Protein is a vital nutrient for many processes in our body. It is the building block of tissues and it is important for their repair and growth. Protein can be used as fuel as well. When we think of protein, the first sources that come to mind are typically animal sources such as chicken, beef and maybe eggs. However, protein can be found in non-animal sources as well.
These three neglected plant-based foods are good sources of protein, so no matter if you are a carnivore or not you should have them on your protein foods list. They are quinoa, chia seeds and peanut butter.
Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It is a popular health food, similar to rice and it is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Quinoa is also a great source of fiber, it has much higher fiber content than other grains.
But it is also a great source of protein. Unlike other similar non-animal protein sources, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids.
One hundred grams of quinoa contains 4-5 grams of this important substance and approximately 370 calories. The amount of protein per 100g is maybe too low when compared to meat, eggs or fish, but if you eat quinoa instead of rice or bread you can increase your daily intake of protein. You can also make sweet snacks out of quinoa.
Here are its complete nutrition facts (per 100g):
– Protein: 8 grams.
– Fiber: 5 grams.
– Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
– Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
– Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
– Folate: 19% of the RDA.
– Copper: 18% of the RDA.
– Iron: 15% of the RDA.
– Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
– Potassium 9% of the RDA.
– Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
– Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
Chia seeds are the best proof that good things come in small packages. These tiny seeds contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, iron and calcium, magnesium and zinc.
In addition, they are an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids and are imposed as an inevitable condition in the diet. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain almost 10 grams of protein. Never eat them dry, be sure to first soak them in water, milk or yogurt for ten to twenty minutes.
Here are the nutrition facts for 100g of chia seeds:
Protein: 16.5 grams
Carbs: 42.1 grams
Sugar: 0 grams
Fiber: 34.4 grams
Fat: 30.7 grams
Saturated: 3.33 grams
Monounsaturated: 2.31 grams
Polyunsaturated: 23.67 grams
Omega-3: 17.83 grams
Omega-6: 5.84 grams
Trans: 0.14 grams
Chia seeds are also free of gluten.
There are as many as 32 grams of protein in 100 grams of peanut butter. Besides your other sources of protein, be sure to include peanut butter in your diet for additional protein ( of course if you are not allergic to it). But be careful when you choose your peanut butter. Read the declaration and buy jars that contain a high percentage of peanuts, while avoiding those rich in sugar.
Typical nutrition facts for 2 tablespoons (32g) of peanut butter
Here is a list of more vegetarian and vegan sources of protein : 5 Protein Packed Foods for the Vegetarian