It’s far easier to find healthy protein sources for vegetarians than it is for vegans. It’s because vegetarians do eat some animal products, such as eggs, dairy or both. Lacto vegetarians consume dairy, while ovo consume eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians consume both. Not all plant protein sources contain all the essential amino acids necessary to remain healthy, but animal sources, like eggs, do.
Include dairy and eggs in your diet frequently.
Egg salad, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, whole milk and cheese are excellent protein sources. While both eggs and milk are great protein sources, eggs have a better quality of protein in a better ratio than milk. It’s also more bioavailable. For some people who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies, eggs are definitely the best option. It’s easier to ensure you have a complete protein if you include milk or milk products and eggs in your diet. Both milk products and eggs are also budget savers.
Look for the most complete protein or combine proteins.
There are twenty amino acids that the body uses, and they can make all but nine. Those are the essential amino acids. The nine amino acids include: histidine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, threonine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine and valine. Plant based protein often lacks one or two of them, unless they are a complete protein source. Some options that are good plant sources include buckwheat, which is extremely healthy, soy, quinoa and Ezekiel bread.
Combine sources of protein for a complete protein.
You can combine two incomplete sources to create a complete protein source. For instance, beans have a low amount of methionine and a high amount of lysine, while rice is low in lysine with a high amount of methionine. When you combine them, you get the perfect duo that is a complete source of protein. However, you don’t have to balance proteins at one meal if you use plant proteins. You can eat two compatible incomplete proteins at different meals that day to keep in balance and have a complete protein source.
- Opting for a vegetarian diet can save money. It’s one reason meatless Mondays have become so popular. You can use lentils with rice, oats, wheat, rye and corn to make it complete.
- Chickpeas provide 7.25 grams of protein per half cup. You can even use them to make hummus, a great dip that’s perfect for healthy snacks. Scoop up that hummus with pita bread for a complete protein snack.
- You might not realize that leafy, green vegetables provide protein. For instance, kale has 2 grams per cup, while broccoli has as much as aa4 grams for every stalk you consume.
- If you’re making an omelet as your breakfast protein source, you can boost the protein by adding mushrooms, which has 3 grams of protein for five mushrooms. Add Ezekiel bread toast and you’ve started your day with a protein rich menu.
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