YES, YOU CAN GET YOUR PROTEIN FROM VEGETARIAN FOODS!


Get Your Protein from Vegetarian Foods - Here, we have put together a list of popular vegetarian food picks that are packed with the essential proteins you need. We have classified them into food groups, along with the recommended serving and the corresponding amount of protein they provide.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BUILD MUSCLE & LOSE FAT BY EATING PLANTS

 

If you’ve gone or are thinking of going vegetarian, the most common objection you’ve received could be regarding your protein source.

It’s popular belief that people who steer clear of meat and other animal products, such as eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy items, don’t get enough of the required protein (to build muscle).

A few basic facts

Amino acids are considered the basic building blocks of protein, and there are 20 of them that can be found either in the human body or in the foods we eat.

Amino acids link together to form large protein molecules known as peptides, which further link up to form the actual proteins.

Different proteins are responsible for the different processes that take place in the human body. To keep healthy, we need to make sure we have all 20 amino acids on a regular basis.

It’s a good thing we need not worry about 11 of them, which are already manufactured by chemicals in our body. All we need to pay attention to are the nine essential amino acids that the body does not make. Instead, we get these from the foods we eat.

What comprises amino acids, and why they are vital to the human body?

Amino acids are a group of organic molecules consisting of a basic amine group (one nitrogen and two hydrogen atoms), an acidic carboxyl group (one carbon, two oxygen, and one hydrogen atoms), and an organic side chain that is unique to each amino acid.

A combination of carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen, and/or oxygen comprise these side chains. What makes one amino acid unique from the other is the configuration of these elements.

Isoleucine, leucine, and valine are branched-chain amino acids responsible for the structure of our muscles.

Aromatic amino acids such as tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan have a ring-shaped side chain and are essential for manufacturing serotonin and melatonin.

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for sending messages between nerve cells and is quite vital for healthy and restful slumber.

In addition to modulating appetite, metabolism, and sexuality, serotonin also helps elevate the mood and prevent mood swings.

On the other hand, melatonin is a pervasive neurotransmitter-like compound that is quite valuable in the biological and physiologic regulation of circadian rhythms or the interior body clock.

Melatonin is also known as a potent antioxidant that safeguards nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

Lysine is one of nine essential amino acids required for growth and tissue repair. Specifically, it helps in the absorption and conservation of calcium, as well as the production of collagen.

A deficiency in lysine can manifest in a number of ways: nausea, dizziness, fatigue, agitation, poor appetite, anemia, and delayed growth. Additionally, kidney stones and reproductive disorders are often associated with a lack of lysine in the diet.

Athletes and fitness buffs who frequently engage in strenuous workouts, as well as vegetarians who adopt a macrobiotic diet, are highly susceptible to lysine deficiencies or disorders.

Is soy a healthy source of non-animal protein?

Just as many great things have been attributed to soy, there is also growing concern over whether a soy-rich diet can truly benefit one’s health.

It has long been said that soy is rich in isoflavones that help guard against a wide range of diseases and encourage optimum health. Isoflavones are plant-derived compounds capable of exerting estrogen-like effects.

For this reason, they are classified as a type of phytoestrogen, which can compete at estrogen receptor sites to block the stronger forms that the body produces naturally.

Advocates claim that this can greatly lower one’s risk of heart disease and breast or prostate cancer. Furthermore, this also helps alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of menopause and slow down or even reverse osteoporosis.

On the other hand, you will also come across other scientific reports claiming that excessive consumption of soy and soy-based products can actually be dangerous to one’s health. Here are the main points of this claim:

  • Genistein and daidzein, the two major phytoestrogens in soy, may actually stimulate existing breast cancer growth.
  • Soy contains phytates, which can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb minerals.
  • Enzyme inhibitors present in soy can slow down protein digestion.
  • Soy also contains hemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells (erythrocytes) to agglutinate or clump together. When blood cells are clustered, they cannot absorb and distribute oxygen efficiently to the tissues, a process which is vital to optimum heart health.

As you can see, there exists a great deal of conflicting claims regarding the benefits and downsides of consuming soy.

It is our assessment that you’ll be on the safer side when you don’t rely heavily on soy or soy-related products to fulfill the larger part of your protein requirements.

Top vegetarian protein sources you can add to your diet

Of course, we won’t leave you at a loss regarding the best alternative protein sources, especially when seeking vegetarian options.

Below, we have put together a list of popular vegetarian food picks that are packed with the essential proteins you need. We have classified them into food groups, along with the recommended serving and the corresponding amount of protein they provide.

Vegetables and Fruits

  • Apricots, dried (1/2 cup) — provides 190 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Asparagus (1/2 cup) — provides 20 calories and 2 grams of protein
  • Brussel sprouts (1 cup) — provides 65 calories and 6 grams of protein
  • Broccoli (1 cup) — provides 52 calories and 6 grams of protein
  • Corn, yellow canned (2/3 cup) — provides 80 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Cow peas (2 oz.) — provides 74 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Lima beans (4 oz.) — provides 88 calories and 5 grams of protein
  • Navy beans (4 oz.) — provides 88 calories and 8 grams of protein
  • Peas (4 oz.) — provides 108 calories and 8 grams of protein
  • Peaches, dried (1/2 cup) — provides 185 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Potato, skin-on (1 medium) — provides 161 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Spinach, chopped (1 cup) — provides 65 calories and 6 grams of protein
  • Soy beans (1 oz.) — provides 35 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (1 oz.) — provides 72 calories and 4 grams of protein

Special note: Only a few vegetables contain all essential amino acids.

