Protein is an essential part of our daily diet that we can’t ignore. Protein is found everywhere in the body, from muscles and bones to skin and hair. However, protein deficiency causes a wide variety of symptoms.
Common symptoms include swelling, mood changes, skin, nails and hair issues, weakness, fatigue, and extreme hunger. With so many problems resulting from a lack of protein, I’m sure that no one here wants to suffer from any of these.
The Food That You Need
So, I’ve got a little list of five of some of the best foods to increase protein in your daily diet that’ll keep you feeling amazing. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for protein is around 50 to 60 grams per day.
Almost any variety of beans are a fantastic source of protein for the human body. Beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. Beans are also substantial providers of fiber, iron, complex carbohydrates and potassium as well as other crucial dietary needs.
Studies show that diets rich in legumes and beans can aid in controlling blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Amazingly beans can even help to reduce belly fat and lower blood pressure.
My favorite legumes are chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. There are a lot of delicious recipes out there for vegan diets.
With 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, lentils are a great source of protein. Lentils are an excellent addition to many dishes such as salads, soups, and more exotic meals like dhals.
Lentils themselves contain an excellent supply of slowly digestible carbohydrates, and a single cup contains around 50 percent of our daily recommended fiber intake. Lentils are a great food source for slowing sugar absorption into the blood and helping to keep your intestines healthy.
Lentils are one of my favorite foods for when I have stomach issues and are a great source of protein on those days. I always make sure to keep a healthy supply on hand.
Seitan comes from gluten, the main protein in wheat. Seitan delivers a nearly identical look and texture as meat compared to other soy-based mock meats.
Also called wheat meat or wheat gluten, it’s one of the highest protein suppliers for our vegan diets. Seitan delivers 25 grams of protein for every 3.5 ounces.
Seitan is also a great source of selenium, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of certain forms of cancers and heart disease.
You can cook seitan in various ways, quite similarly to tofu (below), which means I’m always able to find a tasty recipe online.
TOFU, TEMPEH AND, EDAMAME
Tofu, Tempeh, and Edamame are all soybean-based food. Soybeans are considered a complete source of protein. Thus they provide essential amino acids that the body needs.
All three forms of these soybean-based foods contain iron, calcium, and 10 to 19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces.
These three are great additions to any meal and many recipes, providing taste and texture. Tofu is unique because it absorbs the flavor of the ingredients it’s cooked with. You can add tofu and tempeh to anything from burgers to soups and even chilis. Edamame shines when added to soups and salads.
Often served as a side dish, these small, round vegetables carry 9 grams per cooked cup, slightly more than a cup of milk. These are my favorite inclusions for any meal that needs an extra dish.
Green peas are a source of iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper and a few essential B vitamins.
Additionally, a single serving offers around 25 percent of our daily fiber requirements. Green peas are also a good source of vitamins A, C, K, thiamine, and folate.
So there you have it. Five fantastic sources of protein that you might not have considered. I know I certainly don’t want to lack any protein in my diet, and with so many delicious options, we can all find some new favorite dishes to cook.