Protein work as a major building block for our body and it also serves as a good source of energy. So, including protein rich food in your daily diet is important in order to ensure the best health. We have a common idea that the best quality proteins can be found only from the animal sources but in reality there are a number of plant sources of protein too. If you are planning to go vegetarian, you can be rest assured that there are sufficient numbers of vegetarian foods that can supply the protein required by the body for smooth operation and health.
Meat, poultry and dairy products are considered as the best sources of animal protein but the point of concern is that these foods are also rich in cholesterol and saturated fat which can be actually harmful for your health. On the other hand, most of the vegetarian sources of protein include health friendly constituents and when you include these vegan foods in your daily diet in the right amount they can actually meet the requirement of protein in your body. Read on to know about the vegetarian foods which are highly rich in protein content.
This is a plant product with maximum protein content. Seitan is derived from wheat gluten and as far as the calorie content is concerned it is similar to lean meat. 100 gm of Seitan can give you as much as 75gm of protein which is nothing less than any animal sources. Apart from providing maximum protein Seitan is also low in sodium and carbohydrate content and has no cholesterol and minimum fat, which makes them an ideal food for people suffering from conditions like high blood pressure and blood sugar. Seitan also has high iron content and is a good source of calcium and hence make an ideal food in every sense. You can include Seitan in any dishes to get a good dose of plant protein. However, if you are on a gluten free diet this is something you should stay away from.
The other prominent source of vegan protein is soybeans. 100 gm of these beans can give you as much as 36g of protein. Soybeans are used for making different type of foods including, soy flour, tofu, soy milk, soybean oil and soy sauce. However, if you are looking out to opt for soybeans to get the protein value of this legume, it is best to opt for the unpurified whole form of soybeans. Apart from proteins they also contain a considerable amount of carbohydrate and fats. Soybeans are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients which are claimed to offer various health benefits. Soybeans also contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that can be highly nourishing for the body.
Peanut butter is highly rich in protein content. You can get 25gm protein from 100 gm of peanut butter. However, while peanut butter can work as a great food for the sports person and people with lots of physical activity it might not be the best food to include in your diet particularly if you are suffering from high cholesterol or heart ailments. Peanut butter is also high in carbohydrate and fat content which does not make it the right food for all. It is always suggested to combine peanut butter with a low carbohydrate and fat diet to strike the balance and ensure that you get the protein from it but the fat and carbohydrate does not go as excess in your body.
Chickpeas, commonly known as Bengal gram or garbanzo bean is one of the high protein rich foods in the vegan world. 100gm of chickpeas contain 19gm of protein along with a bunch of other constituents that are highly nutritious for the body. Chickpeas are high in iron, calcium, phosphate, magnesium and Zinc content. Research has found that including chickpeas in daily diet lowers the percentage of LDL in blood. It can also be very helpful for the best cardio vascular health. Chickpeas are very high in folic acid, which fights anemia and is vital for pregnant women. So, if you are looking out for a great vegan source of protein Chickpeas can certainly meet your needs.
Lentils are a great source of vegan protein. 100gm of boiled lentils can give you 9gm protein and due to their high fiber content they are also highly filling. Lentils are also noted for their high content of essential minerals. Lentils are cholesterol free and have minimum fat and sodium content along with high amount of vital minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. Lentils can be included in your diet in various forms but concentrating more on taking the boiled form is important as it ensures that you get the food value of lentils intact.
Hemp seeds have very high protein content and various minimally processed hemp products and hemp milk can be ideal to get all the protein your body needs. Hemp is a plant protein which includes all the types of essential amino acids. The fatty acids present in these seeds and milk also helps in boosting the immune system and they also have a natural anti-inflammatory action. Hemp seeds can be added to any dish or side dish and they actually adds to the taste. Hemp milk can be consumed directly with any food.
Quinoa is another protein rich food from plant source that has attracted a lot of attention in the recent times. Even NASA has considered about growing Quinoa on interplanetary space flights to meet the food needs of the aeronauts. 1 cup of quinoa has 8gm of protein. Apart from protein it is also full of dietary fiber and a number of minerals like iron, magnesium and manganese. Quinoa can be included into your diet as a substitute to rice or breakfast cereals.
If you are looking out for vegetarian protein rich foods, Almonds can be your best choice. They do not only taste great but they are actually great for your health too. 100 gm of almond can give you 21gm of protein and all you need to do to include it in your diet is to munch on it. Almonds are also high in fiber content along with a number of vital minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Almonds also contain Vitamin E in high amount along with fat.
Sunflower seeds can be marked as one of the best protein sources from the plant world. These seeds contain 21 gm of protein in 100gm of serving and hence when included in your diet can fill in the protein requirements of the body. Sunflower seeds have no cholesterol and they contain vital minerals like magnesium along with selenium. They are also rich in dietary fiber and low in sodium content. Sunflower seeds have high iron content along with calcium.
In the list of green vegetables that also contain a notable amount of protein the name of Kale comes first. 100gm of Kale can provide 4.3gm of protein to the body. Kale is also high in fiber content and it is a rich source of iron, calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B6. Kale also provides Vitamin A and Vitamin C in very high amount. So, while including kale alone in your diet might not meet the whole protein requirement of your body, it can be certainly the right food to get a mixed bag of vegetarian goodness.
Spinach is the other leafy vegetable that makes a good protein rich food. 100gm of Spinach has 2.9gm of protein along with a load of iron, magnesium and calcium. Spinach is also high in Vitamin A content and being rich in fiber it makes an ideal food to be included in daily diet.
These green plants from the cabbage family are not only high in folic acid but they are also a good source of protein. 100gm of broccoli can give your body as much as 2.8gm of protein. It has high dietary fiber content and high Vitamin C which helps in boosting the immunity. Broccoli can be included in your diet in boiled or light fried form to get all its benefits.