Protein is essential in everyone’s diet, and even more so for people who exercise regularly. It is the protein in our food that provides us with the essential amino acids needed to build and repair all the different cells in our body, including our muscles cells.
However you don’t need to be eating meat to ensure that you are getting the levels of protein you need. Vegetarian and vegan protein sources can be just as rich in protein, provided that you are eating the right combinations!
Even though animal products proved a rich source of complete protein, they are by no means the only way to make sure you get your daily protein fix. In fact I have many vegan and vegetarian friends who love working out and keeping their bodies fit, healthy and strong. This just wouldn’t be possible if they weren’t getting the protein their working bodies so desperately need.
Protein sources from animal products: Animal products are a rich source of complete proteins, which means that each serving provides you with all 9 essential amino acids needed on a daily basis.
Protein sources from animal products include:
- Red meat
Protein from plant sources: If you are vegetarian or vegan, then there are a few important protein pointers you should know. There ARE some complete protein sources that are vegan friendly! These include:
- Hemp seeds
But that doesn’t mean you have to be eating these foods to get your daily protein! Other plant products that provide incomplete protein sources are still just as beneficial and when eaten in conjunction with other sources (or at least eating some of each at different times in the same day) you will end up getting all 9 essential amino acids anyway!
Good sources of incomplete protein sources include:
Fortunately when it comes to combining two incomplete protein sources together, the combinations that work, work for your tastes buds too!
Some good suggestions include:
- Green salad with spinach, seeds and nuts
- Hummus and whole grain pita bread
- Hummus and vegetables sticks
- Brown rice and beans