Proteins are the important foundations for tissues, muscles, cartilage, blood, hormones and enzymes. Thus, it's absolutely important for every human being to get enough protein from his or her diets. On the other hand, a common misconception that exists amongst people is that Vegan or Vegetarian diet lacks protein, because of which vegetarians need to take protein supplements to fulfill their body's protein requirements.
The truth of the matter is that vegetarian diet is quite full of protein. From fruits to vegetables to nuts, there are ample vegan protein sources that can provide the right amount of protein required for the physiological procedures.
Let's take a look at many of the best and richest vegetarian suppliers for protein:
* Soy - Soy or Soybeans are an excellent protein source that can be found in different foods such soy milk and peanut butter. Studies shows that simply one cup of soybean can supply up to 29 grams of protein, which is at same level with that of chicken breast (a non-vegetarian protein source). Soybean likewise helps in conserving the calcium content in the body, tones up the bones, and reduces the LDL 'bad' cholesterol levels in the blood. Fermented soy is best and includes miso, tempeh, and natto (fermented soybeans). Eat soy in moderation as the estrogen-mimicking compounds can have a negative effect in case over consumed.
* Tofu - Tofu in fact is a derivative of Soy, and is generally called as the 'Soy Curd'. It contains 9 of the essential amino acids, making it a great protein source for the vegans. It can be used in many forms - sauted, marinated, or pureed. Tofu is also an abundant source of calcium, and is particularly beneficial for growing children. For those who are allergic to dairy products, Tofu can be an option to satisfy their calcium and protein requirements.
* Lentils - A rich and common source of protein are different types of lentils. Daily intake of 2 cups of lentils provides enough protein for healthy muscle development in children and grown ups. Lentils are also full of minerals. Since lentils are widely grown throughout the world, they are relatively an inexpensive and easily obtainable proteins source that you have to add to your daily diet. You can cook lentils alone, or add them to soups and stews.
* Red Kidney Beans - A delicious variety of beans that you can add to a variety of dishes are the red kidney beans. Just one cup of red kidney beans can supply up to 15 grams of protein, and numerous other nutrients also. You can eat them as a side dish, or try out different recipes with this flexible selection of beans. Almost all types of beans such as the chickpeas, black beans etc are rich sources of protein, and you need to make it a point to include these in your diet.
* Cheese - RAW, ORGANIC cheese in all its forms whether ricotta, goat or regular cottage cheese, is a very great source of protein. You can add them to your lasagna, salads, or simply layer your sandwiches with it. Just a cup of cheese can offer up to 28 grams of protein, and if you are on a diet, try the low-fat variety.
* Yogurt - For an excellent meat-free protein source, there can be practically nothing better than yogurt. Other than providing good amount of calcium and Vitamin D, yogurt also fulfills your body's protein requirements with ease. Having a bowl of yogurt with your meals can improve digestion, strengthen your bones, kill fungal and yeast infections and help in building muscles and tissues. Yogurt also keeps you feeling full for lengthier hours and can help you in reducing your weight.
* Seitan: Also called the vegetarian 'Wheat Meat', Seitan is mostly found in Asian and Buddhist cooking. It is extracted from the gluten of wheat, and is commonly used in various recipes as a replacement for meat. Seitan is a fantastic source of protein, but in case you are delicate to gluten or wheat, then this isn't for you. You can mix Seitan with soups and stews or add it to different dishes that require a thick texture.
* Spirulina - Spirulina is regarded as the 'wonder food' by health due to the fact of the unlimited number of nutrients it consists of. Spirulina, basically, is a form of blue-green algae, found in both sea and fresh waters. It consists of uncommonly high amounts of protein, unmatched by even the best non-vegetarian protein foods. Experts recommend Spirulina for various reasons - apart from being a complete protein source with all the important amino acids, it also contains Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, minerals such as calcium, potassium and zinc and essential fatty acids.
* Seeds - Seeds such as hemp seeds, Sunflower seeds etc are other rich sources of protein that vegetarians can consume. While these might appear small, they have lots of nutrients packed within them. Hemp seeds contain up to 34.6 grams of protein, along with all the 22 amino acids. Hemp seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds are also quite rich in Vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. You can use these in the powdered form - just sprinkle them on your salads or side dishes and enjoy great flavor in addition to high quality nutrition.
* Nuts - An essential source of nutrition for hundreds of years, these crunchy delights are a rich source of protein as well. You can eat them as a snack, add them to side dishes, or simply sprinkle over salads. All types of nuts including hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, almonds etc are packed with nutrition. They are full of fiber, Vitamin E, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. However, nuts are also quite calorie-dense, so go easy on them.
As per health experts, on an average each individual should consume up to 40 grams of protein per 100 pounds of body mass. The above-mentioned Vegetarian sources of Protein can easily fulfill these requirements and promote healthy muscular development in adults and children.