- Posted September 11, 2013 by
Tasty Vegetarian Protein Sources
What to eat for a longer, healthier life. We all need protein to survive. But there's a common misconception that we need all our protein from meat, milk, and other animal-based sources. Past studies have shown that relying too heavily on red meat as a source of protein can impair your vision and shorten your lifespan.
Vegetables don't pack quite the power punch that beans and whole grains do, but you can still get a good amount of plant-based protein from them. Spinach, collards, and other leafy greens contain around 5 grams per cup, cooked, while other green vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and asparagus contain slightly more, about 6 grams per cup, cooked. Medium artichokes have about 4 grams of protein, and they're starting to come into season now. The easiest way to enjoy artichokes is to steam them whole and dip them in melted organic butter for an easy appetizer recipes or afternoon snack.
Add a few sautéed mushrooms to your leafy greens to up their protein content even more. A cup's worth of white mushrooms will add 3 grams of protein to any dish you're making, and shiitake mushrooms will add slightly less than that.
All nuts contain protein, but the amounts vary widely depending on which type you pick. Fortunately, peanuts are some of the tastiest and they have the highest protein levels, at 8 grams per ounce.
Quinoa, the ancient South American grain that's getting more popular lately, has the most protein of any grain—10 grams per cup. Not only is it a good source of plant protein, but, along with soybeans, quinoa is also one of very few non-meat "complete" proteins, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. Plus, it has lots of whole grain fiber. Technically a seed rather than a grain, quinoa can be used in place of rice or mixed with dried fruit and nuts for an easy breakfast.
Source: Yahoo! Health Articles - April 2011