Protein is a key nutrient for growing and maintaining muscle and achieving your health and fitness goals. Additionally, it helps keep you full. As personal trainers, we get asked questions about healthy foods and even about vegetarian protein sources, all the time.
Even though people wonder where vegetarians get their protein, it really isn’t difficult to meet the necessary quantity on a healthy foods vegetarian diet. And yes, the list of vegetarian proteins extends way beyond tofu. Have a look at this personal trainer recommended list of high-protein vegetarian healthy foods to enhance your diet.
Lentils: Lentils are a protein powerhouse stuffed into a very small package. Not only do they deliver vegan protein, a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils gives you 8 grams of fiber. Fiber is great for your heart, helps keep you and your weight in check.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are nutrient dense. They deliver fiber, protein and omega-3s. You can combine them into smoothies, create chia-seed butter for toast to include more healthy foods into delicious desserts.
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is delicious in smoothies, layered with fruit and granola as a parfait and used as a sour cream substitute on tacos or in dips. Additionally, it provides calcium and gut-healthy probiotics. Choose plain yogurt over flavored kinds to remove additional sugar.
Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is a bit higher in sodium than Greek yogurt, so bear this in mind if you are watching your salt consumption. However, it works nicely as a savory dip or sweetened up using fruit.
Quinoa: Quinoa is unique among plant proteins since it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. One cup of cooked quinoa also has 5 grams of fiber. Quinoa is rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, magnesium, thiamine and folate. And as an added bonus, quinoa is gluten-free.
Peanut Butter: Peanut butter, and peanuts, are full of fiber, fat and protein. That winning combination of nutrition helps keep you full. Try peanut butter on toast, mix it into smoothies or as a sauce for certain healthy foods dishes.
Beans: Beans provide fiber, a nutritional supplement most of us do not get enough of. They're also an inexpensive and effortless way to add protein into dips, tacos, soups and salads. Plus, beans are a plant-based supply of iron.
Almonds: Like peanuts, almonds have the super-filling trifecta of fiber, fat and protein. They're a fantastic vegetarian choice to keep hunger at bay. Grab a handful for a snack or sprinkle them on salads for a protein boost.
We hope these healthy foods protein sources give you some more options to incorporate into your diet. It can be hard sometimes to always track your healthy foods sources to make sure that your getting enough of the right stuff. Creating good habits around healthy foods for your meals will help make it more consistent when reaching for snacks during the day.
As personal trainers we promise that once you get into a habit of eating certain things throughout the day, it well get easier and become second nature. If you haven’t already scheduled an initial consult call us today and lets get you on track to a healthy and fit lifestyle.