(SHAPE SINGAPORE) - How do vegetarians add protein into their diet? Here are seven options.
Tofu is made from soya beans which make it an excellent source of protein. This meat-alternative is nutritious in amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
Tofu is also rich in iron, calcium and other nutrients, so it is a great choice for vegetarians to include in their meals. Its firm, chewy texture and neutral taste also make it a wonderful addition to various items such as stir-fry dishes, soups and even salad.
2. Soba noodles
Japanese food lovers, rejoice. Soba noodles are made with buckwheat, which is derived from an insanely healthy seed.
This powerhouse food is gluten-free, but rich in protein and provides a substantial amount of fibre. People seldom see soba noodles as a source of protein, but buckwheat has amino acids that fuel you up well. Switch it up by preparing your pasta dishes with soba as well – they taste just as good.
Lentils are one of the highest protein sources for vegetarians. The most common kind, yellow lentil, is frequently used in dhal, an Indian dish.
Lentils also come in red, black and green variations. After being boiled, lentils can be added to stir-fry or soup dishes to increase the protein content of the meal. These power-packed gems also provide you with essential minerals and vitamins.
Vegetarians and vegans will benefit greatly from beans such as mung beans, garbanzo beans and kidney beans as they are all amazing sources of protein. You can depend on these neutral-tasting beans to supply your dishes with an ample amount of protein. Beans are high in amino acids, adding them to your dishes easily amps up your protein macros for the day.
Beans can also be enjoyed in so many different ways – use them in stir-fry dishes, soups, wraps or even pasta.
Quinoa is a groundbreaking grain that looks like couscous, but with more nutrition and benefits. Quinoa is packed with protein, fibre, iron and magnesium. This chewy grain can be used to substitute rice and can even be used as a base for recipes such as healthy cookies and pancakes. You can also add a few spoons of it into your morning oatmeal for a protein boost.
6. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a protein powerhouse as they are one of the highest vegetarian sources for omega-3 fatty acids. It also gives you a good dose of iron, calcium and zinc. Due to its high-fibre content, it keeps you full for a longer time, which prevents you from overeating. Get a kick of metabolism-boosting protein in your smoothies because a tiny pinch of chia seeds expands into a substantial amount of chewy goodness.
Nuts are another valuable source of protein for vegetarians. These tiny items give you a whole load of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as lots of vitamins and minerals. Including nuts in your diet is also a great way to make sure you are getting your required serving of healthy fat.
We think that savouring nut butters such as almond or peanut butter is the tastiest way to get a heaping load of protein and plenty of good fat. Be sure not to have too much, as calories still count.