When you’re training hard, you have to give your body the protein that it needs. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean eating a load of meat. You should explore the meat-free protein sources that are out there. It could be a healthy decision!
Last year, research from St. Michael’s Hospital found that swapping animal proteins for plant-based alternatives could have some impressive health benefits. These side effects included lowering cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular problems.
So, where should you start? Let’s take a quick look at just seven meat-free protein sources and the ways that you can include them in your day-to-day diet.
1. Beans and lentils
How often do you include these little things in your meals? While they may not sound like the most exciting of ingredients, beans and lentils can be used to make a wide range of seriously yummy treats. We’re talking veggie burgers, a nice and spicy dhal, or even a campfire stew.
Adding these to your already healthy diet could give you a real boost of protein, energy, and power. What’s more, recent research shows that beans keep you feeling fuller for longer than meat does. It’s a no-brainer!
2. Chia seeds
Have you heard the hype about chia seeds? Well, there’s a good reason people harp on about these teeny-little seeds all of the time. Packing around 4g of protein per every two tablespoons, sprinkling these on your food could be a quick way to boost your intake.
What’s more, chia seeds could also aid natural digestion. If you have any issues with certain types of food, adding these into the mix could be the answer you’ve been searching for before now. Give it a go.
3. Greek yogurt
Looking for a tempting dessert that also gives you a snappy hit of protein? You may just have found it. There’s nothing quite like having a small dish of Greek yogurt along with some honey for sweetness. This snack is not only healthy but seriously tasty too.
Be sure to buy quality yogurt, rather than anything that contains additives or is heavily processed. You need to know what you’re eating here. Remember the golden rule – the thicker the yogurt is, the likely better it is for you.
Many people struggle to get enough protein in their meals, especially if they are looking to increase their intake when training. That’s where quinoa comes into play. The genius thing about this grain is that it’s gluten-free and contains around 14g of protein per 100g. Nice.
Adding quinoa to your diet couldn’t be easier. Whenever you make a dish that you’d usually put with rice, noodles, or pasta, simply substitute these things for quinoa. You will quickly learn that it’s just as filling while being better for your health!
Don’t overlook the humble egg. If you’re looking for a quick, meat-free source of protein, you can’t go far wrong with this one. It makes a great high-energy breakfast dish or even just a post-workout snack. Boil some up and carry them in plastic boxes to have on the go.
Just two medium-sized eggs will give you around 14g of protein. As if that weren’t enough, research suggests that eating whole eggs helps to promote building body muscle. Boil them, scramble them, or make an omelet for the best results.
6. Soya mince
Who doesn’t love spaghetti bolognese? If you’re going meat-free, you may worry about how you can still make your favorite dishes without using mincemeat! Soya mince could be the key to solving this problem.
When you cook this stuff really well and use it in a recipe, you will hardly notice the difference. Luckily, this type of mince packs a real punch when it comes to protein, with around 12g of protein per 80g. Use it in your recipes as an alternative to meat.
Love snacking? Yeah, don’t we all! The problem is that all too often people snack on the wrong types of food. Chocolate, chips, and candy can be dangerous, especially if you eat them too often. What you need is a healthy and delicious snack.
I have just one word for you – nuts. Carrying a bag of nuts with you when you’re out and about is always a smart idea. While protein values vary from nut to nut, these snacks are filled with the stuff. And, as an added bonus, they are also full of healthy oils and fats.
Improve your diet today!
Training and diet go hand-in-hand. If you’re on a journey to better health, including these protein sources in your diet is a savvy move. You should also always speak to your trainer to see that your meal plan suits your regime.
Want to know more about how to eat and live well? Give me a shout!