Of all the nutrients your body needs to function, protein is at the top of the list. Not only does it provide energy, but it also plays a major role in repairing muscle. But what happens when you choose not to eat meat, for health or other reasons? Not to fear — there are several healthy (and delicious) meatless protein options available.
This super grain contains eight grams of protein per cup. And it doesn’t stop there. Quinoa is packed with other essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate.
You’re probably familiar with edamame as an appetizer at your favorite sushi restaurant, but with 16 grams of protein per cup, this bean makes an excellent entree choice. An added bonus? Edamame contains as much fiber as four slices of whole wheat bread.
3. Chia Seeds
They may just be tiny seeds, but these boast more protein in two tablespoons as quinoa does in an entire cup — 9.4 grams, to be exact. They’re also a top-notch source of omega-3s and fiber. Another reason to love chia seeds is their ease of use. Simply throw them into a smoothie or add them to any meal you cook.
4. Greek Yogurt
This delicious treat is definitely a favorite among vegetarians. You can eat it plain, blend it into a smoothie, or even cook with it. And with 29 grams of protein and very few calories per cup, it’s arguably one of the best meatless protein options.
5. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter isn’t just something to pack in your kids’ lunchboxes; it’s great for adults, too. In fact, you get eight grams of protein from only two tablespoons. This yummy spread is also full of fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Just choose the natural, refrigerated version to avoid preservatives.
6. Chickpeas (the Garbanzo Bean)
These legumes are a protein powerhouse with 14 grams per cup. To add to their impressive resume, they’re packed with fiber and can help lower bad cholesterol. In addition to eating the bean itself, you can substitute chickpea flour for wheat flour in many of your recipes.
While meat provides some beneficial nutrients, it’s not the only way to get the protein your body needs. Whatever your reason for staying away from meat, you’ll love the protein-packed choices above. To learn more how to get essential nutrients through diet and supplementation, get in touch with Matrix Age Management today.