The Best High Protein Vegetarian Foods
Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet. Protein exists in every living cell in the body. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is necessary in repairing tissues, growing new cells, and producing various hormones and enzymes in the body. The Centers for Disease Control report that the average woman should consume about 46 grams of protein and the average man about 56 grams of protein daily.
Finding high protein vegetarian foods can be challenging. Since meat and animal products are the richest sources of protein, vegetarians need to find it in alternative sources. Among the best high protein vegetarian foods are nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and dairy products for vegetarians who do not avoid all animal products.
Nuts, seeds, and grains:
The best high protein vegetarian foods are nuts and seeds. Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, and walnuts contain around 20 grams of protein per 100 grams. On average, peanut butter contains about four grams of protein per tablespoon. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are rich in protein. An ounce of sunflower seeds contains about six grams of protein. Whole wheat bread is good for about three grams of protein per slice.
Some of the best high protein vegetarian foods are vegetables. Potatoes, sweet peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes are among the best vegetables in the category. Beans, in particular soy beans and soy products, are top high protein vegetarian foods. A cup of soy beans contains more than 20 grams of protein. Lentils provide about eight grams of protein per serving.
For vegetarians who only restrict consumption of meat and are open to eating eggs and dairy products, dairy products can be great sources of protein rich foods. A cup of milk contains about eight grams of protein. Eggs also contain eight grams of protein on average. Various cheeses contain some of the highest concentrations of protein. An ounce of cheddar cheese has seven grams of protein. Provolone, parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, and many other cheeses contain similar levels.
Protein is needed in high quantities in the diet because it comes into play in every cell of the body. Adults need an estimated 45 to 55 grams of protein per day, though the CDC suggests that protein should account for between 10 and 35 percent of all calories consumed. Because it is primarily found in meat and fish, the best high protein vegetarian foods are from alternative sources including nuts, beans, vegetables, and in some cases dairy products.
Written by William Menna
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