If you are vegetarian or vegan, it may be harder to get enough protein on a daily basis. Learn about vegetables that are high in protein
We all know that protein is an important part of a healthy diet. But if you are vegetarian or vegan, it may be harder to get enough protein on a daily basis, since vegetables tend to have less protein than meat.
However, it is important to get your protein from plant-based foods whenever possible. Eating plant-based sources of protein, such as beans, peas, nuts, seeds, whole grains, is a win for your health.
If you plan to derive most or all your protein intake from vegetables and other vegetarian food, include a variety of them in your diet so that you do not miss out on the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Vegetables that are high in protein
Vegetables you should include in your diet to improve your protein intake include:
- Brussels sprouts
Other plant sources of protein include:
- Black beans
- Chickpeas or garbanzo
- Edamame or soybeans
- Soy products
- Whole grains
- Wild rice
Animal-based foods (other than red meat) that are high in protein
When it comes to eating animal foods to get your daily protein, make smart choices. You can skip red meat on most occasions and instead go for poultry or seafood. Examples include chicken, turkey, duck, fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Eggs also provide you with a good amount of protein.
If you want to have dairy, avoid having more than 2 servings a day. Limit the intake of cheese and milk and replace them with yogurt whenever possible.
What are the benefits of eating plant-based sources of protein?
Red and processed meat can make you more likely to gain weight and increase your sugar levels as well as bad cholesterol levels. Some types of red meats have also been associated with cancers of the intestines and colon.
How much protein do you need?
According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should aim to get at least 7 grams of daily protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. For example, a 140-pound person should have 50 grams of protein each day. Your protein intake should be anywhere from 10%- 35% of your daily calories.
Daily protein requirements are higher for people who are highly active, pregnant and lactating women, and children who are still growing. Those with kidney or liver disorders, however, may be asked to cut down their daily protein intake.
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Medically Reviewed on 10/26/2021
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Food Data Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/
Harvard T. H. Chan. Protein. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/