|Friday 7th August 2009|
Protein For Vegetarians
It is a common misconception that vegetarian diets lack the essential protein the human body needs. In fact, there is a wealth of foodstuffs available to vegetarians that provide more than enough protein for a healthy life. Vegetarians still need to be careful that they get enough of the right foods to meet their protein needs, but as you can see here, the sheer variety of protein rich foods makes that an easy task.
Pulses : Pulses include beans, lentils and peas. These are very nutritious and a good source of protein. In particular, soybeans are incredibly versatile and provide a huge range of products. These include tofu, Tempe, miso, flour and soy to name a few.
Nuts : All kinds of nuts, including brazil nuts, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias and coconuts, are all great protein sources.
Seeds : You may not think seeds sound particularly appetising by themselves, but seeds are commonly found adorning bread and other foodstuffs as a supplementary flavour. These include sesame, poppy and sunflower. Linseed, also know as flax, is a particularly good source of Omega-3.
Grains : Many grains such as wheat, spelt and oats are protein rich. Wheat protein (gluten) is also often processed into imitation meat products.
Dairy : Dairy produce such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are all good protein sources. Vegetarian cheese is becoming far more prevalent and can be easily identified by checking the label. Dairy goods are also a great source of calcium.
Eggs : Not all vegetarians eat eggs of course, but they are super nutritious, full of minerals, Omega-3, protein and antioxidants. Insist on free-range eggs.
Fruit & Veg. : There are some vegetables high in protein including spinach, asparagus, artichokes and broccoli. Many fruits such as bananas and blackberries also have reasonably high protein content.
Therefore, as demonstrated, as long as vegetarians eat a varied diet, they are very unlikely to suffer from lack of protein. In addition, by combining foods, vegetarians get access to the whole range of essential proteins.