Getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet has a host of benefits, including helping your body build muscle and improving the health and strength of your bones. While many people think of meat as the main source of protein, the truth is you can get plenty of protein even as a vegetarian, as long as you make the right dietary choices. Here are four ways to get more protein as a vegetarian:
Add Protein Powder to Smoothies
The most convenient way to make sure you're getting enough protein is to add it to your morning smoothie. Protein powder is an especially great idea if you are working out a lot, since the more you work out the more protein you need, making it difficult to get it all from food alone especially as a vegetarian.
Withclean protein powder you can simply add a scoop to your morning smoothie and rest easy, knowing your protein needs are being met. Pack that smoothie full of dark leafy greens and add a little Greek yogurt and you will be able to get protein and other important nutrients from a variety of sources all in one glass.
Eat Plenty of Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are chocked full of protein, while containing much less fat than meat. In fact, a cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein, which is comparable to a small steak. Lentils and beans make a great base for a hearty, filling soup. Another idea is to pre-make beans, whole grain rice, and sautéed veggies, and bring these to work during the week as fillings for a healthy burrito.
Up Your Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are not only full of antioxidants and vitamins, they also contain high levels of protein. Dark leafy greens are also very low in calories, so, even if you are trying to lose weight, you can eat as much of them as you want. Kale sautéed in olive oil with garlic and lemon juice is a tasty and simple side dish. You can also add baby spinach to smoothies or get in the habit of having a salad every day.
Fill Up on Whole Grains
Whole grains like quinoa, whole wheat couscous, and brown rice contain a good amount of protein as well as other nutrients. They are also very filling and make a good base for healthy vegetarian meals. Quinoa with roasted veggies and spices makes a quick, easy, and healthy vegetarian lunch or dinner.
By adding these items to your healthy vegetarian diet, you can enjoy all the benefits of protein without eating meat.