There’s the myth floating around, that if you're on a vegetarian diet that you can’t get enough protein.
While this is not 100% true, there are some elements of truth to it.
It CAN be hard to get enough protein if you’re not conscious of it, but it’s certainly not impossible!
So now let's launch into why we need protein and then we can let you know about the protein boosting foods that you can use in your next high protein vegetarian diet plan.
Why do we need protein?
To start, here's a few reasons why we all need protein.
Remember, it's not only the vegetarians that get all of the benefits of protein!
- Helping with muscle and strength gains
- Supporting injury recovery
- Assisting with bone density
- To help with your skin, hair and nail health
- Help with boosting your immune system
Is all protein created equally?
In short no they aren't.
If you're getting your 10 grams of protein from a protein powder versus eating eggs versus chomping on nuts, it's different for all of these.
It's hard to get a complete protein source at the best of times,
Why is it different?
Because proteins are made up of strings of amino acids and different sources of proteins are made up of different amino acids.
Therefore some proteins have a higher proportion of essential amino acids than other.
These are the most important amino acids we need.
There are also many different enzymes and compounds within foods that can help to decrease the absorption of protein.
Enter the DIAAS.
DIAAS is a scoring system for protein to use, it can help to show you just how high quality your protein source actually is.
Make sure to have a look at the DIAAS of your favourite protein source to see where it fits and if it's quality or not.
Now that's out of the way, we can start to concentrate on what vegetarian sources of protein are available for you.
What vegetarian sources of protein should your diet consist of?
Here's a good place to start, we have five vegetarian protein ideas for you to look at and try to add into your diet.
Remember, everything in moderation as you still have to make sure you're eating a balanced diet throughout the day.
If unsure, make sure to consult with a nutritionist or similar and work through your needs with them.
Our first vegetarian protein sources for you are eggs and dairy.
Eggs and dairy
In general, animal-based foods have a higher quality protein (measured by the DIAAS).
So if you’re on a vegetarian diet and are ok with eggs and dairy, it’ll certainly go a long way toward helping reach your daily protein requirements.
Using dairy products like milk or yoghurt as the base of your smoothies or adding a couple of boiled eggs to your salads is a fantastic and easy way to get some high-quality protein in your diet.
On top of that, they also contain a number of nutrients like Carnitine, Creatine and Vitamin B12 that aren’t prevalent in plant foods.
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Pretty much all protein powders, except Collagen and the insect based ones, are suitable for you if you're on a vegetarian protein diet.
And the progress of plant based proteins has accelerated over the years, now there's so many to choose form that test great and mix well (compared to the past).
And the great news is that most also score quite high on the DIAAS!
Some protein powder options include these ones below;
You can easily add these into your blender with your Smoothie Cubes for a delicious, nutritious, protein filled smoothie anytime of the day!
Chlorella and Spirulina
These two algaes are absolute powerhouses of nutrition and great sources of protein.
Spirulina is one of the highest sources of protein in any food, especially the plant kingdom.
So, how do you include these algae easily in your diet plan?
Getting a powdered form of these foods, then adding it to your daily smoothies is one great way to get more into your system.
Though not everyone is a fan of the unique taste they both offer.
If you don't believe us you can take the tablespoon into glass of water challenge and let us know how you go!
Thankfully though for all of us, there are also tablets to swallow or you could have our fantastic Super Greens Smoothie cubes which already has both of these wonder foods in it.
A very tasty alternative if you can't handle your super greens!
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are often touted as higher protein foods for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike.
BUT, they do contain some of those compounds we mentioned earlier that may have an impact on your digestion.
It’s a great idea to soak these foods overnight to help remove and reduce some of these compounds, and so, helping to enhance the digestion of your protein and more!
The higher nut and seed vegetarian protein options available to you include;
- Sunflower Seeds
If you’re looking for something quick, easy and nutritious to have with you when you’re out and about?
Look no further than the Super Cube Wholefoods Bars.
They're packed with wholefood ingredients and a great balance of protein, carbs and fat, to keep your energy stable too.
Once you try them, it's sure to become a new staple snack for you!
Which flavour will you be trying first as there is ten to choose from!
Can you get enough protein as a vegetarian?
We hope, after reading the above that you can see that the answer is a very clear yes!
It may take a little more preparation and attention to your diet than your meat eating Amigos and Amigas, but it is certainly possible to get good sources of vegetarian protein!
So whether you love spending time in the kitchen, just want something already prepared, or anything in between, you can certainly make some delicious food to give you all the protein you need!