By Stephanie Barroilhet
When we think of protein automatically we think animal products. We hear from doctors and nutritionist that we should limit the amount of animal products we consume in order to have a healthy balanced diet. Many of us do not know that there are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein on the market today that are great alternatives.
The popular vegetarian sources of protein that some of us know of are Tofu, Edamame (Soybeans), Beans, Lentil, Nuts and Seeds which are great sources of protein either alone or combined with whole grains. Most of us know that vegetarian sources of protein are better for our health because they are easier to digest which means less strain on our digestive system.
I am sure you have heard of superfoods, these are nutrient dense foods that can assist the body in the metabolism of foods, improve digestion, help aid weight loss and provide an array of vitamins and minerals our body needs to have a healthy immune system. Superfoods can supply a plant-based diet such as vegetarian or vegan diet with sources of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, chlorophyll, and a complete, balanced gluten-free sources of a complete protein.
Here's a list of seven awesome superfoods that have a high amount of protein:
1. Wild Blue-Green Algae - This superfood is more of a complete protein (60%) than beef or soy. It is high in many vitamins and minerals which will help your body by providing more energy and improve brain function. Use: Add a few tablespoons to smoothies and drinks.
2. Spirulina- Highest form of protein found anywhere in the world (70%). This superfood is a great recommendation for those seeking to lose weight and maintaining great health. Use: add a few tablespoons to smoothies and drinks. One ounce contains 16g of protein
3. Bee Pollen - These granules created by bees from flowering plants is another nutrient dense food that has 5 to 7 times more protein than beef. Other than all the immune supporting properties bee pollen is a great antidote for fighting off allergies, particularly sinusitis and hay fever. Use: Sprinkle on salad, smoothies, and cereal (hot or cold)
4. Goji Berries -These red berries are not only a source of complete protein with 18 amino acids but have 500 times more vitamin C per ounce of oranges. Use: Add to smoothies, granola/ trail mix, and salads
5. Quinoa - This seed often mistaken for a grain is source of complete protein and is gluten free as well. Use: Replace rice, flour, oatmeal, and make interesting delicious salads
6. Hemp - Complete source of protein (36%) Hemp is also a rich and balanced source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 including the rare form of GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid). GLA has been shown to help maintain heart health, healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels and aid in hormonal balance.
7. Chia Seeds - this is a perfect food, containing essential fatty acids, protein, as well as being a soluble fiber.
All of the superfoods mentioned are a complete source of protein and some have higher amounts of protein than any animal protein (i.e. Steak= 25% of protein).
About Stephanie Barroilhet
Stephanie is the founder of Nutrition At Hand, she believes in "Eating Right Today for a Healthy Tomorrow". She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Consultant for TrueStar Health practicing in Toronto, Ontario. Stephanie mainly focuses on helping clients achieve permanent weight loss as well as preventing disease and illness with whole natural foods and high quality supplements.