According to a study done in 2016, there are 7.3 million Americans who practice a fully vegetarian diet. A vegetarian is defined as someone who doesn’t eat meat (and sometimes other animal products). Typically, vegetarians follow this diet for moral, religious or health reasons.
A common concern for vegetarians is how to get enough protein when not eating meat. Per day, women should get 46 grams of protein and men should be taking in 56 grams. When enough attention is paid to what is going into their body, vegetarians can certainly get enough protein. If you’re following a vegetarian diet, consider regularly incorporating the following sources of protein into your diet.
Anything within the legume family is considered a solid source of protein. In fact, one cup of peas contains 7.9 grams of protein–the equivalent of a cup of milk. Peas don’t have to be eaten as a side dish, they can also be blended into a pesto.
Technically a seed, quinoa contains more than 8 grams of protein per cup. This includes all nine essential amino acids that the body requires for growing and repairing. Quinoa is extremely versatile and can be added to soup or vegetarian chili.
Nuts are considered a valuable part of a plant-based diet. Not only are they high in calories, they also contain 5 to 6 grams of protein per ounce. Raw or dry roasted nuts are typically the healthiest. Also, look for nut butters with only nuts and salt.
If you’re a vegetarian, beans should be part of your daily diet. Believe it or not, two cups of kidney beans contain 26 grams of protein (one gram more than a Big Mac!). Beans also come in a wide variety, including white, black, pinto, heirloom, etc.
For more healthy tips and medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.