Sunday, June 3, 2012

5 Best Meat-Free Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Eating a vegetarian diet can be very healthy and rewarding. Most people are used to get protein from meat, but what about the vegetarians? Aren't plant-based proteins lower quality or "incomplete" proteins? This is the reason why, most vegetarians are concerned about getting adequate amount of protein. If you are a vegetarian as well, then you need a bit of extra attention, to meet your protein needs. Many protein-packed vegetarian options are available around us. In fact most foods, including vegetables have some of the essential muscle building nutrients. Each of these food items contains different levels of protein quality and different amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. If your diet includes a variety of any of these foods, you can rest assured that you are having all the amino acids you need for muscle growth and cell repair. Just take a look at these meat free protein packed food items.

5 Best Meat-Free Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Tofu is a great source of high quality protein as compared to other plant sources. Many food items of plant origin are considered as an incomplete source of protein as they lack some essential amino acids. Apart from protein, tofu contains very small amount of saturated fat and no cholesterol. For every 8 grams of protein, it contains just 2 grams of carbohydrates. Tofu also helps you build lean muscle. It is very easy to prepare and can be used in many different types of dishes. It may be steamed, boiled or fried and can be eaten uncooked as well. 100g tofu prepared with calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride includes 70 calories, 8g protein, 2g carbohydrate, 4g fat and 20% of daily allowed Calcium.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurts hold nearly 50% more protein than usual flavored yogurts and also have good amount of carbohydrates. It is an ideal choice when you need a bigger energy boost either before a workout or when dinner is far away. This is very helpful for weight lifters who spend lots of money in muscle milk and protein powders. The balanced mixture of protein and carbohydrates in yoghurt is good for muscle growth. Greek yogurts have a thick and creamy texture. These are low in calories. If you wish to eat sweeter yogurt, then just add honey or berries for some extra sweetness. Greek yogurt is easy to digest as it is low in whey and lactose. However, it has high concentration of casein that could make it difficult for people with meager milk allergies to bear.


Lentils are one of the few high in protein legumes that supply around 15 to 20 g of our daily protein needs. In addition, they are very good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. The fat content in lentils is zero. They provide complex slow burning carbohydrates that can be an ideal muscle building food as they supply the energy needed by the body. These can also help in workout sessions and reload lost nutrients. Lentils are a versatile, budget friendly and healthy addition to many of our dinner recipes. These protein powerhouses are used frequently around our dinner table as a grain replacer or with salads. They are relatively easy and quick to prepare as compared to other dried beans because they easily absorb a range of superb flavors from other foods.


All nuts contain protein but the amount differs widely depending on the type of nuts we pick. However, peanuts are very tasty and they have the highest protein levels, around 8 grams (approximately two tablespoons) per ounce. You can grab a handful of peanuts as an afternoon snack, and you will get nearly as much protein as a piece of fish. Peanuts can be bought shelled, dry-roasted, salted, boiled or as peanut butter. Generally peanut butter is a common food item in many bodybuilding diets, whether mixed into shakes or eaten as a whole. Because of its high smoke point, peanut oil is valuable for cooking. Peanut flour is also quite popular due to its high protein content.


Whole grains are a rich source of protein, but when it comes to protein content, quinoa is the queen of whole grains. Moreover, it has been described as mother of all the grains by the ancient Incas. Unlike many other vegetarian protein sources, quinoa contains all the nine essential amino acids, making it a "complete protein". It is a gluten-free and fiber-rich grain, so it is very easy to digest. Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 18 grams of protein along with 9 grams of fiber. 1 cup uncooked quinoa consists of 24 grams protein, 109 grams carbohydrates, 626 calories and less than 11 grams fat. This protein-packed grain is rich in ecdysteroids, which play role in reducing the fat mass and increasing the muscle mass.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More