One of the most common questions a vegan or vegetarian hears is: “But how do you get your protein?” The answer is plant proteins, which are lean and loaded with nutrients to support a healthy diet.
At Weight Success Centers, our Florida physicians and experts understand that vegetarianism, veganism, and flexitarian diets are growing in popularity. That is why we have compiled some simple tips for ensuring your plant-based diets include the power of protein.
Getting Your Protein from Delicious Meat-Free Foods
Many meat-free foods deliver protein without packing on the high-calorie contents of fatty meats. Whether you are a flexitarian alternating your diet to include meat-free days, a full-fledge vegan avoiding consumption of any animal products, or simply someone skipping meat on religious holidays – here are some tasty ways to add more plant protein to your diet or meal plan.
1) Start Simple with Natural Foods: There are countless benefits to getting your protein from natural foods, such as beans, lentils, seeds, and nuts. These plant proteins also tout vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients, which can all help lower risks associated with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and other conditions. Start simple by adding these protein-rich foods to your dishes, such as a savory lentil soup, flavorful sunflower seeds on a specialty salad, or slivers of almonds on top of roasted beans.
2) Shop Smart for Meat Alternatives: Vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians also have no shortage of pre-packaged options that go far beyond vegetarian go-to foods like tofu and tempeh. Today, meat-alternative options including veggie burgers, “chik” patties, “fakin” bacon strips, veggie-sausage, veggie-dogs, meatless meatballs, and many more imitation meats that are widely available in grocery stores and at restaurants. Thanks to gourmet spices and delicious ingredients, many people find these nutrient-rich foods are tastier than high-fat cuts of meat.
3) Be Adventurous with Exotic Foods: Health-conscious foodies are embracing the meaty texture and nutritional merits of jackfruit. This tree-grown fruit touts a giant size and musky flavor. Jackfruit contains protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, plus A, B-6, and C vitamins. You may like canned young jackfruit, large-ripened jackfruit, or purchase jackfruit by the slice at certain gourmet delis and health food stores. Try it roasted and served over a high-protein yogurt or prepared in a curry dish. Deliciously, you can also slow cook and shred it just like you would for a pulled-pork-style sandwich. Add a side of black beans to pack on more protein.
Contact the Florida physicians at Weight Success Centers to learn more about the benefits of adding more plant proteins and nutritious superfoods to your healthy diet plan.
How will you add new sources of lean protein to your diet? Join the conversation on Weight Success Centers’ social media sites and find more great tips to share with your friends and families.