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How to get protein into a vegetarian diet
If you're a vegetarian, you might be concerned about your protein levels.
Protein is an essential nutrient mainly found in meats and dairy products. Your body uses proteins to build new cells, maintain tissues and help your body restore and heal - without these essential components found in our diet, our body would struggle with the simplest tasks.
But for vegetarians, it can be hard to keep your protein levels topped up. Thankfully, we've found some of the best vegetarian-friendly, high-protein foods that be included in your daily diet to deliver enough proteins to your body.
Here are our favourite protein sources for vegetarians:
Quinoa is hugely popular among coeliacs as a pasta alternative as it is gluten-free, but this whole grain also has a high protein level. An average serving contains about 18 grams of protein as well as nine grams of fibre. It also includes all the essential amino acids making it a 'complete protein' - perfect for vegetarians looking to boost their protein intake.
2. Beans, legumes and lentils
The humble pea could be the ticket to boosting your protein levels, along with anything from the bean and lentil family. Black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas are particularly high in the essential nutrient with one cup of kidney beans containing a whopping 13.4 grams of protein. Whether you make a vegetarian chilli, hummous, a spicy dahl or a three bean salad you can keep you protein reserve topped up this season.
Most vegetarian will have tried soy products as a meat alternative already, but did you know that it is very high in protein too? Compared to meat, tofu offers up almost a third more protein and is also filled with calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Add tofu or soy cream or cheese to your pasta sauces, soups or salads and you'll have plenty of protein to keep you going through winter.