8 Best Protein Food for Vegetarians [UPDATED 2022]

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Lifting weights and eating protein go hand in hand—or maybe hand in shaker bottle. But as great as protein powders are, they shouldn't be where you get all your protein! You need a diet built around protein-rich foods to get the full range of amino acids and nutrients. If you want to up your protein intake with the best sources of protein for weight loss and muscle building, here's your complete high-protein food list—plus easy recipe ideas to help you make it work! Each is high-protein and low-carb so you can enjoy them without undoing your progress. 

Best Protein Food for Vegetarians
Best Protein Food for Vegetarians

No protein, no life! It's as simple as that. Protein-rich foods are essential for building muscle and performing many other functions in the body. Therefore, it is important to find out what these foods are and stock up on them. what about you Do you have such foods in your diet? 

What is protein?
If you've ever dieted or talked to anyone about nutrition, you've probably heard the word protein. But while many people know that protein is important, they don't know what it actually is. The proteins we eat are made up of different amino acids. And this amino acid is used by the body for various functions, from making certain hormones to making certain proteins in the body. So, when the whole body digests the protein we get from our delicious hamburger or lentil soup, the amino acids that make up that protein are absorbed by the cells and used for many functions. There are 20 amino acids that make up proteins, and each is classified as essential, nonessential, or conditional: Nonessential amino acids can be made by your body (and do not need to be included in the diet). Essential amino acids are those that our body cannot make, and therefore must be obtained through diet. Conditional amino acids are considered essential during times of illness and stress. Hence their classification as essential is conditional. Regardless of whether a person is a non-vegetarian or a vegetarian (or somewhere in between), it is entirely possible to get all the amino acids the body needs, as long as they are choosing the right diet. 

What can protein do for you?
When people think of protein, thoughts of bodybuilders trying to build perfect muscles may come to mind. But protein is much more than a weightlifter's BFF. Proteins, or rather the amino acids that make up proteins, play many important roles in the body, including: Promoting satiety, and thus may support weight-management goals Reducing the risk of high blood pressure Support injury recovery Reduce the risk of sarcopenia (age-related loss of skeletal muscle) Help keep the immune system functioning In other words, if you're trying to support your overall health and wellness, you need to include protein in your diet. 

How Much Protein Do You Need?
Although protein is such an important nutrient to eat, it doesn't mean you're eating lots and loads of it every day. The amount of protein you need depends on several factors, including your weight, age, gender, and health status. n general, most healthy adults need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This equates to about 55 grams per day for an average-weight sedentary man and 45 grams per day for an average-weight sedentary woman. Protein needs can increase for a variety of reasons, including whether a person is physically active, whether she is pregnant or breastfeeding, or whether she is recovering from an injury or surgery. 

Best Protein Food for Vegetarians 

1. Soybean

Soybeans are low in saturated fat and high in vitamin C, protein and folate. They are excellent sources of calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. 1 cup of cooked soybeans will give you 28 grams of protein.

2. Cottage Cheese

Protein accounts for more than 70 percent of calories in cottage cheese, with 11 grams per 100-gram serving - with just 3.4 grams of carbs. It's especially high in casein, a slow-digesting milk protein, making it the perfect bedtime snack. In fact, eating 30 grams 30 minutes before nodding off has a positive effect on muscle quality and metabolism. 

3. Curd or Yoghurt

Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of protein, but they also contain valuable calcium and many are fortified with vitamin D. Choose skim or low-fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong and help prevent osteoporosis.

4. Almonds

Almonds are a nutritious tree nut rich in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium (7 Reliable Sources). They are also high in plant-based protein. Eating almonds can benefit your health in several ways, including reducing risk factors for heart disease, such as high LDL (bad) cholesterol and high blood pressure ( 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source ). Try adding some almonds to plant-based meals, such as grain bowls and salads, to fill up on protein and fiber. If you're looking to add more nuts to your diet, consider pistachios and cashews as well. Both of these healthy nuts also contain protein.

5. Oats

Oats provide a reliable source of around 17 grams of protein per 100 grams. They are also a source of complex carbohydrates. Raw oats are easy to prepare as oatmeal, and people can flavor them with a variety of healthy foods like fruits and nuts. People should avoid ready-made oatmeal because it often contains added sugar.

6. Milk

Milk is one of the best foods, as well as one of the most accessible and popular sources of protein. It is also rich in vitamin A and vitamin D. Protein content: 300 ml (1 cup) of cow's milk (skimmed/whole/low-fat) contains 276-352 mg of protein. Best way to consume: Boiled milk, without added sugar or any artificial flavoring. Ideal consumption (daily): 200 ml (one glass of milk) per day is sufficient for an adult.

7. Paneer

Paneer or cottage cheese is a good source of protein, especially for vegetarians. It is rich in Vitamin B12, Selenium, Calcium, Phosphorus and other minerals. Paneer is a great choice for a complete meal as it is filling like eggs.

8. Beans, lentils, peas, & soy

Legumes – beans, lentils, peas, seeds and soy – are good sources of protein and provide other essential nutrients. Yes, most are higher in carbs than the other foods on this list. However, they are also high in fiber. Plus, as an excellent source of plant-based protein, legumes are perfect for vegan and vegetarian weight loss diets. A review of 21 trials found that people who included beans, lentils, and other legumes in their diet lost weight without intentionally restricting calories. In addition, many studies have shown that consumption of soy products helps in reducing appetite and weight loss. While soy is considered a complete protein, beans and legumes are low in one or more amino acids that you need to eat to stay healthy. The good news is that combining a variety of plant proteins, such as beans and nuts, can provide your body with adequate amounts of all the amino acids it needs. 

Plant protein powder supplements are processed, so they do not contain the fiber found in whole foods. However, they are a good option for getting more protein with less carbs. For this reason, if you're a vegetarian or vegan eating keto or low carb, you may want to consider incorporating plant protein powder occasionally.

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