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Top Vegetarian And Vegan Sources Of Protein

Proteins can be found in many different types of food, plants, as well as in animals. People who choose to be vegetarian or vegan, face a challenge to find good sources of protein. This article tries to mention and explain the benefits you get from consuming one of top vegetarian sources of proteins. 

What is a protein and how it helps your body?

Protein is essential and very important for everybody’s diet. Protein is important for everything, starting from healthy hair and nails to encouraging muscle growth and helping you to feel full longer, by taking more time to digest than carbs. The are several studies which show that the three macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) affect our bodies in different ways, and that protein is by far the most filling of the three.

Protein helps you feel fuller with less food. This is partly because it helps reduce the level of a hormone in your body called ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for hunger, and it also raises the level of the satiety hormone peptide YY, which makes you feel full. Research involving overweight women who increased their intake of protein from 15 to 30 percent of total calories, ending up eating 441 fewer calories each day, though they hadn’t intentionally aimed to restrict them.

Why consuming proteins is so important?

People who undertake a certain diet, if neglect the intake or consumption of food rich in protein, might start to feel nagging hunger pangs and their diet falls off track. Hunger makes your decision making more difficult, it is harder to focus and you might feel dizzy.

That is why many nutritionists many other experts recommend increasing protein intake to help battle cravings and keep hunger pangs at bay. But how much protein should you eat? According to Mayo Clinic, about 20 percent of your daily calories come from protein, although there isn’t really just one ideal amount for all – if you work out longer and/or harder than most, such as training for a marathon, you’ll probably need to aim for a diet that’s made up of 25 percent protein.

Some of the best sources of proteins

For vegetarians, as well as for vegans that can be a little challenging. There are lots of great vegetarian sources that will help you battle hunger, including the following.

  1. Beans

Beans - sources of protein

Beans are a healthy, versatile and super affordable food. They are high in antioxidants, fiberprotein, B vitamins, iron, magnesiumpotassium, copper and zinc. Consuming beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and helps with weight management.

Beans are probably one of the most commonly known vegetarian sources of protein. They’re considered to be a complete protein, which means they contain all essential amino acids. It is especially important to say that they are high in fiber, which helps with feeling full for a longer period of time. They also contain nutrients that support brain, muscle and heart health.

  1. Hemp Seeds

hemp-seeds-sources of proteins

Hemp seeds are marijuana’s edible cousin – they don’t get you high, but they are considered a superfood, with the ability to help fight heart disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity, partly because they’re high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

They have a mild, nutty flavor. Some people refer to them as hemp hearts. Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. As mentioned before they are very rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked with several health benefits. [2]

These tiny seeds are also powerhouses of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and phosphorus – and, they contain 3.3 grams of protein in just one tablespoon. You can toss them into a smoothie or consume them by sprinkling some onto a salad.

  1. Chickpeas

Chickpeas sources of protein

The chickpea or chick pea is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. As it says in Wikipedia, Its different types are variously known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, Egyptian pea. Its seeds are high in protein.

One of nature’s true wonder foods. Chickpeas are high in proteins. In 100g of cooked chickpeas with no salt, there are 8.86g of proteins. Here are more detailed nutrition facts. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system, and a good source of B vitamins, folate, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, zinc and phosphorous. Chickpeas can be consumed in many ways.

Protein digestibility is improved by all treatments of cooking. Essential amino acids are slightly increased by boiling and microwave cooking when compared to autoclaving and germination. Overall, microwave cooking leads to a significantly lower loss of nutrients compared to autoclaving and boiling.

Finally, all treatments lead to an improved protein digestibility, protein efficiency ratio, and essential amino acid index.

  1. Chia Seeds

chia seeds - souces of protein

Chia seeds are considered one of best superfoods in the diet communities. in the Mayan language, Chia means “strength” and they were also known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.[3]

They’re great for keeping you full and also aid the digestion process. While they aren’t especially high in protein, they do contain all nine essential amino acids as well as ALAs, a type of omega-3 that is known to lower the risk of heart disease.

Due to their combination of satiating protein, healthy fats, and fiber, they’re also a powerful hunger-busting tool. They can be sprinkled onto just about any food, including a fruit salad or a homemade smoothie. Check out these 21 chia seeds recipes, to find ways you can add chia seeds into your diet.

  1. Quinoa

red quinoa - sources of protein

Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods. It contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Also contains Iron, lysine, is rich in magnesium and high in Riboflavin (B2). Quinoa has a high content of manganese.

It’s actually an herbaceous plant and a gluten-free protein power superfood that offers a delicious nutty taste. It offers 8 grams of protein per one cup cooked, and as quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, it provides a boost of energy and helps to satisfy hunger in the same way meat would.

Interestingly, quinoa is an especially good source of a specific amino acid known as L-arginine, which has been found in studies to promote muscle over fat gain in animal studies.

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