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Weight loss is a tricky beast — and unfortunately, when aiming to lose weight, most people neglect their nutritional needs. They end up eating too little, often binging on unhealthy choices later in the day. Whether you are trying to lose weight, or simply improve your health, you need to eat a balanced diet.

Regardless of your current weight or goals, everyone requires carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Of these macronutrients, many do not get enough protein — especially if you're vegetarian or vegan.

Protein is critical for so many bodily functions, including your ability to build and repair muscle tone. From producing hormones to boosting your metabolism, proteins are the building blocks of life. As a vegetarian, are you currently getting enough?

 

5 Ways to Get More Protein In Your Diet

When we think of protein-rich foods, we're often reminded of meat and dairy — but these certainly are not your only options. In fact, there are plenty of protein-rich, plant-based foods available. When you really begin to change your diet, you find all kinds of new and exciting ingredients.

If you are trying to lose weight, whether you're vegetarian or not, protein is essential. This is especially true for those who have created an intense exercise regimen. You need protein in order to repair your muscles — after all, you don't want to lose lean muscle mass.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, here are some of the ways that you can get more protein:

 

1. Legumes

Legumes are incredibly versatile. From black beans to chickpeas, alfalfa to lentils, you can make so much with these ingredients. Take a burger, for instance, a staple within the Western diet. Once you mash up the beans of your choice, adding spices, herbs, olive oil, and even diced vegetables, you can quickly create a delicious patty. Here are some examples: 

  • 100 grams of black beans — 21 grams of protein
  • 100 grams of lentils — 9 grams of protein
  • 100 grams of chickpeas — 19 grams
  • 100 grams of kidney beans — 24 grams of protein

 

2. Quinoa

Known to be a 'complete protein' — meaning, it contains all essential amino acids, this wheat-free alternative is great in many side dishes. Also rich in fibre, as well as a wide range of vitamins and minerals, quinoa should be a staple in any vegetarian diet.

Typically, the problem with plant-based foods, is that they are void of specific essential amino acids — including lysine. As an added benefit, quinoa helps balance your blood sugar, while offering iron, a critical mineral for vegetarians. Within 100 grams of quinoa, you'll obtain around 13 grams of protein.

 

3. Nuts and Seeds

Whether you're vegetarian or not, nuts and seeds should be part of anyone's diet. Being a heart-healthy snack, some nuts and seeds are higher in protein than beans. Take pumpkin seeds, for instance — offering nearly 30 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving. Some of the other options include:

  •  100 grams of pistachios offer 21 grams of protein
  • 100 grams of almonds offer 21 grams of protein
  • 100 grams of sunflower seeds offer 19 grams of protein
  • 100 grams of walnuts offer 15 grams of protein

 

4. Protein shakes

This is certainly a great option to have on-hand, especially for when you're busy. In the morning, you can quickly make a shake or smoothie before you head out the door. With 21 grams per serving, Slinky Shakes are an optimal choice. With the added benefits of nutrient-rich ingredients, you'll always start your day off right.

 

5. Tempeh

Originating in Indonesia, tempeh is a traditional soy product that has gone through a controlled fermentation process. In that sense, it's also great for your gut health. Within 100 grams, you will obtain 19 grams of protein. You will also consume key nutrients, such as magnesium and B-complex vitamins.

If you have chosen to follow a vegetarian lifestyle, getting enough protein in your diet will be critical for your overall health and weight. Remember, it's not just about quantity, but also about quality. When you consume sources that provide a wide range of nutritional benefits, all while delivering high levels of protein, you will naturally support your well-being.

Weight loss is a tricky beast — and unfortunately, when aiming to lose weight, most people neglect their nutritional needs. They end up eating too little, often binging on unhealthy choices later in the day. Whether you are trying to lose weight, or simply improve your health, you need to eat a balanced diet.

Regardless of your current weight or goals, everyone requires carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Of these macronutrients, many do not get enough protein — especially if you're vegetarian or vegan.

Protein is critical for so many bodily functions, including your ability to build and repair muscle tone. From producing hormones to boosting your metabolism, proteins are the building blocks of life.

As a vegetarian, are you currently getting enough?...