the human body and it is important to get enough of this valuable nutrient.
When people hear the word protein they usually think of meat. But there are definitely other ways to get your protein if you are vegetarian or even vegan. Whole grains, quinoa, beans, lentils, and nuts are a few things vegetarians and vegans eat to get their daily supply of protein. Here are more ways to easily get enough protein everyday:
- Soy Milk has about 7-9 grams of protein and has double the calcium than dairy milks. It also goes great with cereals or milkshakes!
- Chia Seeds: With 4 grams of protein per ounce, chia seeds are becoming very popular in today’s diet. Chia seeds are great because they are also high in fiber and will keep you full for longer so you don’t overeat. Putting a small handful of chia seeds in your smoothies and oatmeal is a great way to get your protein and fiber in one go!
- Chickpeas: One cup of boiled chickpeas contains about 15 grams of protein! Chickpeas are very versatile because they can be eaten in so many different ways. You can put them in soups, salads, sandwiches, and even make a great hummus dip with them for your pita bread!
So the next time you are at the grocery store and are looking for different ways of getting your protein remember: whole grains, lentils, beans, and chickpeas are just a few great foods you can choose instead of meats and dairy milk which are high in protein but also high in fat as well.
Have other vegan/vegetarian protein sources that you use? Share them with us and comment below!
Stay healthy and happy everyone! (: