There is a preconceived notion that non-vegetarian food is rich in protein and vegetarians stay deprived of having the liberty to take proteins and iron in good amount. However, there are so many vegetarian foods that are rich in protein and iron, and you should definitely include them in your diet. Here’s the list of 5 Protein foods for vegetarians –
1. Nuts and Seeds –
If you are a vegetarian, then you need to have nuts and seeds that will prove out to be perfect addition to your balanced diet. Nuts and seeds are rich in protein and iron. You can try pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds, pistachios and almonds as they fall in nuts and seeds category. You need to pair nuts and seeds with grains to create complete proteins, when you eat them. If you like brown rice then you should add sesame seeds on it, and if it is tabbouleh salad, add almonds on them. These combinations are best protein foods for vegetarians.
2. Whole Grains –
Whole grains are great source of protein and iron, even if you don’t add nuts and seeds with them (though it is recommended). Foods like whole grains bread, bulgur wheat, whole grain rice and quinoa fall in the category of whole grains. Quinoa is a standalone protein and it is considered as a Superfood! If you pair other sources of whole grains with nuts and seeds or beans and legumes, then it will create amino acids which are beneficial for you. These are great protein foods for vegetarians.
3. Beans and Legumes –
Beams and legumes are protein foods for vegetarians that should be an essential ingredient in any vegetarian’s diet as they have lot of proteins and iron in them. Soybeans and other soy products like tempeh and tofu are rich in protein. Other foods like chickpeas, kidney beans, and peanuts also fall into this category. You should pair soy proteins with whole grains, which will form amino acids for the body to absorb. You can try whole grain chips with hummus or whole grain bread with peanut butter, which will be helpful in formation of amino acids.
4. Fruits and Vegetables –
Fruits and vegetables are not good sources of proteins, but they have lot of iron in them. Dark green vegetables provide you iron in abundance and if you pair these sources with Vitamin C (in lemon juice over kale), then it will aid to the supply of iron to your body. You should also eat dry fruits, which are excellent sources of iron.
5. Dairy Products –
If you are a vegan, then dairy products are not the option for you. However, vegetarians can leverage dairy products to get protein for their body. Milk, yogurt (or curd), and cheese are protein in galore. There are some vegetarians who are liberal with eating eggs. If you are an eggitarian then you don’t need to worry about protein. Eggs are rich in protein.
It doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, you can always have your share of protein and iron.