Let's face it. Not all of us are meat eaters; some of us prefer to go the vegetarian or vegan route. One of the most common questions that meat eaters have for vegans are "How in the hell do you get your protein?" Well, most people do not realize that protein does not just come from animals or meat alone. Sometimes, the Earth gives us better sources of protein-without all of the extra saturated fats to go along with it.
Here are 5 great alternatives to protein:
More than just a meat substitute, soybeans, and other beans in general, are so nutritious that the latest dietary guidelines recommend we triple our current general bean intake from 1 to 3 cups per week. You’ll get enough protein from beans without having to worry about all of the harmful saturated and trans fats you get from animal-based foods. Soybeans are one of the richest plant-based protein sources. You’ll get more than 28.5 grams of protein from 1 cup of boiled soybeans. Eat up!
Nuts in general are very good sources of protein for vegans. Nuts provide plenty of protein, as well as other nutrients like vitamins A and E, phosphorus, potassium, fiber and essential fatty acids. Nuts can be purchased whole, flaked, ground and buttered; they're easy to add to all sorts of sweet and savory dishes. Nut butters, such as peanut butter, make easy, wholesome snacks. Peanuts contain 24.3g of protein per serving! Wow!
Tofu is an excellent source of protein! Perhaps the most famous & versatile meat-free protein, tofu is made from soybean curds and the only difference between tofu and meat protein is that you have to eat more tofu to meet the recommended dietary protein levels. In fact, every 100 g of tofu yields approximately 17.19 g of protein. To get the protein benefit of 150 g of lean meat, you should consume 290 g of tofu.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Many people get it mixed up with tofu, though it is actually a bit healthier for you than tofu. A four-ounce serving of tempeh provides about 18 grams of vegetarian protein, along with an impressive 8 to 10 grams of fiber from the soybeans. It has a firmer, meatier texture and stronger flavor than tofu.
Hemp protein is an easily digestible, earth friendly, and complete form of protein. Hemp also happens to be a great source of good fats and Omega 3's. These plant proteins are easily digestible and have been proven to fight inflammation and reduce muscle soreness more effectively than dairy-based proteins, which makes them a good choice for any athlete or active person.