Getting sufficient protein amounts is a concern that people following vegetarian and vegan diets may have. But the truth is, adequate protein can come from various plant and grain sources.
Certain plant foods contain significantly more protein than others, and it’s a fact that higher protein diets can promote muscle strength, feelings of fullness, and even weight loss. In fact, a well-planned meatless diet can provide all the nutrients you need; even protein.
Vegan diets may support weight goals, blood pressure, heart health, and more…
A vegan diet has been linked to a lower risk of cancer. What’s more, it also appears to reduce pain from arthritis and may further reduce your likelihood of experiencing age-related cognitive decline.
Plant-based diets are also linked to several other health benefits, including lower blood pressure, better-regulated blood sugar levels, and a healthier heart.
Making sure you get an adequate amount of protein when following a vegan or vegetarian diet
There are nine essential amino acids found in nature which are considered essential for building protein; your body cannot produce them itself - you need to get them from food sources.
Animal protein contains all nine essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. Plants also contain all nine essential amino acids — however, most typically offer a limited amount of at least one essential amino acid.
For instance, beans, lentils, peas, and many vegetables tend to contain low amounts of cysteine and methionine. On the other hand, grains, nuts, and seeds tend to be low in lysine.
As long as you eat a variety of plant-based proteins, you can ingest a sufficient amount of all the essential amino acids your body needs.
Seitan is a popular protein source for many vegetarians and vegans.
It’s made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. Also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, it contains about 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), making it one of the richest plant protein sources available.
Seitan is also a good source of selenium and contains small amounts of iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
ReBuilt Meals offers seitan in a variety of plant based menu options, including: Sesame Garlic Braised Seitan, and Pineapple BBQ Seitan.
Lentils are a fantastic source of protein, with 18 grams of protein per cooked cup. Lentils are also a great source of fiber, providing over half of your recommended daily fiber intake in a single cup.
The type of fiber found in lentils has been shown to feed the good bacteria in your colon, promoting a healthier gut. Lentils may also reduce your chance of heart disease, diabetes, excess body weight, and certain types of cancer.
In addition, lentils are rich in folate, manganese, and iron. They also contain a hearty dose of antioxidants.
Lemon Tahini and Curried Lentils are just two ways ReBuilt Meals prepares our lentils to offer our clients the tastiest variety of meals.
Kidney, black, pinto, and most other varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another type of bean with a high protein content.
Most types of beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. They’re an excellent source of complex carbs, fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.
A diet rich in beans and other legumes can help decrease cholesterol levels, manage blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and even reduce belly fat.
Recipes like ReBuilt Meals’ Sweet Corn & Kidney Bean Stew or White Bean & Tomatillo Chili are perfect blends of a few different protein sources that are a delicious combination.
4. Green peas
Green peas contain nearly 9 grams of protein per cooked cup, which is slightly more than a cup of dairy milk. A serving of green peas covers more than 25% of your daily fiber, thiamine, folate, manganese, and vitamin A, C, and K needs.
Green peas are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and several B vitamins.
Green peas are also highly diverse and can be an ingredient in a variety of different meal options. Some tasty options offered by ReBuilt Meals include Brown Rice & Herbed Stuffing, and Gluten Free Pasta Primavera.
Although quinoa is often referred to as an ancient or gluten-free grain, it’s technically considered a pseudocereal. Similarly to more commonly known grains, it can be ground into a flour.
Quinoa provides 8–9 grams of protein per cooked cup and is a complete source of protein, which is uncommon among grains as well as pseudocereals.
Quinoa is a good sources of complex carbs, fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Due to the high protein value, and the rich nutrient source, quinoa can be found in many of ReBuilt Meals’ recipes, as a side in non-plant based meals, or as a main protein source in the plant based options.
6. Protein-rich vegetables
Although all fruits and vegetables contain protein, some contain more than others.
Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, which typically contain 4–5 grams of protein per cooked cup.
Not surprisingly, these vegetables are the staple vegetable sources in not only the plant based options, but many of the Lifestyle, Performance, and Keto meal options as well.
ReBuilt Meals has so many options to enjoy plant based meals that provide all of the nutrients you need, even protein! Check out our menu - it changes weekly, so you'll never be bored!