There is no denying the fact that meat is an excellent source of protein, but not everyone can (or wants) to include it in their diet: whether for health reasons or a matter of conscience, there are many people who consume less and less protein of animal origin . If you are among them and follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you will already know that it is very important to include more vegetable protein in your diet to replace the contribution that until now you obtained from other products such as meat, eggs, milk or fish. In this article we tell you what your options are if you decide to take this step.
- 1 Why is it important to include more plant protein in your diet?
- 2 6 ways to include more plant protein in your diet
Why is it important to include more plant protein in your diet?
Whether you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet or eat all kinds of food, you cannot ignore the importance of plant proteins in your body. Diets rich in plant proteins are associated with many health benefits . Studies suggest that those who do not eat meat and get their protein from other sources tend to have lower body weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They also have a lower risk of stroke , cancer, and death from cardiovascular disease than non-vegetarians.
It is often said that those who banish meat from their diet have limited options to meet their protein needs. However, this is not true, as there are numerous sources of plant protein . You just have to know how to combine them in the right way to obtain all the necessary nutrients , since in most cases vegetables will not have all the necessary essential amino acids and they will have to be combined with nuts or cereals. Here is a list of 7 easy ways to increase your consumption of plant proteins.
6 ways to include more plant protein in your diet
Add chopped almonds to your smoothies
Almonds are a source of several essential nutrients and minerals. Besides being an excellent source of protein, almonds are rich in fiber and magnesium. A 28-gram serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein . So the next time you’re making a smoothie for breakfast, snack, or post-workout, sprinkle a tablespoon of chopped almonds on it to boost its nutritional value and flavor as well.
Make yourself varied salads rich in vegetable protein
A good way to include more plant protein in your diet is to increase the nutritional value of your salads. To do this, you can add more protein-rich foods. Start by substituting the typical lettuce for spinach leaves, which have a higher protein content . Accompany it with a generous amount of seeds, tofu, nuts, etc.
Switch to legumes
The Mediterranean diet has always been considered one of the healthiest in gastronomy around the world, and there are good reasons to do so. This diet is not only rich in healthy foods but includes many recipes with one of the foods that have a higher protein content: legumes .
The stew, the lentils with rice, the fabada, the chickpeas with spinach and other typical spoon dishes of our country are a great way to include vegetable protein in your diet. You just have to prepare the light version and do not include meat or sausages such as chorizo or blood sausage in its preparation.
Taste the algae
Seaweed is not a traditional food in our diet, but thanks to such popular foods as sushi (which contains nori seaweed) they are gradually being introduced into our kitchen. And that’s perfect if you want to eat more vegetable proteins, since seaweed has a lot: wakame seaweed has 12 grams. of protein every 100 g; nori seaweed, with 38; and spirulina algae, with 58 .
Have vegetable snacks between meals
Another smart way to include more plant protein in your diet is through snacks. The goal of these mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks is to ensure that we do not arrive hungry and devastating at the next meal, and they are the perfect opportunity to opt for foods rich in nutrients such as vegetable proteins instead of empty calories and sugars (such as the ones in French fries or cereal bars). A good option is to have chickpea hummus with carrot sticks .
Add vegetables and nuts to your breakfast
A good way to include more plant protein in your diet is to have it at breakfast. Try swapping the orange juice for a revitalizing fruit and vegetable smoothie (for example, spinach, cucumber, apple, mint, and lemon) and the cookies for an oatmeal, strawberry, and nut muesli.