Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a few conversations with people about protein. Specifically, how vegetarians get enough protein. Whether you are vegetarian, pescatarian or even just trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet, according to WebMD, here are the recommended daily requirements of protein.
- Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
- Adult women need about 46 grams a day (pregnant or lactating women need 71 grams of protein a day).
1. Legumes. These are also called dried beans and are edible seeds that grow in pods. Since they are inexpensive, they have been a popular part of diets around the world for thousands of years. A great way to incorporate legumes into your diet is to move them into your main dish, rather than just sides.
Recipe ideas: chili, falafel, Chickpea Soup, Hummus
Protein: 8.86 grams of protein in 100g of black beans – full chart of legume proteins
Recipe ideas: Oven baked green beans with walnuts
Protein: Nearly 9 grams of protein in 2 tbsp of peanut butter – full chart of nut and seed protein
3. Dairy. Dairy products are made from milk. It’s best to choose lower fat dairy for daily use, but high-fat cheese and ice cream are nice treats. Look for products that do not contain extra additives and preservatives.
Protein: 7.79 grams of protein in an ounce of low-fat mozzarella - full chart of dairy protein
4. Cereals & Grains. High quality grains like quinoa offer a ton of protein. Use whole grain flours, cereals, wheat bread, etc.
Recipe ideas: Cranberry Bean Quinoa
Protein: 9 grams of protein in 1 cup of quinoa
5. Vegetables. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, vegetables are known to provide protection against illnesses. Buy veggies that are firm and bright. Nutritional value decreases as veggies age, so be sure to buy fresh vegetables.
Protein: 1 cup of cooked kale has 2.47 grams of protein – Chart of nutrients in veggies
6. Fruit. This is surprising to most people, but even fruit contains protein.
Recipe ideas: Apple beet salad
Protein: 1 avocado has 4 grams of protein - Chart of nutrients in fruit
7. Egg. Whether the egg is brown or white, both have significant amounts of protein.
Recipe ideas: Fritatta
Protein: 1 egg provides 6 grams of protein
How do you get most of your protein? Did you realize there were so many sources of protein that do not involve meat?