Dairy Products

  • Egg (1 whole) — provides 77 calories and 6 grams of protein
  • Egg whites (from 1 whole egg) — provides 16 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Cheddar cheese (1 oz.) — provides 113 calories and 7 grams of protein
  • Cottage cheese, 2% low-fat (1 cup) — provides 163 calories and 28 grams of protein
  • Feta cheese (1/2 cup) — provides 200 calories and 21 grams of protein
  • Gouda cheese (1 oz.) — provides 100 calories and 8 grams of protein
  • Mozzarella cheese (1 oz.) — provides 71 calories and 7 grams of protein
  • Parmesan cheese (1 oz.) — provides 116 calories and 7 grams of protein
  • Provolone cheese (1 oz.) — provides 98 calories and 7 grams of protein
  • Ricotta cheese, low—fat (1/2 cup) — provides 171 calories and 14 grams of protein
  • Romano cheese (1 oz.) — provides 108 calories and 9 grams of protein
  • Swiss cheese (1 oz.) — provides 100 calories and 8 grams of protein
  • Milk (1 cup) — provides 137 calories and 10 grams of protein
  • Yogurt, low-fat (1 cup) — provides 137 calories and 14 grams of protein

Special note: Dairy products contain all essential amino acids and are mostly high in lysine.

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds, roasted (1 oz.) — provides 171 calories and 6 grams of protein
  • Cashew nuts (1 oz.) — provides 164 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Black walnuts (1 oz.) — provides 173 calories and 7 grams of protein
  • Flax seeds (1 tbsp.) — provides 100 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Hemp seeds (2 tbsp.) — provides 160 calories and 11 grams of protein
  • Peanuts, shelled (1 oz.) — provides 160 calories and 7 grams of protein
  • Pine nuts (1 oz.) — provides 190 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Pistachios (1 oz.) — provides 161 calories and 6 grams of protein
  • Pumpkin or squash seeds (1 oz.) — provides 126 calories and 5 grams of protein
  • Sunflower seeds (1 oz.) — provides 166 calories and 5 grams of protein

Special note: Nuts and seeds are usually low in lysine.

Breads, Cereal, Grains, and Pasta

  • Bread, oatmeal (1 slice) — provides 73 calories and 2 grams of protein
  • Bread, pita white enriched (4” diameter) — provides 77 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Bread, pita whole wheat (4” diameter) — provides 74 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Bread, pumpernickel (1 slice) — provides 65 calories and 2 grams of protein
  • Bread, rye (1 slice) — provides 83 calories and 2 grams of protein
  • Bread, reduced-calorie white (1 slice) — provides 48 calories and 2 grams of protein
  • Bread, white (1 slice) — provides 67 calories and 2 grams of protein
  • Bread, whole wheat (1 slice) — provides 69 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Buckwheat (1 oz.) — provides 96 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Bulgur, dry (1 oz.) — provides 96 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Couscous, dry (1 oz.) — provides 105 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Egg noodles, dry (1 oz.) — provides 219 calories and 8 grams of protein
  • Millet, raw (1 oz.) — provides 106 calories and 3 grams of protein
  • Oats (1 oz.) — provides 109 calories and 5 grams of protein
  • Oat bran (1 oz.) — provides 59 calories and 5 grams of protein
  • Rice, white cooked (1 cup) — provides 194 calories and 4 grams of protein
  • Rice, brown, long-grain cooked (1 cup) — provides 216 calories and 5 grams of protein
  • Spaghetti, whole wheat (2 oz.) — provides 198 calories and 8 grams of protein
  • Wheat flour (1 oz.) — provides 95 calories and 4 grams of protein

Special note: Foods from the grains group are also mostly low in lysine.

For more ideas on how to get your protein from vegetarian foods, watch this video – Top 10 Vegetarian Protein Sources

Author Bio:

Chris Willitts (creator of V3), is the founder and owner of Vegetarian Bodybuilding.

V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System is a mixture of science and author’s advice, providing users with optimal diet and exercise. This system is designed for vegans and vegetarians only.

A lot of research has been put in this program. Furthermore, a lot of professional bodybuilders and athletes tried and tested the program, praising its progressiveness and efficiency.

The program is about taking control of your own body and health according to your potential and needs. And worry not; you’ll get plenty of proteins with this system. It will boost you with energy, and you’ll feel just a strong as any carnivore would (perhaps even stronger, depending on how much you invest in your exercise). It avoids vitamins deficiency and provides you with a lot of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Instead of saying things like “I think a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders,” the V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System claims “I know a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders, and I have results to prove it.”

To find out more, visit the website at V3 Bodybuilding – Get Your Protein from Vegetarian Foods

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