There is a long-standing and widely accepted myth that if you’re a vegetarian, abstaining from chicken or red meat, you don’t have enough protein in your diet.
We now know that these claims are myths. Vegans and vegetarian don’t even need to stuff themselves with beans in order to get enough protein. Complete plant-based proteins are everywhere and easily available.
Protein is in fact important for the body. It builds muscles, fuels the brain, keeps skin and hair healthy, and maintains proper organ functionality.
A vegetarian or vegan can eat a wide array of foods that are rich in essential and non-essential amino acids, and get the daily recommended amount of protein. Why would anyone assume that humans need meat in order to get enough protein in their diets, when animals like horses and cows grow big and strong on diets of grass alone?
The good news is that humans don’t need to eat handfuls of grass to get their protein. The following are some plant-based, protein-rich foods:
Broccoli: 5 grams per cup
Spinach: 5 grams per cup
Rye Grains: 5 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
Rolled Oats: 7 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
Freekah: 5 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
Buckwheat: 7 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
Almond Butter: 7 Grams per 2 tablespoons
Spirulina: 4 grams per teaspoon (!!)
Flax Seeds: 5 grams per 2 tablespoons
Cacao Powder: 5 grams per 2 tablespoons
Kale: 5 grams per cup
Lentils: 18 grams per cup
Black Beans: 13 grams per cup
Chickpeas: 13 grams per cup
Tofu: 10 grams per 3 ounces
Tempeh: 10 grams per 2 ounces
Soybean: 16 grams per cup
Romaine Lettuce: 3 grams per cup
Sunflower Seeds: 10 grams per 1/4 cup
Almonds: 7 grams per 1/4 cup
Pumpkin Seeds: 10 grams per 1/4 cup
Quinoa: 7 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
Green Peas: 8 grams per cup
Even most fruits and starchy vegetables have some protein. It’s ridiculous to believe that a person has to go searching for daily protein with a flashlight. You would be wise to make sure to get your protein as part of a diet of whole, healthy foods. Set yourself free from the myth that you need to eat animals in order to get protein. Actually, too much animal protein in your system is a bad thing: it can lead to kidney malfunction, blood sugar problems, and weight gain (when eaten in excess).
How much protein do you actually need? Just multiply your body weight times .40 and you have the amount that you should be consuming on a daily basis.