Not a meat-eater? 7 vegetarian foods that will take care of all your protein needs

Vanilla Sharma, International Business Times

Vegetarians and vegans are often asked why they chose not to eat meat if they have never tasted meat and what their source of protein is. The questions get even weirder if you were a non-vegetarian once and decided to give up meat. Then the questions range from if you miss eating meat and the taste to if you will ever eat meat again.

It is a prevailing myth that meat is the best source of protein and if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you don’t have too many options to meet your protein needs. However, that is not the case. There are numerous protein-rich foods in the nature’s basket, that too sans the high fat and cholesterol content.

Here are a few things you can include in your diet that contain a high amount of protein:

Quinoa

quinoa

Often called a super food, Quinoa is one of the best sources of protein and also contains amino acids that aid body’s growth and repair. And the best part is, Quinoa can be consumed in a variety of ways. It can be added to soups as well as combined with fresh vegetables and fruits to make a salad.

Nettle

Nettle

Nettle, also called stinging nettle, is a flowering plant that has a stinging effect on the skin. The plant has long been used as food as well as medicine. It has a flavour similar to spinach and contains an overload of protein. Nettle is often used to make soup in Northern and Eastern Europe as well as Nepal and some parts of India.

Lentils

Lentil

Lentils are a great source of protein and can easily be included in your daily diet. They also contain numerous other essential nutrients such as folate, vitamins, iron and zinc. Lentils can be added to salads or can also be cooked as standalone dishes.

Green Peas

Green peas

Often served as a side dish, green peas are easily available and have high protein content. Not just protein, peas are also rich in fibre, vitamins, copper, iron, and zinc.

Asparagus

Asparagus

Used in salads and also a meat accompaniment, asparagus is rich in protein, vitamins, zinc, iron, and dietary fibre. Known to slow the ageing process, it also acts as a brain booster.

Almonds

Almonds

Almonds are rich in protein and other nutrients. Not just that, almonds also aid weight loss and reduce belly fat. They are also known to boost the immune system and improve heart health. They can be consumed as whole nuts, almond milk as well as almond butter.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a wellspring of protein, vitamins and fibre. Buckwheat noodles are widely consumed in Tibet and China and the flour of buckwheat can be used to make fritters and pancakes.

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