Protein is an important part of everyone’s daily diet, regardless of the form you choose to consume it in.
Protein is responsible for breaking down the amino acids that promote cell growth and repair, it is crucial to the body’s health and maintenance.
From a dietary perspective, protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, meaning you will feel fuller for a longer period of time with less calories.
The types of proteins most familiar to the majority of people are animal products like meat, eggs, dairy and fish. While high in protein content, these animal products can also be high in saturated fats and cholesterol.
While vegetarians and vegans have been enjoying the many alternate protein sources available for ages, if you get your protein mainly from animal-based sources, you may not be aware of the alternatives that exist.
In our effort to create healthy and diverse soups, Smart Soup has incorporated some of these alternate protein sources into our products. You can find chickpeas, black beans, lentils and other legumes in our seven different flavors of heart healthy soups.
For a varied and well balanced diet, consider changing things up a bit and including some of the many alternatives to animal-based proteins. Plant-based proteins aren’t just good for you, they taste great too!
Below is a list of alternate protein sources you may not have considered before:
–Green peas can be added to many dishes to give them more colour and pop, while also adding more than 7 grams of protein for each cup of peas.
–Beans are very high in protein content and easy to prepare. Dried beans should be soaked in water before preparing, while canned beans should be rinsed and then can be used any way you like!
–Chickpeas are almost a meal in and of themselves. They are high in fibre, low in calories and contain approximately 7 grams of protein in just half a cup.
–Soybeans are a versatile bean that provide protein in many forms. Whether consumed as tofu, tempeh, soymilk or edamame, this bean is chock full of protein. Both tempeh and tofu contain around 15-20 grams of protein per half cup. Edamame contains 8 grams per half cup and soymilk has 4-8 grams of protein per 8 ounces.
–Quinoa is notable in that it is a grain and contains more than 8 grams of protein per cup. What’s more, it is considered a complete protein because it contains all the amino acids required for cell growth and repair.
–Nuts contain approximately 5 grams of protein per ounce. But remember to exercise portion control – don’t go nuts on a bag of nuts!
–Hemp hearts have around 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons and make a great addition to cereals, salads or sprinkled on yogurt.
–Chia seeds, a nutritional powerhouse in its own right, has approximately 4.5 grams of protein per ounce.
–Seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten and can be substituted in any recipe that calls for poultry. It is very high in protein, typically containing 36 grams per cup.
Next time you’re planning what to make for dinner, consider incorporating one of these vegetarian proteins into your meal. We promise you’ll be glad you did, as they offer great flavor and versatility, without any saturated fat!