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8 great sources of protein that aren’t meat

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In the world of nutrition, protein is a vital component for the body. It is responsible for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and is an essential building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. While meat is often associated as the primary source of protein, there are numerous alternatives that are not only rich in protein but also packed with other essential nutrients. In this post, we will explore eight great sources of protein that aren’t meat.

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. One cup of cooked quinoa provides about 8 grams of protein.

Not only is quinoa a great source of protein, but it’s also packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It’s also gluten-free, making it a great choice for people with celiac disease or those following a gluten-free diet.

2. Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume that is rich in protein. One cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein. They are also a great source of dietary fiber, which can help to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Lentils are also high in folate and manganese, and they can be a good source of iron. They’re easy to prepare and can be added to a variety of dishes, making them a versatile addition to your diet.

3. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a dairy product that is known for its high protein content. A 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt can provide up to 20 grams of protein. It’s also a good source of calcium and probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health.

When choosing Greek yogurt, opt for the plain varieties to avoid added sugars. You can add your own sweetness with fresh fruits, honey, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

4. Tofu

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food made from condensed soy milk. It’s a popular protein source for vegetarians and vegans. A 3.5-ounce serving of tofu provides about 8 grams of protein.

Tofu is also a good source of iron and calcium. It has a mild flavor that can absorb the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked with, making it a versatile addition to a variety of dishes.

5. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that is rich in protein. One cup of cooked chickpeas provides about 15 grams of protein. They’re also packed with dietary fiber, which can help to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Chickpeas are also a good source of iron, phosphorus, and manganese. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and soups to hummus and falafel.

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Image Credit: Owl_photographer / Shutterstock.com

6. Almonds

Almonds are a type of nut that is high in protein. A one-ounce serving of almonds provides about 6 grams of protein. They’re also a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin E.

Almonds can be enjoyed raw or roasted, and they can also be used to make almond milk or almond butter. They’re a great snack option for those looking for a protein-rich, on-the-go option.

7. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that are packed with protein. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide about 4 grams of protein. They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants.

Chia seeds can be added to a variety of dishes, from smoothies and yogurt to baked goods and salads. They can also be used to make chia pudding, a healthy and delicious snack or breakfast option.

8. Eggs

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. One large egg provides about 6 grams of protein, along with a wealth of other nutrients like vitamins A, B12, D, E, and K, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium.

Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways, from boiled and scrambled to poached and baked. They’re a great way to add a protein boost to your meals.

Food Quality

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in many bodily functions. While meat is a common source of protein, there are plenty of other foods that can provide this important nutrient. By incorporating a variety of these protein-rich foods into your diet, you can ensure you’re getting a good balance of nutrients.

Remember, it’s not just about the quantity of protein, but also the quality. Foods like quinoa, lentils, Greek yogurt, tofu, chickpeas, almonds, chia seeds, and eggs are not only high in protein, but also packed with other essential nutrients that can contribute to a healthy diet.

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