Contrary to popular misconception, you don’t need to devour a 16-ounce T-Bone steak to fulfill your daily protein quota. In fact, you don’t need any meat at all. Whether you’re a full-blown vegetarian or a longtime carnivore looking to cut back on your meat consumption, these 6 meatless foods are good sources of healthy, high-quality protein. Not to mention, they’re also better for the environment.
Spinach (5 grams per one cup):
Popeye was on to something. A cup of cooked spinach contains almost 5 grams of muscle-building protein, not to mention loads of vitamin A, calcium and iron. Pretty impressive for a leafy green, huh? For a delicious take on spinach, try this palak paneer.
Nuts (5 to 7 grams per ¼ cup serving):
Peanuts, almonds, cashews and other nuts are all fantastic sources of meat-free protein. Because they’re rich in healthy fats and omega-3s, nuts are great for suppressing hunger.
Greek yogurt (15 to 20 g per serving):
By now, you’ve probably noticed the nutritional hype surrounding Greek yogurt. With more than double the protein of regular yogurt strains, Greek yogurt is a tasty way to amp up your protein content. It’s also rich in bone-building calcium. For a nutrition-packed snack, steer clear of sugary Greek yogurt varieties and stir in some fresh berries.
Edamame (17 grams per cup):
If processed soy products weird you out, give edamame a try. A mainstay at sushi restaurants, edamame is a complete protein that’s high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Throw some on a salad, or snack on them out of the shell. Or, create a delicious salad with edamame as the centerpiece, as in this edamame and tomato salad.
Chickpeas (6 grams per half cup serving):
Rich in fiber and protein, chickpeas—also called garbanzo beans—are another fantastic meat-free protein source. They’re great in curries and as salad toppers. Or, simply eat them on their own, as in these cinnamon-honey roasted chickpeas.
Lentils pack a whooping 18 grams of high-quality protein per one-cup serving, along with more than half your dietary fibers needs, folate, vitamin B1 and plenty of minerals. This veggie-packed lentil salad is bursting with flavor and nutrition.
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